By Marcos Breton and Kim Minugh
Mayor Kevin Johnson this afternoon declared it a "good day" in Sacramento in response to news that police Chief Rick Braziel is staying in town.
"The city won today," Johnson told reporters.
Interim City Manager Gus Vina joined Johnson in an afternoon news conference celebrating Braziel's decision to remove himself from consideration for Seattle's next police chief.
Vina said he "could not be more ecstatic" about the development.
"Rick has delivered over and over again," Vina said.
Braziel, 50, was one of three finalists for the Seattle gig. He announced today that the selection process made him realize just how happy he is with his place in the Capital City.
"I have a greater appreciation for what we have here," Braziel told The Bee. "You don't know what you've got until you go look somewhere else."
In a statement released this morning, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn praised Braziel as a strong candidate and expressed disappointment over his decision to stay in Sacramento.
"I appreciated meeting him and learning about the remarkable things he has accomplished in Sacramento," McGinn wrote. "I was impressed with his candor and the thoughts he shared during the candidates' public forum last week in Seattle."
Braziel said he had no indication whether he was going to be selected by McGinn or whether the Seattle mayor was going to choose in-house candidate John Diaz or Ron Davis, the chief in East Palo Alto.
Had Braziel gotten the job, he would have inherited a larger department and a salary of roughly $200,000. His retirement pension from Sacramento would have also paid him 90 percent of his $192,000 salary in Sacramento.
When Braziel succeeded Albert Najera, he voluntarily took an 8 percent pay cut, which Braziel said interim City Manager Gus Vina agreed to restore.
But Braziel said his decision to stay never was about the money.
"I've got a great job. I'm very happy here," he said. "Would I be any happier in Seattle than I would be here? And the answer is no."
While not ruling out the possibility of entertaining any future offers, Braziel said he intends to finish out his career here.
"I did enough looking recently. I did enough conversations and interviews and media," he said with a chuckle. "I'm just looking forward to the weekend."
Call The Bee's Kim Minugh, (916) 321-1038.
Sacramento police chief is finalist for Seattle job - May 12, 2010
Braziel in the running for Seattle police chief - April 27, 2010