At least some members of the board of the Metropolitan Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau had to breathe a sigh of relief when CEO Jonathan Walker announced this week he would retire in March.

Walker has a reputation for being a staunch defender of the work of his staff and his first inclination probably was to continue to do that in the face of growing concerns coming out of a Pima County performance audit of the MTCVB. It's that very attitude that may have contributed to the rift that has developed between the county and MTCVB.

While all sides insist Walker wasn't pushed to retire, some tough decisions were coming down the pike.

If nothing else, the voluntary retirement saves the MTCVB from a clause in Walker's contract that would have required he be paid a year's salary if he had been fired.