Often outside the public eye, Mayfield and other board members have cleaned house aggressively -- overly so, in the eyes of critics. The four top-ranking librarians and the director of a library support foundation all left as Mayfield, a Grammy nominee whose main gig is directing the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, conducted a major realignment that made a former mayoral aide who isn't a professional librarian the system's top administrator. For now, the support foundation is being directed on an interim basis by a volunteer, Ronald Markham, who is also the chief executive of Mayfield's orchestra and a childhood buddy.
Some departed librarians, as well as close observers of the board's affairs, see the shakeup as a power play by a musician-cum-political figure who wants to micromanage a sprawling library operation from a board seat. ...
But Mayfield and Rica Trigs, 36, a former aide to Mayor Marc Morial now serving as the library's chief administrator, make no apologies for shaking up the institution. Both contend the system was plagued by underperformers. They said there was a need to break from traditional civil service methods, promoting lower-level employees over their bosses.
"Whenever someone in city government has the audacity to be great, people say, 'What's wrong with these guys?' " Mayfield said.
Mayfield and Trigs openly disdain the city's civil service system as too limiting, with Mayfield acknowledging that if he had his way, the entire library leadership would consist of unclassified, at-will employees.
To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at theIND.com.