S&WB to begin search process for next leaders

NEW ORLEANS -- The Sewerage & Water Board appears to be readying a search to find its next leaders.

The S&WB on Friday posted a request for proposals for an executive search firm on its website.

That document says the board “desires to select candidates no later than May 31, 2017” but does not specify what positions it seeks to fill.

The agency has a void of leadership at its highest levels after Mayor Mitch Landrieu cleaned house following the July 22 and Aug. 5 floods and other high-ranking officials have left on their own in recent weeks.

Some members of an interim management team will leave at the end of this month. Paul Rainwater, who has become the face of the agency as it struggles to rebuild its infrastructure and reputation, said last week he will now remain with the S&WB through the end of the year.

Among those who left the beleaguered utility in recent months are former Executive Director Cedric Grant, who announced minutes before a special City Council meeting he would retire; Joe Becker, who retired as General Superintendent rather than face termination; Lisa Martin, who resigned as communications director after she also faced termination; Bob Miller, who resigned as deputy director to take a job with the city of Jackson, Miss.; and Nolan Lambert, the S&WB’s attorney, who resigned.

When former S&WB Executive Director Marcia St. Martin retired in 2013, a search firm launched a nationwide search to find her successor.

While there were 61 applicants who sought to replace St. Martin, the group found the S&WB’s next leader at City Hall, where Grant was employed as a deputy mayor in charge of capital projects.

Proposals for the latest search firm are due to the S&WB Dec. 1.

Investigative reporter Katie Moore contributed to this report.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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