33 apply for regional planning group’s director job

Nearly three dozen people have submitted applications to become the next director of the Capital Region Planning Commission, according to a list provided Tuesday.

Seven of the 33 names are from Baton Rouge including Raju Porandla, the only current CRPC employee to apply for the top job. Porandla is a transportation engineer, according to the commission’s website.

The applicants come from across the country, including three from Florida and two each from Michigan, Texas and Alabama.

The job became available after the abrupt January resignation of Huey Dugas, who notified the CRPC’s governing board of his intention in a one-line email.

R.J. Goebel, the commission’s director of planning, has been interim director since Dugas’ departure.

The CRPC is made up of officials from 11 parishes and 38 municipalities and serves as Baton Rouge’s Metropolitan Planning Organization. The metro area is required to have an MPO in order to receive federal highway funds for work on regional transportation planning and projects.

A search committee consisting of representatives from four parishes: East and West Baton Rouge, Ascension and Livingston, as well as representatives from the state Department of Transportation and Development and the Federal Highway Administration, was created in January. Walter Brooks, New Orleans Metropolitan Planning Commission executive director, also sits on the search committee.