EBR DPW head going to private sector _lowres

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Department of Public Works Director David Guillory speaks during a meeting in this July 2013 Advocate file photo.

Department of Public Works Director David Guillory is leaving the East Baton Rouge Parish government for a job in the private sector.

Guillory was officially appointed to head the city-parish’s largest department in August after serving for a year before that as interim director. He took over as interim director after William Daniel left the position to become Mayor-President Kip Holden’s administrative officer.

Guillory has worked for the department since 2003.

“It was a very tough decision,” Guillory said Friday. “This is all I’ve known. It’s something I’ve been doing since I got out of college. I’ve never done work in the private sector before, but I feel that I’m now ready.”

DPW is responsible for overseeing a variety of city-parish functions, including code enforcement and blight, as well as larger construction programs such as the sewer rehabilitation program and the Green Light Plan to improve roads and related infrastructure and reduce traffic congestion.

Guillory, 36, was DPW’s youngest and first black director. But he said he hopes he’ll be remembered as an effective director.

He said he was approached by a local infrastructure firm and offered an employment opportunity. He declined to identify the firm, saying he wanted to shield them from the news media.

Guillory said he’s most proud of the work that’s been accomplished on the Green Light Plan and the sewer improvements project since he’s been at the helm.

“We’ve opened some very large and very beneficial road projects, which I can’t take full credit for,” he said. “And some major sewer construction is starting to end.”

He also noted that streamlining the agency had reduced the workforce.

Guillory’s last day is May 23, and DPW Deputy Director Bryan Harmon will serve as the interim director after his departure.

The city-parish is considering eliminating the position of DPW director. Last year, the agency presented a proposal to reorganize the massive office into six smaller departments with individual directors to oversee transportation, maintenance, development, public buildings, fleet management and the sewer program.

The proposal also creates a new assistant chief administrative officer in the Mayor’s Office who would oversee the various DPW departments. However, the changes require a change in the Plan of Government, which would require a vote of the people.

Holden was out of the office Friday and could not be reached for comment.

Follow Rebekah Allen on Twitter @rebekahallen. For more coverage of city-parish government, follow City Hall Buzz blog at blogs.theadvocate.com/cityhallbuzz/