Councilmember Jim McCarthy

Elected to City Council Dec 2016 and Dec 2020 |


Jim McCarthy was elected to a four-year term on the Flagstaff City Council in November 2016. Before being elected to Council, Jim served six years on the city Planning and Zoning Commission, and five years on the city Water Commission.


Jim earned a BS in mechanical engineering and started his professional career at AiResearch, serving as a performance analyst and project engineer. He later worked at Learjet as a flight support engineer and at Hughes Aircraft as a test engineer. He returned to AiResearch, now part of Honeywell, and managed an engineering group before retiring.

Jim was raised in Arizona and lives in Flagstaff with his wife Kathy. To supplement his engineering background, he earned a Master of Environmental Planning (land use planning). This led to his appointment to the Flagstaff Planning and Zoning Commission.

Interests and Beliefs:

Jim loves diversity. He appreciates the power of place in anything from downtown Flagstaff to the backcountry of the Grand Canyon. He has 238 days below the Canyon rim, on backpacks and river trips. Being a photo buff, he has a darkroom in his home. He writes folk songs and volunteers for Flagstaff Friends of Traditional Music.

Jim believes in the power of freedom and equal opportunity and knows that with freedom comes responsibility. Shunning a set ideology, he seeks out practical solutions.