Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco commissioners honor county administrator at 30-year mark

NEW PORT RICHEY — Between a presentation on growth management and a lien reduction request, County Commission Chairwoman Ann Hildebrand took a break at Tuesday's meeting to thank a longtime colleague and friend.

She asked for permission to consider an item that wasn't on the commission agenda — a resolution honoring John Gallagher, who marks 30 years as county administrator on Thursday.

Clerk of courts Paula O'Neil read the resolution in full. It ticked off a list of improvements on Gallagher's watch after he took over a rural county poised to explode with new residents.

A parks system. A library system. Central water and sewer. Improvements to major roads. Construction of the Suncoast Parkway.

"You always hear about local boy does well," said Gallagher, who moved to Pasco as a toddler and graduated from Saint Leo University. "Well, we've done pretty good. We've had a lot of good times, and we've brought this county gigantic leaps."

Gallagher, 65, thanked commissioners for supporting him after a critical Urban Land Institute report in 2008 said the county should overhaul its approach to planning and economic development. Those recommendations have formed the basis of several major policies, including the so-called "mobility fee" that seeks to funnel new growth to urban areas.

"This is probably the most exciting period of my tenure as county administrator," he said.

Gallagher is thought to be the longest-serving county administrator in Florida. He's also considered one of the most powerful local government officials in Tampa Bay. And he isn't afraid of lively discussions. According to a sly clause in the resolution, he inspires employees "to utilize their inside voices to professionally discuss difficult issues."

Gallagher received a standing ovation and posed for a photo with commissioners and nearly two dozen senior staffers. He spoke for a few minutes, and commissioners thanked him for his leadership.

Then they took up that lien reduction request. Said Hildebrand: "It's hard to go back to the agenda after this."

Lee Logan can be reached at or (727) 869-6236.

Pasco commissioners honor county administrator at 30-year mark 03/20/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 10:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Police: Uber driver's gun discharges during fight at Adventure Island in Tampa

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — An Uber driver's gun went off Sunday at Adventure Island during a fight between the driver and two passengers.

  2. Baker cautious on Pride politics


    Rick and Joyce Baker strode down Central Avenue Sunday amid rainbow flags, corporate booths, and blaring music of the St. Pete Pride Festival.

    St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Rick Baker chats Sunday with people at the St. Pete Pride Festival. As mayor, Baker did not sign a Pride parade proclamation, but now he says he would.
  3. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.
  4. Lightning among early suitors for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he planned to explore free agency for potential needs, which include bolstering his blue line and adding a wing or two.

    Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who can be a free agent Saturday, counts the Lightning among his early suitors.
  5. Senate leaders try to appease members as support for health bill slips


    WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leaders scrambled Sunday to rally support for their health care bill, even as opposition continued to build outside Congress and two Republican senators questioned whether the bill would be approved this week.

    Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday, is one of the five Republican senators who announced they cannot support the health care bill as drafted.