Committee searching for new S&WB director expected to meet

By Allen Henry

Source: FOX 8

May 21, 2018

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) – Fixing the Sewerage and Water Board may be one of the toughest jobs in the city.

Friday’s heavy rain and flooding was a reminder of the importance of effective pumps and drainage.

Monday residents could find out who made the short list to lead the department.

The rainstorms and flooding gave some people flashbacks to the August 5th floods.

Tuesday another big change is expected. Interim Executive Director Marcie Edwards will be leaving the position.

Edwards took over the position after those floods last August, which exposed problems with the city’s pumps, turbines and drainage system.

Then-Executive Director Cedric Grant resigned, along with board members and employees.

According to our partners at NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, Mayor Cantrell gave the board until the end of the day Friday to choose a new acting director.

She also called for the creation of a committee to bring recommendations for a permanent executive director to the board.

A search firm has been looking at possible candidates since January.

The vice president and research director at the Bureau of Governmental Research said whoever takes on the job will definitely have their hands full.

“I think it’s a significant risk if they do not choose the right person,” said Stephen Stuart, Vice President and Research Director at the Bureau of Governmental Research. “You need an effective leader in this job, but you also need an effective communicator, as well, someone who can take very technical challenges the Sewerage and Water Board faces and inform citizens, make them aware of what the agency faces.”

On top of the infrastructure issues, there have also been complaints of high bills and hundreds of staff vacancies.

The search committee for the new director will meet today at 4:30 at the Sewerage and Water Board.

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