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Pasco County administrator Dan Biles had 5 busy years

Commissioners praise Biles and begin the discussion on finding a replacement.
Pasco County Administrator Dan Biles had five eventful years at the helm.
Pasco County Administrator Dan Biles had five eventful years at the helm. [ DOUGLAS CLIFFORD | Tampa Bay Times ]
Published May 18|Updated May 18

NEW PORT RICHEY — When Pasco County commissioners picked Dan Biles, then a deputy county manager for infrastructure in Alabama, as county administrator five years ago, they saw his engineering experience as an important plus for a growing community.

Now, as Biles prepares to leave the county’s top job, the current commission cited that background as a primary reason his tenure has been eventful. Biles himself also pointed to closing on projects such as the long-awaited Ridge Road extension and the Moffitt Cancer Center complex planned for Central Pasco as satisfying stories for him professionally.

Related: Pasco administrator Dan Biles tenders his resignation

Biles, 54, closed Tuesday’s commission meeting with a request to commissioners to accept his resignation at the end of the fiscal year, September 30, and to allow him to begin the process of helping them find a successor. He told commissioners he was saddened to leave his team but that he and his wife had in recent years found a calling to make an impact. They plan to move overseas to build churches and teach church leadership skills.

Commission chairperson Kathryn Starkey first joked that she didn’t want to accept the resignation, but then said she would be sorry to see him leave. “You have taken us to new heights in challenging times,” she said.

“You’re going to miss our youth sports complex,” Starkey added, referring to the $35 million complex approved by state legislators but not yet accepted by the governor. Biles replied, “And Moffitt.”

“You will be missed,” said Commissioner Mike Moore, who said he was concerned that the county will need to have an interim administrator on board soon. And he noted that there might not be a need for a national search as there may be qualified individuals closer by.

Whether they choose a national search or another method, Biles said, it was up to commissioners.

Commissioner Jack Mariano said that Biles and his engineering background have helped bring home the Ridge Road project, as well as the Moffitt Center. He was also troubled by this change coming just as the county was having to take over the jail from Sheriff Chris Nocco, which is also supposed to happen at the end of the fiscal year.

“Taking over the jail is such a big, big deal,” he said.

Biles said that the jail takeover date was aggressive and “that date may float,” although county attorney Jeffrey Steinsnyder said that Nocco has not signed off on that at this point.

Because of available personal time, the last day in the office for Biles will be at the end of July. In addition to his time in Jefferson County, Ala., Biles had previously been public works director in Corpus Christi, Texas, worked in private engineering firms and commanded the 248th Civil Engineering Flight Air National Guard in Camp Murray, Wash.

He is a retired U.S. Air Force colonel and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from Texas A&M University.

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“Words cannot express the appreciation I have for both the board and our team, and the support you all have given me over the last five years,” Biles wrote in his resignation letter to the board. “None of what we have accomplished would have been possible without it.”

Biles currently earns $270,484 annually.

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