- Associated Press - Thursday, January 23, 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Seven candidates remain for East Baton Rouge Parish’s top planning job and will be reviewed by the City-Parish Planning Commission as it prepares to name a new city-parish planning director in the coming months.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1bk3roc ) a selection committee tasked with narrowing the initial pool of 90 applications for the job finished the bulk of its work Wednesday and agreed to the list of seven finalists - all men with certification from the American Planning Association and more than 10 years’ experience in the planning field.

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

The Planning Commission will decide who should be brought to Baton Rouge for a round of public interviews, and its members will have the ultimate say in who gets the job.

The seven finalists are:

. Charles C. Graves III, director of the Department of City Planning and Buildings for Cincinnati, who holds degrees from Hampton University and New Hampshire College and a certificate of advanced study from Harvard University.

. Fairfax County, Va., policy and plan development chief Sterling Wheeler, who has degrees from Texas A&M.;

. San Antonio Assistant Director of Community Development Patrick Howard, who has degrees from Clemson University and Old Dominion University.

. Woodrow Muhammad, the planning director for Central, who has degrees from LSU and Southern University.

. Monroe Planning and Urban Development Director Christopher Fisher, who has degrees from Concordia University, University of Southwestern Louisiana (now University of Louisiana at Lafayette) and Prairie View A&M; University.

. Jonesboro, Ark., Planning Director Otis Spriggs, who has degrees from Southern University and University of Cincinnati.

. The former planning director for Norfolk, Va., Frank Duke, who holds degrees from the University of Alabama-Birmingham, Auburn University and Florida State University and served as an intern for Baton Rouge’s retired planning director, Troy Bunch.

Bunch served as planning director here for nearly 20 years before retiring in November. Ryan Holcomb is serving as interim director until the commission names a new permanent one.

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