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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — Columbus could have a new chief financial officer in place by April.

Fifty-six people from as far away as Arizona, West Virginia and Indiana applied for the job left vacant when Mike Bernsen stepped down in December to take a similar job with Columbus Light and Water. Bernsen had been with the city four years.

A committee has narrowed the field to five finalists who will be interviewed. That list will be cut to three before a recommendation is made, possibly by early March. Ward 3 Councilman Charlie Box and Ward 5 Councilman Kabir Karriem will join the selection committee for the interviews.

The five finalists include two Columbus residents, one from Brandon, Mississippi and two from Tennessee.

Bernsen and Columbus accountant Mike Crowder have continued to help the city during the transition.

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