At the Ascension East Drainage Board meeting held in Gonzales on June 13, commissioners and Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment pondered the search for a superintendent. drainage.
The president kicked off the discussion by referring to points raised in a June 9 email about the process of finding candidates for the position.
He expressed concern about the duplication of effort and the pay scale for the position, noting that the current highest salary among top parish directors is $133,000.
“I wish I had the opportunity to start streamlining this process so that we can go out and get that affordable person who doesn’t mind the apple cart with all the rest of our superstars paying somebody maybe more than every elected official in Ascension Parish,” Cointment said.
Later in the conversation, the president said paying more than $200,000 with benefits would be “astronomical.”
“It’s more than the superintendent of the school board who is the highest paid person in the parish who runs the entire school system and is paid about the top of the line. Not even a single elected official – sheriff, clerk , assessor, parish president, anyone – comes close to that,” he said.
SSA Consultants CEO Dr Christel Slaughter, who has worked on the search for the past eight months, said the issue provided strong answers for potential candidates.
Responding to a question about lowering the position’s salary to $150,000, she said the lower amount would attract candidates who meet the minimum qualifications.
“It’s not just about the money. There are flooding issues all over the United States. We have people from Miami to the East Coast who are technically qualified and who have seen and done things , can take the work order system and blackmail it,” Slaughter said.
The current job description includes the following qualifications:
- Five years of related experience in public works operations, drainage, floodplain management and stormwater management, including three years of progressive management responsibility.
- A bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university with a major in civil engineering, environmental studies, geology, physical geography, landscape architecture, or related field.
- A professional engineering license from the State of Louisiana is strongly preferred.
Chairman Chase Melancon concluded the discussion by saying that workshops will be scheduled for commissioners, administration and the SSA to further discuss the issue.