"You don't take the fire chief job after someone has burned down the city unless you are going to be able to do it in the right fashion," said Los Angeles Emergency Planning General Manager Ellis Stanley.
Stanley and six other people approached about the job said they were not convinced the administration is serious about fixing FEMA's problems -- or that President George W. Bush has enough time left in his term to get that done, the newspaper reported.
With the hurricane season just two months away, and no leading candidate in place to replace Michael Brown permanently as FEMA director, Bush intends to name interim Director R. David Paulison to the post permanently, sources told the newspaper.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has admitted the difficulty of finding a permanent replacement for Brown, who resigned in September amid widespread criticism of FEMA's response to Hurricane Katrina.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]