Teresa E. Smith, Mayor of Orange
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 25, 2013
For More Information Contact: Mayor Teresa Smith, Info@TitaSmith.com
Mayor Smith To Call for Enhanced Benefits for Deployed Military Personnel and Returning Veterans.
Mayor’s plan to include elected & appointed city officials in first of its kind ordinance
Orange, CA – In a show of support to the men and women of the military and returning veterans, Orange Mayor, Teresa “Tita” Smith, will call for a strengthening of the City’s current employment protections for those called, or volunteering, to active military duty at tonight’s Orange City Council meeting.
The new ordinance Mayor Smith will propose this evening is based on that authored by Orange County Supervisors Todd Spitzer and Jim Silva in 2001. That ordinance went beyond the federal USERRA regulations, which simply protect military personnel’s employment status, and added a financial safety net that made up the difference between military salary and County employment salary. It also ensured continuous health care benefits for active duty servicemen and women and their families.
“The City of Orange has never waivered in its support of active duty military personnel,” said Mayor Smith. “We have been on the forefront of guaranteeing protections for those called and those returning from military duty and will continue to do so.”
In a first of its kind benefit, Mayor Smith will go a step further by calling for new protections for elected and appointed officials.
The enhancements Mayor Smith will ask for include:
o Waive absenteeism rules of committees and elected office that currently do not allow the city’s elected officials, appointed commissioners or board members to be absent for more than three (3) meetings;
o Allow for short-term replacements, or special appointments to serve in place of the city’s elected officials, appointed commissioners or board members while they are on active military duty;
o Guarantee reinstatement of the city’s elected officials, appointed commissioners or board members if they return while their elected or appointed term is still active.
“As the daughter of a World War II veteran and wife of a Vietnam War veteran I feel strongly that we should do all we can for those called to or returning from military service,” said Smith. “It is my hope that these measures will ensure that those returning know the depth of our commitment to them.”
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About Mayor Teresa “Tita” Smith
Teresa “Tita” Smith was born and raised in the city of Orange, California. The eldest daughter of Gene and Joan Smith, Tita has served her community for many years as a community volunteer, active member of her church and member of the Orange Planning Commission. In 2004 Tita Smith was elected to her first term as a member of the Orange City Council. 2008 saw Tita’s re-election as the top vote getter among a wide field of candidates. During that time, Tita served in the capacity of Mayor Pro Tem in addition to several countywide agencies. Her tireless dedication to the residents of Orange is admired by residents, her fellow electeds and city personnel alike. Tita resides in historic Old Towne Orange with her husband, WIlliam Smith.
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