Milpitas is still struggling to move on from the dysfunctional regime of ex-City Manager Tom Williams, who got ousted last year after getting caught misspending taxpayer money. But the City Council’s pick of new interim successor on Tuesday raises questions about its judgment. Officials on Tuesday were poised to announce a final pick out of a field of 30 applicants and a handful of finalists. But instead of making an offer to one of the strongest candidates—Julie Edmonds-Mares, a deputy city manager in San Jose who didn’t respond to Fly’s call for comment by press time—the council unanimously voted to hire someone with a checkered past for the time being. That is: Dianne Thompson, who was fired as city manager of Arroyo Grande in 2016 and will take the reigns in Milpitas from former police chief Steve Pangelinan, who has filled the post since Williams left last fall. That reportedly makes Thompson the first female city manager—interim or not—in Milpitas history. No word yet on what led to her termination after less than a year on the job in the Central Coast town. Reached earlier in the day Tuesday, Councilman Anthony Phan made no mention of Thompson and would neither confirm nor deny whether Edmonds-Mares was a final contender. “All I can say is that Julie Edmonds-Mares’ leadership is admirable and she would make a fine city manager anywhere.” Edmonds-Mares came to San Jose in 2007 after 12 years with the city of Tucson, Arizona. The veteran public servant worked her way up from acting to permanent parks ’n rec chief before being bumped up to the city manager’s team in 2015. First-term Mayor Rich Tran, who campaigned as a vocal critic of Williams, skipped the Jan. 11 panel interviews because of a National Guard assignment and wasn’t familiar with Edmonds-Mares, Thompson or the other finalists when Fly pressed for more details. He said he just wants the next top bureaucrat to be a step up from Williams, whose alleged bullying and harassment led to a pricy staff exodus and several millions of dollars in legal settlements. “Whoever it is, I just want it to be someone that truly loves the people of our city and someone who wants to be remembered in the city’s history as one of the best,” Tran told Fly on Tuesday, hours before the closed session discussion about the ongoing recruitment. “The people deserve it.” Hours later, he cast his vote for Thompson. It will be interesting to see how a city manager found undeserving of the job in Arroyo Grande will fare in Milpitas.