Bureau: Managers work at least 40 hours a week

Is it true that Shelley Johnson’s eventual replacement as head of the visitor’s bureau is already being paid $180,000 a year but works only three days a week?

No, said Shanna Landry, director of administration and satellite office for the Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau.

“Shelley Johnson has not announced an official retirement date, and the CVB board of directors has taken no action on an eventual replacement,” Landry wrote in an email.

“All managerial staff at the CVB work a minimum of 40 hours a week. The deputy director/chief operating officer salary is $160,000 per year.”

The deputy director and COO is Kyle Edmiston, who resigned from the state Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism in December.

He had served as an assistant secretary for the state Office of Tourism for five years. According to the Division of Administration’s online database, Edmiston’s annual salary in that post was $107,000.14.

His work experience includes 10 years as director of alumni relations for Louisiana Tech University and six years as president and CEO of the Ruston Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“The Chief Operating Officer/Deputy Director is a new position at the LC/ SWLA CVB,” reads Edmiston’s hiring announcement, which appeared in the American Press on Dec. 12.

“He will assist the Executive Director/CEO in initiating and coordinating the worldwide marketing of Calcasieu Parish and its facilities as a desirable destination for leisure travel, group tours, conventions, conferences, meetings and sports events.”

Online: www.visitlakecharles.org.



Some officers have multiple commissions

I frequently travel on I-10 between the Texas border and Lake Charles. During my travels, I often see the Sulphur police cars parked in the median west of mile marker 19 and sometimes west of mile marker 18. It is quite obvious they are trying to catch speeders.

Near mile marker 20, there is a Sulphur city limits boundary sign. Do the Sulphur police have jurisdiction to monitor the speed of traffic beyond the city limits of Sulphur, or has this particular area of I-10 been annexed by the city of Sulphur?

All Sulphur police officers carry commissions from the Ward 4 Marshal’s Office, and — to avoid issues of jurisdiction during arrests — some carry commissions from the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office and the federal government, said Sulphur Police Chief Lewis Coats.

“Usually, the officers assigned to criminal patrol are the officers who sit at the location which you mentioned,” Coats wrote in an email. “And those officers carry federal and parish commissions, which gives them their authority to conduct police business outside the jurisdictional boundaries of Sulphur.”

But, he said, he’ll ensure that officers assigned to patrol I-10 don’t work outside Sulphur’s boundaries because “that is not what I have envisioned for any traffic enforcement on the interstate.”

Online: www.sulphur.org.


The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098 and leave voice mail, or email informer@americanpress.com.


The Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau. (Special to the American Press)