It's the end of an era for Calcasieu Parish government - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

It's the end of an era for Calcasieu Parish government

By Theresa Schmidt - bio | email

 LAKE CHARLES, LA. (KPLC) -It is the end of an era in Calcasieu Parish. Tonight was the last meeting for long time administrator Mark McMurry as well as his assistant Coleen Clark.

After more than three decades and almost 1800 Thursday night meetings Mark McMurry and his assistant Coleen Clark are retiring and this was their last meeting as administrative staff members. Each has been formally recognized a variety of ways but at this meeting McMurry received the parish's highest honor-- the Eagle award.

As well, jurors had high praise for the administrator who many believe deserves a lot of credit for the progress Calcasieu Parish has enjoyed. Said Juror Elizabeth Griffin, "I have learned so much from you."

 Juror Francis Andrepont told McMurry, "The three words that really come to mind about you--one was tact, diplomacy and well informed on issues."

 Juror Shannon Spell, who is one of the newer jurors, with only two years in office said, "It's very obvious that you have served the entire parish with your efforts. But I think it's very important that people of Ward 1 know that in my experience over the last two years, you have served that community as well."

 Juror Chris Landry told McMurry he has been a major influence. "I think that you probably have had the most influence on this parish that anybody has probably had for the last 100 years. And maybe that far into the future. I don't know that people, the average person really realizes that, I mean you really have. You've had a big influence on the parish and I thank you."

 McMurry expressed his thanks as well. "Hopefully there's a blueprint there for even greater things yet to come that you all will have opportunities to be a part of and to continue that process of making life better for the people we serve. I can't thank you and your predecessors enough for giving me that opportunity."

 McMurry's last day is Thursday April 1ST.  McMurry AND Clark will be succeeded by Bryan Beam and his assistant Jessica Williamson.

Copyright 2009 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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