Gonzales welcomes new city clerk Scot Byrd

Halen Doughty
Gonzales City Clerk Scot Byrd

The City of Gonzales welcomes Scot Byrd as the new City Clerk and Chief Administrative Officer. Byrd replaces Clay Stafford, who recently retired after serving as clerk for 16 years.

As the City Clerk, Byrd is responsible for recording the minutes of the council meetings and making sure the council adheres to responsibilities delegated by the state. In some municipalities, city clerks are also tasked with sales tax collections, but fortunately for Byrd that responsibility has been delegated to someone else.

As the Chief Administrative Officer, Byrd is the right-hand man to Mayor Barney Arceneaux. All department heads in the city answer to him.

Byrd said it's been smooth sailing since accepting the position at last week's city council meeting. He credits his predecessor, saying it's all thanks to Stafford's hard work.

"He really did a wonderful job," said Byrd. "Everything is as it should be."

Although saying good-bye to Stafford was difficult for everyone, the city could not have selected a more qualified person than Byrd for the position. His background makes him uniquely suited to handle the city's business.

Before joining the team in Gonzales, Byrd was the vice president of BBI Architects in Baton Rouge. His responsibilities included administration, project management, and business development - all handy skills to have at his new post. Byrd is also an expert in economic development, thanks to his time as Economic Development Director for Point Coupee Parish. Prior to that, he worked in finance and sales management at Snap-on Tools for 25 years.

Byrd earned an associate's degree in business data processing. He said back in those days they didn't have all the technological advances we enjoy today.

"Pretty much if you were writing software, it was accounting related. So we wrote a lot of accounting software," said Byrd. "I learned a lot about accounting and how accounting works from that."

He went on to get his bachelor's in organizational management, which Snap-on helped fund. Byrd is also a certified Louisiana economic developer and served as a planning and zoning commissioner for 8 years. Those skills will be hugely beneficial as Byrd works to grow business in the city.

"That's going to be one of my responsibilities here is to try to help the city grow and increase opportunities for the citizens here and grow our tax base," Byrd said.

Byrd met Arceneaux and several council members years ago while hosting a workshop called "The Role of Elected Officials in Economic Development." He developed a relationship with the Louisiana Municipal Association, where Arceneaux served as president last year.

This gave the mayor and the councilmen a chance to see him in action. When the city clerk position became available, Byrd knew he would be a great fit. It wasn't long after that Arceneaux offered him the position, and he gladly accepted.

"I really wasn't looking actively for a job, but this job description fit my background so well," Byrd said.

The Tennessee native has lived in the Bayou State for about 20 years. He and his wife have lived in False River for 18 years, but he's looking to move across the parish line into Ascension. Byrd has been married to his wife for 35 years. They have a son, a daughter, and two grandchildren. Byrd spends his free time with his friends and family shopping or cooking out.

Byrd said he's thrilled to be working in Ascension Parish and specifically Gonzales. He said the reason he came here is because Gonzales is such a great place.

"It's the fifth safest city in the state. It's one of the fastest growing cities in the state. There's a family atmosphere here, but a lot of growth and activity and a lot to do," said Byrd.

Welcome to Gonzales, Scot Byrd!

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