The West Orange City Council met Monday to swear in new members Lanie Brown and Jay Odom, along with longtime councilman Mike Shugart. All three won seats on council in the May 7 Election. Meritta Kennedy was again voted as Mayor Pro Tem.
Council also recognized retiring councilwoman Shirley Bonnin after three decades of service. In 1954, the City of West Orange was incorporated by a 381-90 vote, and Bonnin recalls her Uncle Bonner Calhoon helping to push for the incorporation. “We moved here when I was seven,” Bonnin says. “I was involved in the incorporation of West Orange, and I had an uncle who was the police chief and who helped write some of the by-laws.” This influence fueled her passion to serve her community. During her tenure, Bonnin served as Mayor Pro Tem and as an alternate judge for the West Orange Municipal Court. She served as an Executive Committee Member of the Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commission and Board President in 2010. She remembers, fondly, her very first council meeting and has enjoyed her time serving her community.
Council also welcomed Jesse Lee Gardner (below), a new firefighter to the West Orange Volunteer Fire Dept.
top photo: Mayor Randy Branch and council members Mike Shugart, Brent Dearing, Lanie Brown, Jay Odom and Meritta Kennedy.