City of Orange to seek applications for judges for 2018/2019 fiscal year

Published 4:42 pm Thursday, September 28, 2017

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


While the city of Orange acknowledge there is still a long road ahead in rebuilding after Tropical Storm Harvey, the council cancelled the state of disaster declaration for the city during the Tuesday evening city council meeting.

While Harvey has been the topic for everyone, the council discussed allowing attorneys to apply for judicial positions with the city for the term starting Oct. 1, 2018.

The discussion began with the approval to authorize payment of $4,772.03 per month for Municipal Court Judge Jerry V. Pennington.

“If this auto renews every year, why call it a contract,” Council member Annette Pernell asked. “Is another judge not an option? What if another attorney would like a shot at the position?”

Pernell said other people may want to do their services for the city.

“It is my desire to go out for bids for the 2018 term.”

City Manager Dr. Shawn Oubre said the best time to request bids would be between now and march and possibly April.

“There are so many moving part to the budget,” Oubre said. “The time to do it would be now. Between now and March, April is the window. Next September would not be the time for the discussion.”

Council members agreed.

The city will start the process for the positions of Municipal Court Judge, Municipal Court Prosecutor and Alternate/Assistant Municipal Court Judge for a term to begin Oct. 1, 2018.

“I doubt many would apply out of respect for Jerry,” City Attorney John Cash Smith.

The city also approved a Mutual Aid Agreement between the city and the county.

“This opens the door to receiving any assistance from the county,” Oubre said.

The agreement could allow the city to request a refund for the 10-percent match the city is paying for debris removal.

“With our contractors, we do not have to wait for the county to collect the debris,” Council member Larry Spears Jr. said.

The city has contracted with D&J Services for debris removal.

Oubre also reminded those in attendance of the Business recovery meeting on Thursday.

OC Business Recovery Meeting will be held at 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. on Thursday at Lamar State College – Orange Nursing and Classroom Building located at 201 Front Street, Room 102. Parking entrance is on 1st Street. Representatives from FEMA, SBA and Texas Workforce Solutions will be in attendance. For more information, contact the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce at 409-883-3536.