Economic Development Corporation board member shares Orange optimism observations

Published 12:08 am Saturday, June 3, 2023

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George Mortimer is one of the people tasked with helping lead the City of Orange through this potentially defining economic period.

“I was very active in the chamber for many years and ran my business here in Orange for 37 years,” he said. “This community’s been on the move for 60 plus years, and so I’ve seen the ups. I’ve seen the downs, and I’m looking forward to more opportunities [for the city].”

Mortimer shared his observations recently with municipal leaders and the public during his nomination and approval to the Orange Economic Development Corporation Board.

Director of Economic Development Jay Trahan and Assistant Director Hillary Gravett lead the EDC in promoting economic development through attracting and retaining new businesses with incentives approved by the City Council during public meetings.

Mayor Larry Spears said Mortimer has done a great job working with the city through his service with planning and zoning.

“We definitely look forward to seeing what you can help on the EDC,” Spears said.

The work Spears referenced relates to Mortimer’s five-year membership on the planning and zoning commission. On an as-needed basis, this seven-member citizen advisory board meets to discuss recommendations to the city council regarding proposed land changes, subdivision developments and the city’s master plan.

In addition to his service to the city through board memberships and volunteerism, Mortimer is a husband of 46 years to wife Lola, father of three, grandfather of six and member of First Baptist Church Orange.

“I’ve been around a long time and have had the opportunity to serve in a lot of different ways, as Lions club president and more,” he said. “Additionally, one of the most important things to me is my faith and my church.”

Mortimer’s positive view regarding the local economy was clear in his analysis of Orange’s future. He articulated the positive steps the city has been taking to move forward, like the Orange Recreation Center, which houses a gymnasium to accommodate basketball, volleyball and soccer.

While making note of new industries like the Golden Triangle Polymers, Mortimer shared that Orange’s economy is at an inflection point. He’s already noticed the increase in traffic through the town and increase in visitors to local restaurants.

To learn how to access EDC incentives or board membership opportunities, call 409-883-1077.

— Written by Shari Hardin