Six finalists to be interviewed for EBR planning director

Six finalists in the running to become the new city-parish planning director will be interviewed in Baton Rouge this week.

The interviews, which will be open to the public, take place in the Metro Council chambers at City Hall on Friday from 1:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. and on Saturday 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

An open house will be held Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the City-Parish Planning Commission office at 1100 Laurel St.

“People will have the opportunity to come and meet them and talk to them,” said Planning Commission Chair Tara Wicker.

The Planning Commission is expected to call a special meeting March 17 to discuss the interviews and determine the next step in the search process, which, aside from selecting someone for the post, could include asking two or more candidates to participate in further interviews or restarting the search. The Planning Commission has the ultimate say in the hire.

The interviews will be archived by Baton Rouge’s government access channel, Metro 21, and will be made available online Saturday afternoon.

More than 90 people applied for the position that Troy Bunch held for nearly 20 years before retiring in November

The position, which is responsible for reviewing potential zoning changes, and plans for subdivisions and some commercial developments, as well as the ongoing implementation of the city-parish master plan, pays up to $100,202 a year, plus a car allowance and benefits.

The Planning Commission initially selected eight finalists for interviews, but two recently pulled their names from consideration.

Planning director finalists and interview times:

FRIDAY

1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.: Woodrow Muhammad, Central planning director.

2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.: Christopher Fisher, Monroe planning and urban development director.

3:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.: Carolyn Rutledge, former East Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission planning director.

SATURDAY

9 a.m. to 10 a.m.: Don Broussard, owner of Atlanta-based Town Planning & Design LLC.

10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.: Charles Graves III, director of the Department of City Planning and Buildings for Cincinnati.

11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Frank Duke, former planning director for Norfolk, Va.