McKenna has history of serving community

Published 9:22 am Wednesday, September 16, 2015

City of Orange Council Member District 4 Mary McKenna may be serving her first term on city council, but it is not her first time to serve the people of Orange.

McKenna, Executive Director of Southeast Texas Hospice, has served and still sits on several boards in the region.

“Serving is a sense of serving the people,” McKenna said. “Serving on council is a continuation. It is very rewarding when the people of Orange are served.”

McKenna has been on both sides of the table with some projects such as the Interstate 10 project.

“I worked on the project when I was with the Chamber and now I am working on it with the city,” McKenna said.

While McKenna had experience of working on other boards, committees and commissioners, McKenna said the knowledge of the workings of the council has been enjoyable to learn.

“There has been so much to learn,” McKenna said. “It has been enjoyable to see the whole process, and there is a lot to it. From the staff working together, meeting state and federal regulations and helping citizens.”

McKenna said some of the projects the council works on are more visible than others.

“There are 19 parks in Orange,” McKenna said. “We are working on adding skateboard parks and splash pads. We are working on a grant for the Hike and Bike Trail project. The bond for the sewer treatment brought the sewage treatment plant up to date.”

The sewage treatment plant project, while not as visible to residents, was a significant project for the city to ensure sanitary conditions.

“Some are more visible such as buying a fire truck,” McKenna said. “When one calls 9-1-1, we want to know someone is on the way. There is security to know it will happen. As councilmember, it is exciting to be able to maintain that security.”

McKenna also serves on the City of Orange Economic Development Corporation and as Mayor Pro-Tem.

“The council made the decision for me to serve as Pro-Tem,” McKenna said. “I was not expecting it so was surprised an honored.”

McKenna also said she wants to continue building Orange.

“After Hurricane Ike, we came very close to losing our community,” McKenna said. “We came together as a community and rebuild it. I am more proud of that than anything else.”

District Four covers “Chemical Row” area to Water Street, north to Sunset and Burton Ave. From Jayway Street to East of Simmons Drive.