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Dallas city manager tenders surprise retirement memo on holiday

Dallas city manager tenders surprise retirement memo on holiday

A.C. Gonzalez
Dallas city manager A.C. Gonzalez has announced that he will retire in January 2017. Photo courtesy of City of Dallas

Dallas city manager A.C. Gonzalez has announced that he will retire in January 2017, according to a release sent out by the city on Memorial Day. Gonzalez first became city manager in July 2013, when he was appointed interim city manager. He was hired permanently in January 2014 via a vote by the Dallas City Council.

Prior to being appointed city manager, Gonzalez served as first assistant city manager, under previous city manager Mary Suhm. When he got the job, he also got a significant increase in his salary of $400,000, a 25 percent increase over Suhm’s final salary of $305,000.

He’s overseen departments such as aviation, fire-rescue, municipal courts, office of emergency management, convention and event services, housing/community services, economic development and planning, and development services. While interim manager, he worked behind the scenes to try and prevent rideshare service Uber from operating in Dallas.

In the release, Gonzalez issued a statement to the mayor and city council:

“For almost two decades, I’ve worked as part of the leadership team of Dallas. While I have managed other cities, serving our residents as city manager for the past few years has been the pinnacle of my career. Dallas is where my heart is and the place I call home. That is why my decision to make a career change in 2017 is not an easy one.

I am announcing my retirement as city manager, effective the end of January 2017. This date is in consideration of the time needed for your selection process, and of the time needed by the incoming city manager to get a grasp of all city operations and begin work on the 2017/18 city budget.

As promised when I accepted the position of city manager, I have given considerable focus to improving the culture, systems, and people within our organization. I made critical changes in each of these areas, and the results are measurable. The recently released 2016 City of Dallas Community Survey by ETC Institute shows that overall citizen satisfaction with city services is at an all-time high.

In fact, our citizen ratings are 17 percent higher than the national average for large cities. There is more work to be done, but surely this is an indication that we are heading in the right direction.

It has been my privilege to serve as city manager, but there is no question that this is a very tough job with 24/7 demands. I’ve come to a point where I just want my life back. I look forward to spending time with my family and applying my experience to new exciting challenges.

I wish you and the City of Dallas every success moving forward.”