Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome is searching for someone to serve as her chief administrative officer, a key position that has been among the most demanding and most visible in local government under previous administrations.
The city-parish posted an ad on its website this week saying it began accepting applications for the position on Jan. 17 and will continue to be accepted until the job is filled. Broome has said former Mayor-President Kip Holden's Chief Administrative Officer, William Daniel, will continue to hold the job until she hires his replacement.
The job description posted online asks that the next person to hold the position have at least a bachelor's degree in business, public administration or a related field, along with five years of administrative experience. It lists a salary range of $89,748 to $149,155. Daniel earned $139,824 in 2016, according to the city-parish's salary database.
Mayor-President-Elect Sharon Weston Broome said Thursday that she has started searching for replacements for two longtime fixtures of outgoing Mayor-President Kip Holden's administration.
Daniel ran day-to-day operations of city-parish government, negotiated policy with the Metro Council and frequently stood in for Holden when the former mayor was unavailable. The job description for Daniel's replacement is relatively vague, saying the CAO "performs highly responsible professional work," and that it includes supervising professional and clerical employees.
People can apply by sending their resumes to email@example.com, or bu mailing them to the Department of Human Resources with an attention line for "CAO resume" at P.O. Box 1471, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.
Mayor Broome: 'Our lives should be dedicated to pleasing God'
Mayor Broome opened up about her deep Christian faith in a radio interview this week with State Sen. Regina Barrow, her close friend and mentor.
Throughout the interview, Barrow fawned over Broome's short time in office, telling her how much she loved her inauguration ceremony and how excited she was about Broome's 18 days at the helm of City Hall. She said Broome has always kept Christ at the center of her life.
"I am a firm believer that at the end of the day, it's not about the titles that we have, it's not about necessarily the positions that we hold, but it is our accountability to the Lord, especially those of us who are believers," said Broome, a Democrat.
"At the end of the day I do know that our lives should be dedicated to pleasing God in what we do," Broome said.
The new mayor-president said she's thankful that enough people embraced her message of unifying Baton Rouge to elect her to office. And she asked for continued prayers, repeating that the people who prayed her into office now need to pray her through it.
Barrow said people should do more than simply pray for Broome, and asked how people can get involved in helping the new mayor-president. Broome said people should reach out to her office and also look at their sphere of influence and think about what type of work might best suit them.
"Prayer is good and prayer is powerful," Broome said. "And faith without works is dead, and so we've got to be involved."
School system still adjusting staff in aftermath of flood
In a move that signals a possible future merger of Claiborne and Howell Park elementary schools, the principal at Claiborne has been put in charge of leading the faculty and students of both schools.
Howell Park is one of the 10 Baton Rouge public schools that flooded in August.
Students from the school were moved on to Claiborne's campus immediately after the flooding, but Claiborne's principal, Rochelle Anderson, wasn't put in charge of both schools until shortly before Christmas break.
That's when Howell Park's principal, Rochelle Washington, was reassigned to “principal on assignment” at the East Baton Rouge Parish school system’s Professional Development Center.
Howell Park has been repaired since the flood but the school system last month temporarily moved Brookstown Middle School students into the campus at 6125 Winbourne Ave while Howell Park students remained at the Claiborne campus, 4700 Denham St.
When asked why Washington was moved from her position, Adonica Duggan, a spokeswoman for the school system, said having one leader should mean more cohesion.
"Those two schools will be on the same campus for an extended period of time," Duggan said. "Because of that, we felt it important to allow them to feel as united as possible during this transition period."
She said Anderson will continue to run both schools through the end of the current school year and decide then whether it’s been effective.
Duggan didn't rule out the possibility of a merger of Claiborne and Howell Park elementary schools.
“A merger is not off the table, but there are a lot of considerations and discussions to be had around that, Duggan said.
Duggan said the School Board will likely discuss the idea of a merger as part of larger discussion about how to operate more efficiently and how to match schools up with the current demographics of Baton Rouge.
Howell Park is an F-rated school with about 250 students and its school performance score has declined for the past two years. Claiborne is a D-rated school with almost 600 students, and it improved by 7.3 points last year.
Advocate staff writers Andrea Gallo and Charles Lussier contributed to this article.