The announcement was shocking. "The council has opted to scratch the search," said Mayor Marc McDougal.
The highly anticipated conclusion to the search for a new City Manager, ending in a stalemate. "At the end of the day we didn't feel like we had what we needed, so we'll continue the search," said the mayor.
"Well, I'll let my record stand on it's own," said local candidate Tommy Gonzalez, who served as Interim City Manager for the past nine months, then resigned after hearing the news. "It was something that was mutually agreed upon. I didn't hide the fact that I want to be the City Manager for a city like Lubbock and I will do that some day," he said.
"Lubbock was a wonderful community," said finalist William Pupo. He dropped out of the race on the eve of decision day, but not before warning the council of another offer. "I'd indicated to them that we were on a collision course if they had any interest. And as it turned out Chino Valley put an offer on the table that kept us here in Arizona," he said. "I don't know where that would have gone had he not withdrawn but certainly that put a different light on it," said McDougal.
Meanwhile, repeated calls by NewsChannel 11 to candidate Rickey Childers went unanswered.
So now the council starts over, with the front that the best candidate is still out there, but under the shadow of failure. The process has already cost $18,000, but more than money, say sources, is the damage done to the reputation of the council. Their indecision equated with ineffectiveness.