Mayor Mitch Landrieu submits his picks for revamped New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board

Mark Moody might get to stay on the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board after all.

Moody’s days on the water board appeared to be numbered last fall, the victim of some political infighting. But the NASA engineer’s name appeared Monday on Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s list of eight nominees to the newly restructured S&WB.

Should the City Council agree to the mayor’s choices, Moody and veteran board members Kerri Kane and Marion Bracy will join newcomers Scott Jacobs, Robin Barnes, Tamika Duplessis, Kimberly Thomas and Joseph Peychaud to round out the 11-member board. The city’s debt manager, the Board of Liquidation, has to slots on the S&WB and decided in November to let architect Ray Manning stay on while replacing Moody with retired businessman Alan Arnold.

Landrieu or his proxy, Suchitra Satpathi, will fill the final seat.

The nominations are the result of a dramatic overhaul of the S&WB’s governance structure, a change meant to build confidence in the 114-year-old agency that has long had a reputation for political patronage.

The Legislature last year removed seats reserved for City Council members and set up a selection process in which local university presidents gave the mayor three candidates to choose from for each open slot. It also required the final makeup of the board to reflect the city’s demographics and represent each of its five council districts. Besides Moody, Landrieu’s other nominations are:

  • Scott Jacobs, a workers’ compensation specialist and husband to education reformer Leslie Jacobs. He also serves as Landrieu’s representative on the New Orleans Firefighters Pension & Relief Fund.
  • Kerri Kane, an attorney with the law firm Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore, who has served on the S&WB since July 2012.
  • Marion Bracy, the vice president for facility management and planning at Xavier University, who joined the board in October 2011.
  • Robin Barnes, the executive vice president and chief operating officer of the economic development organization Greater New Orleans Inc.
  • Tamika Duplessis, a chemistry professor at Delgado Community College.
  • Kimberly Thomas, a project manager with Jacobs/CSRS, a joint venture that has managed grants and disaster recovery programs for the city.
  • Joseph Peychaud, a community activist and president of St. Katharine Drexel Preparatory School.

Moody’s almost-ouster came from a standoff between Councilwoman Stacy Head and Landrieu’s chief administrator, Andy Kopplin, at the Board of Liquidation’s November meeting. The board had been prepared to keep Manning and Moody on the S&WB, but Head moved that Arnold should replace Manning. Kopplin objected at first, but agreed to Arnold if Manning could stay.

The council is expected to consider Landrieu’s nominees at its May 22 meeting.

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