STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
JAY ASH, SECRETARY, for the state’s Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and one of three finalists for the open Cambridge city manager’s post, has withdrawn from the competition for the job.
Ash publicly interviewed for the post last week but said in a statement on Wednesday that he’s decided the post is “not the right fit for me.”
“Months ago, I was asked to get involved in Cambridge’s search for a new city manager. As a former municipal leader, the opportunity was intriguing, and the way to explore the opportunity was to apply. I’m glad I did so. I met a lot of great people, and enjoyed the opportunity to get to know the community better. More importantly, I learned a lot about what’s important to me, professionally and personally,” Ash said in a statement. “I now believe that the opportunity to serve as Cambridge’s next city manager is not the right fit for me. I have chosen to withdraw my name from further consideration.”
Ash, who would have been the first Baker Cabinet secretary departure if he had left, said the governor had supported him throughout the application process.
“In my heart, I believe that being part of the Baker Administration is more important to me than being part of any other administration,” he said. “I remain committed to the mission of this administration: Growing jobs, helping communities realize their economic development priorities, connecting citizens to new economic opportunities, and building prosperity across Massachusetts.”
Ash, who had told the News Service he and his wife were thinking about moving to Cambridge whether he got the job or not, made about $156,000 last year as a Cabinet secretary, according to state data. GovHR USA’s brochure for the Cambridge city manager position said the expected starting salary is $275,000 to more than $300,000.
The other two finalists are Louis DePasquale, who has worked for the city of Cambridge for more than four decades, and Paul Fetherston, the assistant city manager in Asheville, North Carolina.
The council plans to vote to select its next city manager on Thursday.