A proclamation recognizing the month of April as “Confederate History and Heritage Month” requested by Granvel J. Block filled the court room at Orange County Commissioners Court.

Several citizens spoke up during the open comments session of the meeting voicing their displeasure of the proclamation and the connection to the Confederate Flag Memorial under construction at the corner of Interstate 10 and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

Leslie Barras said “The Confederate flag is a very corrosive symbol to many people. It is protected by the first amendment. I acknowledge that.”

Annette Parnell, an Orange city councilwoman, feels the project was misrepresented when it was presented to the city council as a veteran’s memorial, not a Confederate flag memorial.

“Orange doesn’t need this type of stigma,” said Barras. She asked the commissioners to adopt a resolution denouncing this particular location and symbolism. She would prefer it moved to a different location rather than Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and the focus to be on the veterans and not the symbolism. She offered to draft the resolution.

No action could be taken on her request, because it was not an agenda item.

Donna Minter was promoted to Director of the Transportation Department. They plan to hire an assistant from within the department within the next couple of weeks to fill the position vacated by Minter’s promotion.

Mark Wimberly was authorized to hire a custodian at the end of the month for the Orange County Convention and Expo Center. It is a budgeted item and some of the cost is expected to be offset by rental of the ballroom for events in the near future.

Four Sheriff’s Department vehicles were moved to county surplus to be sold on the counties auction site. These vehicles were initially purchased with drug seizure money and have to be sold this way to keep money separate and return it to the seizure fund.

Bobby Fillyaw brought before commissioners the suggested list of recipients of Hotel/Motel Tax (HOT) funds. Commissioners approved the following recommendations: Bridge City Chamber/Historical Museum- $10,000; Bridge City Historical Society, 4th of July Celebration- $5,000; Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce, upcoming fishing tournament- $15,000; Gulf Coast Cajun Chapter CFMA- $2,000; Heritage House- $10,000; Lutcher Theater- $5,000; Orange County EDC-Hotel Membership- $8,000; Orange County EDC, Video- $2,750; Orange County Historical Commission-$3,2000; Orangefield Cormier Museum- $4,000; Orangefield Cormier Museum, Oil Centennial- $2,000; and Vidor Chamber of Commerce, Conn Park- $10,000 for a total of $76,950. Remaining funds will go to the Orange County Convention and Expo Center. That total was not given.

About Penny LeLeux

Penny has worked at The Record Newspapers since 2006. A member of the editorial staff, she has "done everything but print it." Most frequently she writes entertainment reviews and human interest stories, with a little paranormal thrown in from time to time.She has been a lifelong member of the Orangefield community.