Meet the Council: Mayor Spears believes in Orange – then, now and always

Published 2:31 pm Saturday, October 27, 2018

By Krista Salter

The Orange Leader


Since the time he was born, Mayor Larry Spears Jr. has never really left Orange.

Though he surely never envisioned being the mayor of the city he’s always been so proud to be a part of, he said his path was simply “ordered by God.”

“I saw a need to help out in my community, that the area needed something new, and needed someone to promote that the children have a place to grow and mature,” Spears said, recalling that it was his days coaching youth sports that led him to local politics.

After serving for over a year on the city’s board of adjustments in 2013, Spears ran a successful bid for Orange City Council and in 2016 was appointed mayor pro tem. He was elected Mayor of Orange in earlier 2018.

“I truly feel that we have so much potential, and so many great things to offer,” Spears said of his city. “If we could truly find a way to join forces as an entire community to bring about those things that would be appealing to everyone.”

“Our greatest strength in Orange is our diversity,” he added. “We need to make it our town and work together towards the common goal – a brighter future for our kids, businesses, jobs and growth and progress as a community.”

Since he’s been mayor, Spears said he feels “we’re headed in a positive direction with growth and change that we have never seen before.”

Disaster pay, police negotiations and how to handle the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey on the city’s upcoming budget have all been things the mayor has tackled, along with the city council, he said has been sending a message of motivation and positivity through the community that all things are possible.

Aside from that, Spears said he has a three-part vision for the city as they work with city staff and residents to bring in new business and opportunities – positive motivation, encouraging participation and leading by example – because he believes if the community isn’t ready for growth and progress, there’s no way to ask them to receive change and prepare.

Spears said working with the current council has been wonderful.

“It’s amazing to see people, who even though we have different opinions, will still crank down to find the best for their citizens, and ask how to make things work for the people,” Spears explained. “We’re truly blessed, and we want the people of Orange to realize how good City Council and staff are, and how much we care about the community.”

When Spears, whose job is never really done, gets a break, he spends it with his family – either caring for his brand new daughter or engaging in his older two children’s sports activities around Orange.

When asked what he wished to say to residents of Orange, he said, “My favorite scripture is Matthew 19:26 – with God all things are possible. I firmly stand on and believe in that. Great things are to come to the city of Orange.”