EBR Metro Council losing right hand man

Council Administrator Brian Mayers has been Mayor Pro Tem Chandler Loupe’s right- hand man during Metro Council meetings.

Literally.

Sitting to the right of Loupe behind the grand dais in the Metro Council chambers, Mayers is the all-knowing, calm presence that assists Loupe with moving meetings along and keeping council members on track with the agenda.

Loupe became mayor pro tem in January. During one of the first council meetings Loupe had to run, Mayers bailed him out of a temporary and minor disaster.

New to the mayor pro tem seat behind the dais, Loupe accidentally knocked a switch off with his knee.

Loupe said he had no idea what the switch did.

“I switched off everyone’s microphones. There was no audio for almost five minutes,” Loupe said remembering the meeting.

Mayers came to the rescue.

“Brian’s the guy who knows what all the switches do,” Loupe said.

The guy who knows what all the switches do won’t be there to help anymore.

Mayers, 56, has retired from the city-parish after working 28 years for the government and 20 of those years as council administrator.

Although Mayers’ last official day is July 19, his real last day on the job was Friday. Mayers was able to take vacation between Friday and July 19.

Mayers has retired with full benefits and a monthly retirement allowance of $8,139.

“I’m ready,” Mayers said Thursday smiling in his almost empty office.

The family photos and baseball and basketball youth coach plaques are gone.

The walls are bare except for the tiny nails left for Mayers’ replacement, Assistant Council Administrator Casey Cashio.

Mayers said Thursday he was just tying up loose ends.

The job Mayers has held for the last two decades is an important one.

The council administrator serves as chief administrative officer for the Metro Council members. Mayers prepares meeting agendas, answers council members’ questions at meetings and makes sure meetings run smoothly.

But that’s not all.

Mayers’ job has him doing everything from redrawing council district lines every 10 years to acting as chief administrative officer for agencies under the council’s purview such as the Parish Attorney’s Office, Animal Control and the Council Budget Office.

The council administrator is also the city-parish treasurer. Mayers invests city-parish money to make sure city-parish funds are making money and not just sitting idle in a bank account.

When a council member wants something put on an agenda, they have to go to Mayers. If a council member has a question about procedure during meetings, they go to Mayers.

The council members who have worked with Mayers can’t help but fawn over him.

“Brian is one of the most Christian, caring human beings I’ve ever met,” said Mike Walker, a former councilman and former mayor pro tem.

“He knows his job,” Walker said. “He knows the rules and he knows the law. Brian always had me prepared for meetings.”

District 10 Metro Councilwoman Tara Wicker called Mayers “exceptional and phenomenal” at his job.

Wicker also said Mayers made things peaceful and brought a “unique clam” to work.

“My goal at meetings is to always demonstrate poise. And I told Brian that if things get tense and I’m not showing poise, he needs to give me that look. He has had to give me that look one or two times,” Wicker said.

Mayers said debate at council meetings can sometimes be stressful.

“I can always suggest things to the chairman to keep the debate on the matter pending on the agenda,” Mayers said.

The environment of the Metro Council is a political one.

So how does a guy working with council members for 20 years keep his job for that long?

“I’m not political. I don’t get involved in races. I stay out of that arena,” Mayers said.

Staying out of the politics is easy for Mayers. He’s shy and modest.

“I wanted to be very low key about this thing,” Mayers said when first asked about an interview for this story.

“I was hoping to just slide out quietly if I could,” Mayers said.

So where is Mayers sliding off to?

“My wife, Wanda, puts it this way. I’m going to be a professional papa. We keep our granddaughter Addison. So I’m doing that,” Mayers said.

And there will be fishing.

Mayers said he has no plans for another job.

The next time Loupe has to run a council meeting, Mayers won’t be there.

Will there be any anxiety?

“Yeah. I’m going to really miss him,” Loupe said.