Cities of Orange, Pinehurst Voters' Guide
Last updated 4/21/2022 at 3:26pm
A total of seven candidates are seeking three seats on the Orange and Pinehurst City Councils in the May 7 election.
In Pinehurst, two current City Council members are running for mayor -- Sarah McClendon, now the mayor pro-tem, and pastor Johnny Asevedo. Both are in the middle of two-year terms, so no matter who wins, both will remain on council.
Bishop Charles Thomas is running against incumbent Caroline Hennigan for Orange's at-large Place 5, while incumbent District 4 councilwoman Mary McKenna faces a challenge from two opponents -- Richard G. Pillsbury and Dwain Boullard.
Ahead of the start of early voting Monday, April 25, here are brief looks at the candidates.
ORANGE CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 4 (3-year term)
City of Orange City Council (3-year term)
Mary McKenna (i)
Age: (no answer)
Occupation: Executive Director, Southeast Texas Hospice
Lived in Orange: I moved to Orange with my family at age 7. I moved away for college and then moved back. I have lived here since then.
Experience as elected or civic leader: Orange City Council 2013-2016, 2019-present, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Orange Housing Authority, St. Mary Parish Council, Lutcher Theater Board, Orange Hospital Board.
What issues do you most want to improve and how? Orange recently gave me another great honor and a blessing, serving on city council for the past three years representing the citizens of District 4. Working with the entire council to make Orange a better place to live has been a remarkable experience. Many projects have been completed during our three years together on council and many more are in progress. Drainage, litter, demolitions, programs for quality of life like the new recreation center, all are projects to help make Orange the best place to live. I would be honored and blessed to continue working for everyone and with everyone in District 4.
Occupation: Owner of DCD Construction LLC
Lived in Orange: 10 years
Experience as elected or civic leader: Served on Orange Planning & Zoning Board, 2003.
What issues do you most want to improve and how? I would like to work with the other city officials to keep improving the drainage system around the city of Orange.
Richard G. Pillsbury
Occupation: work at B&E Resources
Lived in Orange: 15 years, (1980-87, 2015-present) before and after a 28-year military career. Came to Orange with his career Naval officer dad and went on to serve a 28-year career in the Army and Marine Corps.
Experience as elected or civic leader: Served in U.S. Army and Marine Corps for 28 years, currently serving as Staff Judge Advocate and incoming quartermaster for VFW Post 9854.
What issues do you most want to improve and how?
- Crime and Safety: Statistical data shows violent crime is on the rise in our town and a whole of approach attitude involving leadership from the council, police, and community leaders should be adopted. Presence patrols by police in our neighborhoods need to be proactive and invested with the community.
- Infrastructure: Projects should be well thought out, progression of work physically inspected, and completed on time. All involved need to be held accountable so that our communities suffer the least amount of inconvenience. Streets and Drainage are the main areas of concern.
City of Orange City Council
At-Large Place 5 (3-year terms)
Occupation: Pastor for 28 years, business owner 32 years
Orange ties: Born and raised in Orange, currently lives in Orange for 5 years
Experience as an elected or civic leader: 28 years' experience in working with other clergy, civic leaders, participant in community affairs, currently working on 2 business development projects in the city of Orange that will bring jobs, community outreach for families in need (distribution of food, clothing, household necessities, etc.).
What issues do you most want to improve and how? I am looking to improve the conditions of various areas in the city of Orange such as better lighting on the streets, clean up neighborhoods that have been far too long neglected. I'm currently in the process of two business developments on the east side of Orange that will bring jobs. I am looking to work with the citizens of Orange, by listening and adhering to their concerns and to help build better communication and trust between our citizens and city council. Orange is in much need of jobs, opportunities, new construction, financial growth and so much more.
Caroline Hennigan (i)
Occupation: ARD Facilitator/Special Education Coordinator LCM High School
Lived in Orange: 54 years
Experience as elected or civic leader: Served on City Council the past three years. Before that, I was involved in various events as a volunteer. Worked as a teacher over 20 years.
What issues do you want to improve and how? On council, I have focused on drainage, economic growth, increased family activities, and stopping litter in our city. I plan to continue what we have started. We have added a code enforcement officer and created the "litter force." I am speaking to third graders this week about the importance of not littering. As a council, we have improved drainage by improving Cooper's Gully, the Meeks Drive ditch, and by improving several of our lift stations. Northway Park has a new crushed granite surface, Lion's Park new play equipment, Navy Park is getting a new sidewalk, and the tennis courts at Memorial are set to be resurfaced. Notable economic growth is happening all over town.
Occupation: Maintenance director, Arden Place of Beaumont; prior to that worked 23 years as educator Orangefield ISD.
Lived in Pinehurst: 42 years.
Experience as elected leader or civic leader: Member of Pinehurst City Council since 2015. Board Member for Orange County Teachers Credit Union.
Why do you want to be elected? My love for the community. The people and families that have lived there for many years. The need to have someone in office that is willing to speak with the people and hear their concerns. I would hope to fix concerns and improve our community.
What issues do you most want to improve and how? Drainage is a major concern. I have been working with the Southeast Texas Economic Development Commission in an effort to receive a grant that will be used for improving and restructuring the drainage concerns of our community. Cleaning up the city is another concern that needs to be addressed. I am currently working with our New Code Enforcement Office with many cleanup projects that will improve the appearance of areas of concern.
Occupation: Lead Pastor of Destiny Church, Orange; Senior Marketing Director for Mid America Mortgage
Lived in Pinehurst: 7 years
Experience as an elected or civic leader: Senior Pastor, Marketing Director (over 40 branches & home lenders), current Pinehurst City Council member
Why do you want to be elected?
As your current councilman, I dedicate my time and efforts to hearing your needs and acting on them. From launching events that brought the City revenue (at little or no cost to Pinehurst citizens), representing Pinehurst as a SETX Regional Planning Committee rep, working consistently with the City Manager to know the heartbeat of Pinehurst and its needs. I want to continue to build upon what's been established, but also thinking outside the box to bring new growth to Pinehurst. I want to be elected to prove the government is more than talk, but action!!!
What issues do you most want to improve and how?
I don't see any MAJOR issues in our City, I just want to bring attention to what's happening here in ways that have never been done. Roads, sewage, and drainage are all at the forefront, but again listening to the needs of the people is also an improvement we can focus on.