Mayor, councilman sworn in for City of Orange

Published 12:40 pm Wednesday, May 15, 2024

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The City of Orange celebrated a small change in leadership Tuesday evening, as one newly elected councilman took his seat on the dais, while another stepped away.

This week’s meeting represented City of Orange District 1 Councilman David Bailey’s last meeting. He did not seek re-election.

“I didn’t run for (city council) re-election because there was a chance, if I was elected constable, come January, the city would have to spend $30,000 to replace me (on the city council with a special election),” Bailey said. “This was never about me. We have a good man standing in the wings. That’s why I didn’t run for re-election.”

Mayor Larry Spears Jr. and Councilman Matt Chandler are seen at Tuesday’s City of Orange Council meeting. (Photo courtesy of the City of Orange)

Bailey referenced Matt Chandler, who ran for the District 1 seat unopposed.

Following Bailey’s remarks, Mayor Larry Spears Jr. thanked him for his years of service to the city and its residents.

“I’ve gotten to learn a lot of stories about the way things used to go down here in Orange County,” Spears said of their time together. “God bless you, and we know you are not going to be far.”

Spears was also sworn in for another term and joked, “It only took five elections to not get an opponent. I’m not going to lie, I thought that third Whataburger was going to do me in.”

Following a brief ceremony, Spears said it has been a pleasure to serve in Orange public office.

“I started when I was 33 years old in 2014,” he said. “A lot of people thought I was crazy for running for city council. I knew that God had an assignment for me, and I have been blessed to finish my tenth year. This here is my final term here in the City of Orange.”

Spears made sure to honor his wife, Trisha Spears, who could not attend due to a severe illness, saying, “I owe it all to my wife.”

Judge Jim Sharon Bearden Jr. administered the Oath of Office to Chandler and Spears.

Councilman Paul Burch was appointed Mayor Pro Tem by the City Council.