The Sewerage & Water Board has named a new interim leader as its first temporary executive director prepares to depart.
Marcie Edwards will replace Paul Rainwater, who has led the agency since former Executive Director Cedric Grant retired following the July 22 and Aug. 5 floods.
Wednesday’s meeting was the board’s first meeting since the federal government announced it would audit the Sewerage & Water Board. It was also the last meeting for Rainwater.
Edwards will run the beleaguered agency until a permanent replacement can be found.
According to the New Orleans Advocate, Edwards will be paid $25,000 a month with a $5,000 a month allowance for housing and incidentals. That would be an annual pay rate of $360,000 a year, about $140,000 more than former Executive Director Cedric Grant.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu expects Edwards to only hold the post for about five months. She starts work on Jan. 8.
Edwards served as general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power from 2014 to 2016 after what Landrieu described as a 35-year career in public utility or government work. That included stints working at the Los Angeles Utility, the utilities for Anaheim, Calif., and as Anaheim's city manager.
After leaving the Los Angeles utility Edwards started work with MLE Consulting, a California-based firm that specializes in energy consulting.
Rainwater told WWL-TV that he feels that he is leaving the organization in good hands.
Rainwater offered a few recommendations for his replacement. Rainwater suggests that the new head should move the organization’s headquarters to the power plant located on South Claiborne Avenue. The move will allow the new director to be a part of everyday operations within the agency, he said.
Rainwater also said that employees need to have access to basic tools like email addresses and two-way radios.