BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — More than 60 people are vying to become East Baton Rouge Parish's new planning director.

The job, left open with the retirement last week of long-time planner Troy Bunch, is expected to be filled early next year.

Applications will be accepted through Friday, but members of a committee tasked with vetting applications say they are impressed with the pool they've seen so far.

The candidates include current city and county planners from other states, as well as those working in Louisiana cities. At least 16 of the applicants have 10 or more years of planning experience, and several have met the rigorous standards to become members of the American Institute of Certified Planners.