City sad to see Oubre leave

Published 5:00 pm Wednesday, October 10, 2018

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


City Manger Dr. Shawn Oubre is just hours away from his last day and staff and is already missed by many.

Oubre officially submitted his letter of resignation on Sept. 17, 2018 by mail.

City Council members received the letter on Wednesday, which stated his last day will be Oct. 12, 2018.

He has served the city for over 13 years.

“It would be 14 years in February,” Oubre said.

He will take over as City Manager of Woodway.

One reason for the change is be closer to his children.

“The family is spread out and this will tighten the net some,” Oubre said.

Oubre also spoke of Mayor Larry Spears Jr.

“He is a good mayor,” Oubre said. “He continues, he will be a great mayor.”

“He came to Orange at a time when it was difficult to track good candidates,” Former Mayor Brown Claybar said. “He served with great distinction.  He did what he said he would do.”

Council member Patrick Pullen said Oubre saved the city millions of dollars during his time here.

“He used his background and his contacts to better Orange,” Pullen said. “Where he is going should be thankful to get him.”

According to Oubre, it was not one project but numerous ways over the years which saved the city money.

“It is about building relationships and trust,” Oubre said.

When Oubre started, Industrial Contracts were three to four years and now are are 15 year contracts with a higher percentage.

“No one wants to pay more taxes,” Oubre said. “It is about building relationships and trust.”

City services have also expanded while keeping the tax rates down, according to Oubre.

Another project which helped saved the city funds is the regional radio award.

“It was for Jefferson, Hardin and Orange County,” Oubre said. “I knew we had to get on board, I did not know it would blossom into what it is today.”

There is $30 million in grants in the radio.

Jack Smith, city attorney, said he has worked with four city managers over the years.

“One was only here a month,” Smith said. “Shawn was excellent. Orange has always been blessed with good city managers.”

Smith said in the 13 years of working with Oubre, he never once had to tell Oubre he was doing something wrong.

“That is my job to tell him when he is doing something wrong,” Smith said. “Not a week went by without me talking to him several times. He is a strong decent man.”

Mayor Larry Spears Jr also wishes Oubre the best in his future adventures.

“Thank you for all the late night phone calls you took and all the crazy questions,” Spears said.

Oubre said is has been an honor to work with the city staff.

“I am going to miss the staff,” Oubre said. “They are impeccable from the one filling the potholes to Jay Trahan in Economic Development.”

Oubre said the people of Orange welcomed him and his family as if they had always lived here.

“We quickly made it home,” Oubre said.