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Guillory updates on search for police chief, parks and rec director

Councils discuss interim city marshal
Posted at 8:54 PM, Nov 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-18 21:58:48-05

The Lafayette City and Parish Councils met Wednesday night and discussed the searches for several key positions.

Councilwoman Nanette Cook placed the discussion on tonight's agenda, during which she asked Mayor-President Josh Guillory for an update on the search for LUS Director, LUS Fiber Director, Lafayette Police Chief, and Parks and Recreation Director.

Candidates in the search for police chief are currently being tested by the State Civil Service Commission, Guillory explained. Once eligible candidates are certified, the search committee will meet, vet the candidates, and select 3-4 for Guillory to choose from. The search committee is holding a public meeting next week - the date and time have not yet been announced.

"If the candidate's not there," Guillory said, "We're not selecting someone just to select someone. My job's to make sure we pick the best and the brightest for the people of Lafayette."

The two recent searches for police chief resulted in 10 total candidates - four from the first search and six from the second. The first search was conducted from June 1 to July 1 of this year and the four final candidates were all from the Acadiana area. The board voted in August to reopen the search in order to reach a more national pool of candidates. But out of the six candidates from the second search, only two were out of state. Guillory said in Wednesday's meeting he believes three are from the Lafayette area.

READ MORE: Civil service board approves extension for Lafayette police chief position

Cook also inquired about the position of Parks and Rec Director. Currently, CAO Cydra Wingerter is temporarily filling the position after interim director Frank Wittenberg resigned earlier this year. Cook expressed her concern about the department, adding that there is a morale issue and the department is "in limbo."

Wingerter countered that she doesn't believe the department's in limbo and explained that the model within the department is being changed, which is why no new director has been appointed. She said once the new model is in place and established, a new director will be brought in.

Guillory added that he is proud of the progress made in the department lately, saying that, in his opinion, the condition of parks and recreation was "appalling" before Wingerter took over.

"Fast forward three years, you'll be very satisfied with the product you get," said Guillory. "You're going to get better services, going to have a better product, going to have a lot more fiscally responsible mindsets in the department."

There has been no update regarding an LUS and LUS Fiber Director, but CAO Cydra Wingerter added LCG is currently working on a contract and once that's certified, there should be a candidate within three months.

The councils also approved a resolution to appoint C. Michael Hill, who has been the interim City Marshal while former City Marshal Brian Pope was working through appeals of his felony conviction, as the City Marshal for the remainder of Pope's term, basically until the end of the year.

Current runoff candidates Kip Judice and Reggie Thomas spoke briefly, thanking Hill for his work in the office.

"Thanks to Mike, we're in a good place," Thomas said.

You can watch the full meetings below:

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