In The News › N.O. S&WB search for top executive turns inward

N.O. S&WB search for top executive turns inward

By Richard Rainey

NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

December 1, 2013

After the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board cast nets to the coasts in search of a new top executive, the list of the final five candidates has a decidedly more local bent.

The finalists are Deputy Mayor Cedric Grant, who has served as Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s proxy to the board; S&WB General Superintendent Joseph Becker; S&WB Deputy Executive Director Robert Miller; Tracie Boutte, a vice president with Entergy Services Inc. in New Orleans; and engineering consultant Chris Browning. Browning, a former assistant director of the Public Works Department in Fulton County, Ga., which includes Atlanta, is the lone candidate from outside the city to make the cut.

The water board’s search committee and irs headhunting firm, Colin & Baenziger, narrowed the pool from 60 individuals from across the country to nine, and then again to five last week. The committee plans to interview those remaining applicants this week.

The search has had a compressed feel as the S&WB hurries to hire a new executive director by the end of the year. Marcia St. Martin, who has held the top job since 2003, is retiring. A new board, created by sweeping changes to the agency’s governance enacted this year, will be put in place sometime next year.

Several people and organizations that monitor the board’s activities, including Councilwoman Stacy Head and the watchdog group Bureau of Governmental Research, have asked that the appointment be delayed until the new board is in place. But the search committee has continued to look to replace St. Martin as soon as possible.

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