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Letter of introduction: Branch seeks WO mayoral position

To Citizens of the City West Orange, Texas

My name is Randy Branch and I live in and am a homeowner in West Orange. I am running for the office of Mayor this year in the election that will be held on May1st. I write this short auto biography to give the people of West Orange an idea of who I am since they will be voting this year on electing a new Mayor. I grew up in Little Cypress, graduated from Little Cypress High School in 1968 and went to Blinn Jr. College. I married the love of my life, Martha Jane Johnson, in 1971 on February the 20th and we will celebrate our 50th year together. We have two daughters who both went to school in the WOS school system. We are very proud of our daughters and really enjoy spending time with them and our five grandchildren.

We moved to West Orange in 1975, bought a home on the very east end of Bonham Street and lived there until we bought one of the Building and Trades built homes on Smith Street in 1986. We have lived in West Orange and paid taxes to the city for the past 45 years.

I currently am serving as Senior Pastor at Wesley United Methodist Church. I have been serving there since 2008. Prior to my service at Wesley I served as Associate Pastor of St. Johns United Methodist Church for 4 years on Western Avenue. I received my license to preach in 2004. My plans are to retire from the Church on June 30th this year. I will continue to look for ways to serve God and my Savior Jesus Christ as they lead me into this new phase of life. My prayer is that the Holy Spirit will lead me in God’s Wisdom in all that I do. This retirement will allow me to spend more time working as the citizens’ Mayor and spend more time with my children and grandchildren.

I worked for Dupont on Chemical Row (FM 1004) for 35 plus years. I worked as a maintenance mechanic and was promoted to supervisor in 1987. I worked in both the Adipure Plant and Ethylene Plant. I also served as a construction liaison on a major project when Dupont built a plant in Singapore. While we lived in Singapore for a year and half we maintained our residence here in West Orange. I retired from Dupont in 2008.

I currently am an Alderman on the City Council of West Orange. In 2018 I was appointed midyear by Mayor Roy McDonald to serve out the term of Frances Lopez because of her resignation from the City Council. I was chosen from a field of 5 citizens who were nominated for this appointment. I ran for election in 2019, was elected and have been serving since.

During my time on City Council as Alderman we have received grants for improvements such as:

  • Drainage improvements (surveying has been done and bids are out now for selecting contractors)
  • A new Fire Truck for the Volunteer Fire Department (bids are out now for new truck)
  • Generators for water wells and lift stations so that they will remain in service during inclement weather and hurricanes (bids will be going out soon)
  • Street improvements
  • Assistance to citizens who suffered damage to their homes during hurricanes

The above list is just a few of the items we have ongoing. As Mayor we will continue to work on these items as well as look for better ways to communicate what the city is doing for its citizens and to hear what the citizen’s needs are from the city. I will work towards making the City of West Orange a more ascetically pleasing place to live. We need to do this to attract people and businesses to West Orange which will expand our tax base so that we can do more towards this endeavor. We need to work on drainage issues within the city which suffers from street flooding during heavy rains. (remember the grant project). Our volunteer fire department is growing and we will continue to support the volunteers to make sure that they are able to protect our homes in the safest manner possible (bids are out for a new fire truck). I have been a strong proponent of removing derelict housing and have found that this can be done but must be done by following existing laws as well as taking into account the budgetary issues this costly work will incur. In other words, it is a slow process but will be followed up on.