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    LaMont Cole to lead Baton Rouge council as Mayor Pro-Tem

    After several contentious weeks and following city runoff elections, the East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Council selected District 7 Councilman LaMont Cole as mayor pro-tem with a 7-3 victory.

    “I walk into this role with both humility and an unyielding focus to lead our council with my heart. I look forward to serving the entire parish and as YOUR Mayor Pro Tem YOUR collective voices will guide our work on the council,” Cole posted on Facebook.

    On  Saturday, January 2, 2021, Cole was sworn in to his second full term as councilman before winning the support of three Republicans — Rowdy Gaudet, Brandon Noel, and Jen Racca — and four Democrats Chauna Banks, Carolyn Coleman, Cleve Dunn Jr., and Erika Green–to lead the metro council over Councilman Dwight Hudson.

    He is the third Black mayor pro tem in the 203-year history of East Baton Rouge Parish, following Thomas Woods (Dist. 2) and Lorri Burgess (Dist. 10). He is also the first Black councilman selected to serve a full term as pro-tem.  “This is like a crown that has been placed, not on my head, but above my head,” Cole said after the vote. “This will require me, in the rest of my life, in my attempt to work hard and prove myself worthy of growing tall enough to wear it.”

    With three Republican councilmembers voting across party, Cole’s selection could indicate a promising shift in how the city leaders will work together during the next four years. The council now has five new members: Gaudet, Noel, Racca, Dunn, and Coleman.

    The mayor pro-tem presides over council meetings and fills in for the mayor-president when they are not available. The pro tem sets the tone for meetings and maintains order which includes unilaterally stopping a public speaker or colleague if they decide their comments are off-topic or disruptive.

    LaMont Cole with CSAL students

    LaMont Cole with CSAL students

    The democrat leader is a graduate of LSU with a bachelor of arts degree in general studies and a graduate of Southern University where he earned a master’s of education in administration and supervision. He also previously held high-profile education roles including the principal of Park Forest Middle, principal of Capitol Middle School, assistant principal of Westdale Middle School, and chief academic officer for ADVANCE Baton Rouge. He is also a former president of the Baton Rouge NAACP.

    During his re-election campaign, Cole said, “A leader is not defined by one’s title, but by one’s action. Our people deserve a leader who speaks to them, with them, and for them. I am that leader.”

    In voting him to mayor pro tem, the council agrees.

    By Candace J. Semien
    Jozef Syndicate
    @jozefsyndicate

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    Mayor Broome announces six cabinet positions

    Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced several key staff positions in her new administration.

    Rowdy Gaudet will serve as an assistant chief administrative officer.  Gaudet currently works as the chief of staff for the Disaster Recovery Unit for the state of Louisiana and will join the administration in February. Gaudet has experience in government relations, business and economic development, infrastructure management, and strategic communications. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from McNeese State University and earned an MBA from Louisiana State University.

    James Gilmore, Ph.D., will serve as an assistant chief administrative officer. He formerly worked as the director of the Louisiana Children’s Cabinet in the office of Gov. John Bel Edwards. Gilmore has experience in human resources, training, and managing various workforce development and educational programs for a variety of organizations. Gilmore earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Southern University. He also earned a master’s degree in public administration and a Ph.D. in human resource education and workforce development from Louisiana State University.

    Tamiara Wade, Ph.D., will serve as an assistant chief administrative officer. Wade formerly worked as a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Learning Expert and Integration Manager. She facilitated the management of national partnering entities and provided administrative oversight to the development and implementation of federal programs.  Her experience is in research, policy, and academia.  Wade earned a bachelor’s degree in English, a master’s degree in public administration and a Ph.D. in public policy and urban affairs from Southern University.

    Brian Bernard will serve as human esources Director. Bernard has worked as the Interim Human Resources Director for the City of Baton Rouge since 2012.  He has been employed with the city for 22 years.  He has  bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Southern University.

    Carey Chauvin will continue to serve as development director, a position he’s held since 2015.  He has been employed with the City of Baton Rouge for 23 years. He is a graduate of Louisiana State University.

    Eric Romero will serve as the director of information services. Romero has served as interim director of information services for the past four years.  He has been employed with the City of Baton Rouge for 22 years. He is a graduate of Nicholls State University.

    “I’m excited to work with these highly-qualified individuals who will be a part of my new cabinet,” Broome said. “I’m confident that I have chosen the right people to help move this city forward.”

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