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Tacoma: City manager finalist Malin withdraws candidacy, three finalists remain

Post by Lewis Kamb / The News Tribune on Dec. 12, 2011 at 4:58 pm | No Comments »
December 12, 2011 11:36 pm

And then there were three.

Craig Malin, Davenport, Iowa’s city administrator and one of four finalists for Tacoma’s city manager job, has bowed out of the running.

“I emailed the executive recruiter this afternoon, asking him to inform the mayor and city council to withdraw my candidacy,” Malin told The News Tribune shortly after 4 p.m.

Asked why he was backing out, Malin declined to say.

“I don’t think that’s appropriate for me to discuss,” he said. “…I am not certain that (recruiter) Colin (Baenziger) has passed this information on yet, and I want to respect the process.”

Baenziger said a short time later Malin’s email indicated “he doesn’t see this as a good fit for him, to sum it up in a few words.”

Malin was one of four finalists who participated in an intensive, three-day interview in Tacoma last week. The remaining finalists include Tacoma’s Interim City Manager Rey Arellano, San Antonio assistant city manager T.C. Broadnax, and Lakewood City Manager Andrew Neiditz.

Tacoma’s city council might choose the city’s next manager as early as tomorrow. The council held an executive session this morning to talk about the finalists and has planned a second closed door meeting Tuesday morning.  The council is expected to hold a public discussion during Tuesday night’s council meeting, when a vote could be taken.

Before coming to Tacoma last week, Malin appeared to be a tepid finalist. He told media in his hometown he wasn’t sure he would participate in the interview process. He later told The News Tribune a scheduling conflict made it impossible for him to arrive in Tacoma for a holiday reception scheduled for the candidates last Wednesday.

Bill Gluba, Davenport’s mayor, told The News Tribune last week that his city’s council intended to give Malin a big pay raise to convince him to stay put.  Malin, who has been Davenport’s city administrator for more than a decade, makes about $168,000 in annual salary. The Tacoma job pays from $183,600 to $235,370 per year.

While in Tacoma last week, when asked about his prospective pay raise and why he wanted the Tacoma job, Malin responded:

“Good city managers are in the business to meet challenges. I’m taking four days out of my life to be here.  So, I’m a serious candidate.”

Malin, 48, is the second of five initial finalists named by Tacoma’s council to bow out.  Before last week’s interviews, Augusta, Ga. City Administrator Frederick Russell withdrew his name from consideration.

Baenziger said Monday “it is not atypical” for one or two candidates to withdraw during the final rounds of such government management hiring processes.

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