Tucson's interim City Manager

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- Tuesday night the Tucson city council began to pick up the pieces from the firing of the City Manager and move forward, launching a national search to replace Mike Letcher.

In the meantime, interim City Manager Richard Miranda says the city won't skip a beat.

"I'm very grateful and appreciative to have the opportunity to lead this organization even if it's only on a temporary basis," said Interim City Manager Richard Miranda.

Only time will tell if it's temporary, but for now, Richard Miranda is the man for the job.

"That process will play itself out.  We'll end up with, at the end of the day a 'permanent City Manager.' Until then, by charter, you're the guy," said Councilman Steve Kozachik.

Council members unanimously passed a motion to begin the national search for Tucson's next City Manager. It's a process that will take some time.

"This is a process.  If you do it right, it will take you six months.  That's why the cost is so high," said Human Resources Director Cindy Bezaury.

The cost of the search is estimated to be between 50 to 75 thousand dollars.

"To spend 50 or 60 thousand dollars to get the right person who's not going to be a part of the same revolving door syndrome we've had over the last several years is really important.  So we owe it to the tax payers of the city to not go through this process again in a couple years.  Let's do it and let's do it right," said Kozachik.

The price tag will be in the tens of thousands of dollars because the city plans to hire an executive recruiter to help in the large scale search.  But Human Resources Director Cindy Bezaury says it's well worth it.

"That's the one thing an executive recruiter, as expensive as they are, brings to the table that most others can't do.  They have that national reach," said Bezaury.

Miranda is also eligible to apply for the position permanently.  And council members say no doubt he'll be a qualified candidate.  As Mike Letcher's successor, for now Miranda is focused on re-building trust.

"It's paramount for me they have trust in management of this city," said Miranda.

And the city says it plans to involve the community in the process as much as possible through things like community forums.

The final decision will be made by the newly elected mayor and council after the November election.