CPPJ members debate over administrator position

By Crystal Price - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - For the first time in decades, the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury must appoint a new Parish Administrator.

The Police Jury heard recommendations from the Administration Liaison Group at Thursday evening's meeting about replacing the retiring Mark McMurry.

"The Administration Liaison Group will interview the current Assistant Parish Administrator, Bryan Beam," says Hal McMillin, president of CPPJ. "They will encourage other members of the Police Jury to individually or collectively conduct interviews."

This issue created a heated debate as members voiced their concerns on how the process is being handled.

"I strongly expressed my desire to take resumes," says Elizabeth Griffin, Police Juror for District 3. "It would show democracy, because we have a lot of people who are qualified to apply for that position."

Francis Andrepont, Police Juror for District 13 also voices his concerns about giving Beam the first shot at the position.

"I understand that somebody has to be the first to be interviewed and I don't have a problem with that," says Andrepont. "But I do have a problem that we aren't going to consider other people that may be qualified who want to submit a resume."

While some members have doubts, others feel Beam has paid his dues for the position.

"We have a person who has experience and who has worked with the staff and who knows what's going on," says Charles Mackey, Police Juror for District 5. "I think that person has the first shot at it."

Mackey argues the same process has worked for the Police Jury for years.

"We've had a very strong stable, administrative office," says Mackey. "I don't see any reason to change that. It has worked twice, why wouldn't it work a third time with a man who been here working underneath the current administrator."

After hearing much debate on the floor, the Police Jury agreed to call a special meeting in later weeks to analyze the best way of selecting a new Parish Administrator.

The Police Jury also held a budget meeting prior to the regular monthly meeting.

The Jury says although the bond issues failed to pass in November, it will not result in budget cuts.

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