Baton Rouge Mayor-elect Sharon Weston Broome has filled her transition committees with a wide-ranging group of businesspeople, advocates, academics and community leaders who will pore through the city-parish government and develop policy goals as she prepares to be sworn in after the new year.
Half of the committees, called Administrative Review Committees, will review city-parish government departments and report on their efficiency and effectiveness. Economist Jim Richardson was named to the finance committee alongside Louisiana Budget Project Director Jan Moller.
The transition team comprises unpaid volunteers, and Broome says none of the co-chairs will be offered administration posts.
The other half of the committees, called Community Input Transition Teams, will outline broader goals for the incoming mayor-president, who will be sworn into office on Monday, Jan. 2, at 5 p.m. at the Raising Cane’s River Center.
Several state lawmakers, including Broome’s former mayoral opponent Rep. C. Denise Marcelle, Rep. Edmond Jordan and Sen. Regina Barrow, will work for the transition team. Camille Conaway, Louisiana Association of Business and Industry vice president of policy and research, will work for the Economic Development and Enterprise Committee. A diverse group of business leaders make up the transition team, Conaway says, and she senses a “strong spirit of cooperation.”
“I personally hope we can set a baseline to support our new mayor-president in her effort to create jobs and grow the Baton Rouge economy in the years ahead,” Conaway says.
Other committees include The Millennial Agenda, Women’s Issues, Race Relations, North Baton Rouge Revitalization, Flood Recovery, and Health Care, Social Services and Mental Health.
“I think that the mayor-president is sending a message for a holistic parish,” says Rinaldi Jacobs, who is serving on the North Baton Rouge Revitalization Committee and has been named interim executive director of the Baton Rouge North Economic Development District.
The Metropolitan Organization Committee will be co-chaired by attorney Mary Olive Pierson, who represented the city-parish’s legal fight against the city of St. George incorporation movement two years ago. Dianne Hanley, another anti-St. George advocate, is on the committee as well.
East Baton Rouge Parish Schools Superintendent Warren Drake will serve on the Education Committee. Baton Rouge Area Chamber President and CEO Adam Knapp will help develop ideas about flood recovery. Julio Melara, president and CEO of Louisiana Business Inc.—which publishes Business Report, 225, inRegister, 10/12 Industry Report and Daily Report—will work on the Information Services/Technology and Communication Committee, and Baton Rouge Area Foundation Executive Vice President John Spain will serve on the Infrastructure, Transportation and Mobility Committee.