West Orange swears in new mayor, Orange recognizes ALS month

Published 6:46 am Wednesday, May 12, 2021

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In one city, a mayor retires after serving on the council for almost 30 years while another mayor kicks off his second term.

West Orange Mayor Roy McDonald passed the gavel to newly elected Mayor Randy Branch at the Monday evening meeting.

“When I took over at United Methodist, I fooled a guy who had been there 43 years,” Branch said. “Now I am following a man who has been on the council over 26 years as well.”

Branch also said he did not know what size shoe McDonald wore but Branch did know that he had big shoes to fill.

Merrita Kennedy, Mayor Randy Branch and Brent Dearing were sworn in by Ida Schossow.

Kennedy was elected for Mayor Pro Tem.

West Orange City Council is holding a Special Call meeting at noon Friday, May 14 to discuss advertising and accepting bids for a fire truck.

Tuesday morning, City of Orange Mayor Larry Spears said he was wearing his Team Dallas shirt instead of a suit and tie because May is ALS Awareness Month.

Because of their vulnerability to the disease, people living with ALS and their caregivers are practicing extreme social distancing, living in isolation, and unable to access traditional care and resources. Since the pandemic reached the United States, The ALS Association has been working around the clock to adapt essential care services to virtual and online platforms, and advocating tirelessly in Washington, D.C., to make sure those living with ALS are not left behind as important stimulus packages and other legislation are being considered, according to https://www.als.org/

“Tony Dallas is a friend and a brother,” Spears said. “We love his family and want to recognize Tony Dallas.”

Spears displayed a banner with a infamous Dallas saying, “Punt Team”

David Bailey was sworn in as Councilmember District 1 as his wife, “Rusty” stood by his side.

Larry Spears Jr was sworn in for his second term as Mayor of Orange as he was surrounded by his family, including his son who came in from Arizona for the occasion.

Bailey said it was an honor to sit on the council.

Orange City Manager Mike Kunst said a recent inspection of the “Quiet Zone” along the tracks, which had been installed eight years ago, were no longer in compliance.

“The equipment has been ordered and will be installed in the next couple of weeks,” Kunst said. “So the trains will be sounding the horns during this time.”