Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Richard Gehring on the short list to replace Pasco's growth management chief

A former city manager turned developer is on track to be the county's next top growth management chief.

Richard Gehring, 61, was planning director for Dunedin from 1974 to 1979 and city manager from 1979 to 1982. Since then he has worked as a private sector developer.

"He has been involved with numerous projects in the Tampa Bay area including the creation of the Channelside district on the Tampa waterfront," County Administrator John Gallagher wrote in a March 11 memo to county commissioners, who will consider Gehring for the $100,000 a year job during their meeting Tuesday.

If approved, Gehring will replace longtime growth management administrator Sam Steffey, who is set to retire April 30 after 30 years of service.

"I have worked on local, state and national initiatives and spoken at all levels to advance policy issues both public and private," Gehring said in his cover letter. He said Friday that he has a deep background in both public and private aspects of development that will serve the county well.

A lot on the table

Gehring will have his work cut out for him. The county is going through massive change, with the land development code being rewritten, a nearly $30 million budget hole that needs to be plugged and a new strategic plan being developed. The county also is preparing for an evaluation and appraisal report that assesses how its blueprint for growth is working.

That's why Gallagher wants Gehring to start Tuesday.

"A one-month overlap between Mr. Steffey's retirement and Mr. Gehring's arrival will enable Mr. Gehring to be involved in the visioning process, the implementation of some (Urban Land Institute) recommendations and other issues important to the future of Pasco County," Gallagher wrote.

Gehring holds a master's degree in urban planning from the University of Virginia School of Architecture and a bachelor's degree in political science from the College of William and Mary.

His most recent job is as principal of Prime Interests Inc., a Dunedin development firm.

Recent projects, according to the firm's Web site, include the development of $225 million in capital improvements for the port in cruise and cargo facilities, redevelopment planning for Pinellas County, development planning for Sequoyah Lodge & Lake Resort, a 500-unit lakefront resort for the Tennessee Valley Authority and Eastern Band Cherokee Indians, and development planning with the city of Clearwater for the Clearwater Seashell Resort, a major hotel and mixed use project.

He was also one of three developers of a $30 million project on Dunedin's Main Street who were sued last year for defaulting on nearly $5.7 million in loans.

After they missed interest payments due in July, August and September for loans on the marina project at 200 Main St., Synovus Bank of Tampa Bay filed a suit in Pinellas County against them for the entire amount — plus interest and attorney's fees.

The developers are discussing the situation with their attorneys and looking at a possible sale.

Lisa Buie can be reached at or (813) 909-4604.

Richard Gehring on the short list to replace Pasco's growth management chief 03/22/09 [Last modified: Sunday, March 22, 2009 8:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jordan Spieth wins British Open (w/ video)


    SOUTHPORT, England — Someday, perhaps soon, there will be a plaque at Royal Birkdale for Jordan Spieth, much like the one off the 16th hole that celebrates Arnold Palmer and the 6-iron he slashed out of the rough in 1961 to win the British Open and usher in a new era of golf.

    Matt Kuchar plays out of the bunker on the 18th hole and finishes with bogey for 1-under 69. He had a one-shot lead after 13 holes.
  2. Fennelly: Brutal weekend could be start of something worse for Rays

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Well, that was lovely.

    Brad Boxberger suffers his second loss in the three-game series, this time by allowing back-to-back homers in the eighth inning when called on to protect a 5-3 lead. “Just bad pitches,” he says.
  3. Wesley Chapel hockey camp impresses youth players, parents

    Lightning Strikes

    WESLEY CHAPEL — As a 17-year-old Triple-A hockey player, MacCallum Brown regularly plays against elite talent. As a Palm Harbor resident, he often has to travel to face that talent.

  4. Rays claim not to be panicking after third straight brutal loss to Rangers (w/ video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — There was no "here we go again" moment in the dugout as Rougned Odor's two-run homer in the eighth inning arced across Tropicana Field and toward the rightfield seats, even though when it landed, the score was tied and another late-inning Rays lead was blown.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria heads back to the dugout after fouling out in the ninth inning with the potential tying run on first.
  5. White House signals acceptance of Russia sanctions bill


    WASHINGTON — The White House indicated Sunday that President Donald Trump would accept new legislation imposing sanctions on Russia and curtailing his authority to lift them on his own, a striking turnaround after a broad revolt in Congress by lawmakers of both parties who distrusted his friendly approach to …

    President Donald Trump’s ability to lift sanctions against Russia would be blocked.