- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 6, 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - After more than six months of searching and a few setbacks along the way, the East Baton Rouge City-Parish Planning Commission has offered the planning director position to Frank Duke, a former planner for Norfolk, Virginia.

The move comes two months after the commission’s first pick, Charles Graves, of Cincinnati, turned down the job.

The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1ihnH0K ) the planning commission on Monday interviewed Duke and two other finalists.

Duke, who has more than 26 years of planning experience, told the commission he considers Baton Rouge “one of America’s great cities.”

He said he left his previous position in Virginia in November because he felt he was being spread too thin.

“It pulled me away from what I really love doing, which is planning,” he said. “I went to school to be a planner.

“My interest and my forte lies in planning, and that’s one of the things I find very attractive about this position in Baton Rouge.”

Duke said he has been approached by recruiters for positions elsewhere but kept Baton Rouge as his No. 1 option because he likes the region and has family in New Orleans.

It’s not clear when the hire will be finalized or when Duke could start.

The new planning director will be responsible for the ongoing implementation of FutureBR, the parish’s 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.

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