Fountain Hills Town Manager Tim Pickering withdrew his candidacy for a similar position in Flagstaff on Monday. Northern Arizona’s largest municipality had named Pickering as one of two finalists for its vacant city manager position.
But after in-person interviews last week, Pickering decided he didn’t want the job.
“I just didn’t feel it was the right fit for me after visiting their community and going through the process,” Pickering told the Tribune.
Pickering added that his decision wasn’t a reaction to developments within Flagstaff over how the candidates were selected.
After the finalists were announced on June 14, Flagstaff Mayor Joe Donaldson criticized how the search process was handled.
Donaldson complained that the city-hired consultants didn’t do a thorough job of recruiting candidates. Instead, he said, the pool merely reflected who had applied.
Members of the Flagstaff City Council echoed the mayor’s complaints.
Pickering said on Monday, ““I think you have to look at comments in the newspaper with a grain of salt.”
“My decision is based on a variety of things,” he said. “It really comes down to the feeling inside of you of: Am I the right fit for this community and is it a right fit for me? And I didn’t feel that way.”
Pickering has been Fountain Hills’ top non-elected official since 2002.