While applications will be accepted until the end of November for a new police chief, the Philadelphia Mayor and Board of Aldermen plans to begin the interview process soon as seven candidates have applied for the city's top law enforcement position and more are expected.

Last week, Mayor James A. Young asked aldermen to close the application process on Oct. 31.

"We need to move forward," Young said. "Another month is just another month of waiting."

Young said there were currently seven candidates for the chief position, with one or two more expected.

"We have candidates from Philadelphia, Nettleton, Little Rock, Cullman, Ala., and Collinsville," he said.

City attorney Robert Thomas reminded aldermen that the city was running an advertisement in the Neshoba Democrat stating that applications would be accepted until Nov. 30.

Thomas didn't recommend moving the application process up, noting that there might be candidates who plan to submit applications just prior to the deadline.

Aldermen agreed to not change the deadline, however, the consensus of the board was to begin the interview process as soon as possible.

The board directed the city clerk to provide aldermen with individual copies of each candidate for chief's application and resume as they are submitted.

"We can start getting out and doing research instead of waiting until the 30th," Ward 4 Alderman Cecil Nichols said.

"We can be doing our homework if we get the copies as they come in. We can interview whenever we get ready. We are at a critical time in this city."

Police Chief Bill Cox resigned in August to accept a position with the Olive Branch Police Department.

Mayor Young said last week the PD was at a transitional stage and a new chief was needed.

"With the crime and the problems that we have, we can't have someone asleep at the wheel," he said. "We just can not."

In other action last week, the board:

• Approved a rezoning request for a parcel of property on Mississippi 16 west to be rezoned from Residential-1 to Commercial-3 at the request of owners Freeman and Yvonne Lofton.

• Authorized the Mayor and Board of Aldermen to attend the Mississippi Municipal League's 2013 Small Town Conference in Tunica on Nov. 21-22 and pay registration and travel expenses.

• Approved a road bore by AT&T along and under county Road 375.

• Approved an advertisement in the Neshoba Democrat's Salute to Emergency Responders at a cost of $175.

• Approved a final claim from LPK Architects for $1,397.39 for services on the log cabin project.

• Went into executive session to discuss an industrial prospect and personnel matter in the city clerk's office.

• Set a special meeting for Oct. 22 at 6 p.m. at city hall to talk with an industrial prospect.

• Employed Kim Wooten as a deputy city clerk at $10 an hour.

• Approved closing Carver Avenue between Atkins and Davis streets on Oct. 31 for a Halloween Fest sponsored by Randy Gill between the hours of 4-6 p.m.

• Approved the closing East Myrtle between Center and Range avenues on Oct. 26 from 4-8 p.m. for the Boys and Girls Club.

• Rejected all bids for the grass cutting at the city cemeteries.