DADE CITY - Irving (Texas) City Manager Tommy Gonzalez will be in Pasco County with his family next week and will attend the commission's budget workshop Tuesday, Chairman Ted Schrader said. Gonzalez was the commission's unanimous choice to succeed retired County Administrator John Gallagher, but he has not accepted the position. Schrader initially expected Gonzalez to visit this week, but Gonzalez delayed the trip so his two kids could finish their vacation Bible camp. Gonzalez, 46, is a native of Texas and has spent his entire 22-year career in his home state. During his seven-year tenure in Irving, the city created 20,000 jobs and won national awards for management. The city also was named one of the Dallas area's top places to work. Commissioners authorized Schrader to negotiate a contract with Gonzalez, up to three years with a one-year automatic renewal. Gonzalez made headlines for drawing one of the highest government salaries in Texas. He earned a base salary of $246,000 at Irving but also got a city car, a housing allowance and other benefits that brought his total earnings to $450,000 a year.
Commissioners agreed to pay for airfare, accommodations at Saddlebrook Resort and a rental car for Gonzalez and his wife. "He doesn't expect us to pay for his children," Schrader said. Commissioners will have an opportunity to meet privately with Gonzalez, and Schrader has asked House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, and other community leaders to meet him. He also will meet with acting County Administrator Michele Baker, who was a finalist for the job. "If he doesn't accept the job, then I guess we're back to square one," Schrader said. Commissioner Henry Wilson said he plans to meet with the entire family. "I've already met with Tommy Gonzalez twice, but I want to make myself available to the family in case they have any questions," he said. Gonzalez's employment contract with Irving ends Sept. 31. email@example.com (813) 371-1852 Twitter @LKinslerTBO