UPDATE 12:02 a.m. Craig Malin, the Davenport, Iowa city manager and one of the finalists for Tacoma’s city manager job, has confirmed that he will participate in next week’s interviews, city spokesman Rob McNair-Huff informed The News Tribune.
One of the five finalists to become Tacoma’s next city manager has withdrawn his candidacy for the job.
Frederick L. Russell, the city administrator of Augusta, Georgia, informed Tacoma’s recruiting consultant of his decision not to accept the city’s invitation to participate in finalist interviews next week.
“Early this afternoon, I withdrew my name from consideration,” Russell told The News Tribune today. “Basically at this point, that kind of geographical move was a little bit more ambitious than what we had initially thought after we talked about things.”
“It seemed like a great opportunity, it seemed like a great place,” Russell added. “I really was interested in the challenge. But as I worked some of the details out personally, it just wasn’t going to work.”
A second finalist for the job — Davenport, Iowa city manager Craig Malin – also reportedly isn’t sure whether he’ll make the trip to Tacoma next week. Malin told The Quad City Times and an KWQC-TV6 that he’s still deciding whether to participate in finalists interviews scheduled for next week.
Malin has applied and been named a finalist to at least three other city manager openings since 2003, The Quad City Times reports.
Malin was one of three finalists for a city administrator post in Dayton, Ohio, in 2006. In 2004, he was one of three finalists in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., but withdrew his name. In September 2003, Malin turned down a job offer to become city manager in Peoria.
In an telephone interview Wednesday, Malin told The News Tribune his current city “is a spectacular place to raise a family. Davenport is a wonderful place.”
Asked why he would want to leave it for Tacoma, Malin replied: “There’s no shortage of challenges in Tacoma — a $26 million dollar budget shortfall, facing 165 layoffs. It’s a potentially interesting professional challenge, and I’m not in my line of work to rest.”
The other finalists for the city manager’s job are Tacoma’s interim city manager Rey Arellano, San Antonio, Tex., assistant city manager T.C. Broadnax, and Lakewood city manager Andrew Neiditz.
Both local finalists, Arellano and Neiditz, so far have indicated they’re interested in the job. Broadnax, in a phone interview Wednesday, also said he’s looking forward to next week’s interviews.
“I’m looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and working with the council and community on Tacoma’s budget to not have such drastic impacts on service levels,” Broadnax said. “I see it as a challenge, not an impediment.”