LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Two applicants were vying for the job held by long-time Parish Administrator Mark McMurry. With his retirement set for April, jurors were tasked with interviewing and selecting the most qualified candidate.
With a motion to go into executive session, the Police Jury went behind closed doors to interview the first of the two candidates - Assistant Parish Administrator Bryan Beam - a position he's held for 15 years. They would talk with him for nearly two hours. Then it was Stephen Southgate's turn. His interview lasting a little over an hour. After discussion the jurors had reached their decision.
"This has been a long and arduous task that we've gone through and we've all grown through this situation. I can tell you I am thrilled to make this motion. I feel like I would like to make a formal motion to hire Bryan Beam to the office of parish administrator be effective April 4, 2010 and that the committee negotiate with Mr. Beam on his contract," said Police Juror Hal McMillin.
"I am very humbled by this opportunity, honored that you have offered me this position. I look forward to working with each of you and building on our relationship and continue to serve this great parish," said Beam.
"I think as a jury we all enjoyed Mr. Southgate being here. And all of us, said we hope we can find a spot for him here in the parish because we think he's going to bring something to the table. He brought up things that we've never thought about. So thank you so much," said Police Juror Sandy Treme.
When asked what he saw as the big issues he'll have to tackle as administrator, Beam said, "There are many infrastructure issues that always are the case in terms of local government, drainage and how do you handle that, sewage issues throughout the parish, solid waste... Obviously we have a couple of items on the upcoming ballot. So there are plenty of issues we need to tackle right out of the gate and I'm looking forward to the opportunity," said Beam.
Wednesday night's vote for Beam was unanimous. A motion was passed to meet on February 4th to discuss the terms of his contract and salary with a deadline to have the matter finalized no later than February 18th.