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Baton Rouge's new planning director starts June 16

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News,Business,Louisiana

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Baton Rouge's new planning director Frank Duke will start work June 16.

Duke, the former city planner for Norfolk, Virginia, was picked for the parish's top planning job after a second round of interviews earlier this month.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1p8T3YT ) the City-Parish Planning Commission unanimously voted Monday to pay up to $5,000 for half of Duke's moving expenses and received an update on when he will take the reins.

Duke was the commission's second pick for the job, after Cincinnati planner Charles Graves turned down an offer in March. But commissioners ultimately said they were satisfied with Duke's hire and eager for him to start work.

The new planning director will be responsible for the ongoing implementation of FutureBR, the city-parish master plan. Other duties include reviewing plans for subdivisions and some commercial developments and potential zoning changes. The job pays up to $100,202 a year, plus a car allowance and benefits.

"I think this is one of America's great cities," Duke said when asked during his second interview why he wanted the job.

He repeatedly stressed the importance of "respecting differences and communicating with people."

Duke resigned from his post in Norfolk in November. During his Baton Rouge interview, he said he felt his attention had been pulled away from planning. He recently was elected to the American Institute of Certified Planners' prestigious college of fellows.

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

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