8 finalists picked for planning post

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Eight finalists have been selected for interviews as East Baton Rouge Parish seeks a new planning director.

The City-Parish Planning Commission agreed on the list Tuesday after lengthy discussion about the field of applicants.

Interview dates haven't been set, The Advocate reported (http://bit.ly/1fZ77yS).

City-parish staff is reviewing options for in-person or video conference interviews. Bringing all finalists to Baton Rouge could cost as much as $7,000, staffers say.

The finalists include certified planners from smaller cities in Louisiana, including Monroe and Central, as well as from Cincinnati, San Antonio and Fairfax, Va.

About 90 people applied for the job. A committee has spent several weeks reviewing résumés.

In creating the list of finalists, the Planning Commission, which has the final say in the hire, stuck mostly to the earlier committee's recommendations.

However, the commission added two candidates back to the pool — one to ensure that a woman would be interviewed and the other because he reached out to the committee to provide additional information about qualifications that didn't appear on his résumé.

"We've done a lot of work on this — gone back and forth," said Planning Commission Chairwoman Tara Wicker. Wicker led the search committee and serves on the Metro Council. "Not too many tears, but a lot of sweat."

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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