The municipal election for the City of West Orange will be held Saturday, May 1, after action by the City Council on Monday. There will be three positions on the council decided that day with the Mayor’s seat and two Aldermen’s positions on the ballot.
The rumor at the meeting on Monday was that Mayor Roy McDonald may actually have an opponent in this year’s election. McDonald has served as mayor since 1995. Filing to be on the ballot begins Wednesday, January 13, and continues until Friday, February 12.
The City Council approved Police Chief Mike Stelly to apply for four grants for the West Orange Police Department. The applications will be for two Homeland Security grants, another for a Justice Assistance Grant, and a grant for Rifle Resistant Body Armor to protect the department’s officers.
Mayor McDonald praised the work of Stelly and the city’s police department calling it the best police department in the area. “I thank Chief Stelly for his services to the city and for his guidance and leadership to our department,” McDonald expressed.
Two part-time officers on the West Orange Police Department, Matthew Bryant and Robert Strause were approved to be retained as full-time city employees. Three applicants to the West Orange Volunteer Fire Department were also approved to serve. Nevelyn Foshee, Sheldon Lafleur, and Dustin Hartsfield will join the West Orange Fire Department.
Carmen Apple with the Texas Division of Emergency Management opened the meeting with an update on preparation for this year’s Tropical Storm season. Apple reported that the damage thresholds for a Presidential Declaration have changed since last year. Previously the Texas threshold was $38.4 million and the county’s threshold was at $312,000. Both have gone up the state is now $38.9 million and Orange County is $318,346.
Apple explained that the damage threshold covers only uninsured or unrecovered losses from a storm. “We are going to have to be very good at doing damage assessments in estimating our damages should we get into another hurricane this tropical season,” Apple concluded.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-