Pasco County commissioners signed off on a contract to hire Dan Biles as the next Pasco County administrator, with an annual salary of $220,000.
County commissioners agreed to hire him on March 14, when he competed against four other candidates at a special public meeting in New Port Richey.
On March 28, commissioners made Biles’ hiring official by approving his contract.
Biles is scheduled to begin his new duties on May 1. However, his three-year contract also requires that he spend a few days in Pasco County before then, to take part in budget discussions with county staff for fiscal year 2018.
Biles is leaving his job as deputy county manager in Jefferson County, Alabama, to step into a position being vacated by Pasco County Administrator Michele Baker.
Baker opted to retire after four years, and not seek a contract renewal.
There will be some overlap of time between Baker’s departure and Biles’ arrival. Baker’s contract ends in mid-July.
“I think we’re extremely fortunate to have such a strong county administrator coming here,” said Pasco County Commission Chairman Mike Moore. “He is very impressive. He’s going to help us take Pasco to new heights.”
In addition to his annual salary, Biles’ contract includes benefits for a total package of about $278,000.
The county will pay $10,000 in moving expenses and up to $2,000 for temporary housing.
Biles also will receive an automobile allowance of $450 a month, term life insurance of $100,000, and retirement benefits.
Pasco County Commissioner Ron Oakley wants the county to schedule meet-and-greets with Biles, on the east and west sides of the county.
When county commissioners interviewed potential candidates, they anticipated two days of interviews.
But, Biles scored so well on the first day, they opted to immediately offer him the job.
“I think he’s the right fit for us,” said Pasco County Commissioner Kathryn Starkey.
Biles holds two civil engineering degrees from Texas A & M University.
He is a retired U.S. Air Force colonel and also commanded three Air National Guard units.
His work experience includes engineering positions in the private as well as public sector in Texas and Washington State.
He was hired in 2014 as the first deputy county manager of Jefferson County, Alabama, which was newly formed.
Previously, he worked for four years in Corpus Christi, Texas, as director of engineering services and executive director of public works.
He also worked for private engineering companies in Washington State including Maverick Engineering Inc., and SBI Developing LLC.
As Jefferson County’s deputy county manager, Biles led the County Infrastructure Group, which included environmental services, roads and transportation, general services, land planning, inspection services and stormwater.
According to his resume, he developed a litter collection program that removed more than 100 tons of litter in its first four months.
Biles also coordinated road improvement plans in partnership with local cities and state transportation officials. And, he led a customer service improvement initiative in permitting. The Greater Birmingham Home Builders Association praised his efforts, his resume states.
Though Baker is slated to end her tenure with the county, Starkey suggested another option. She would like Baker to stay on and help shepherd the county’s longstanding request for a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to extend Ridge Road. The road is a high priority for the county as an east-west emergency route. Environmental groups are opposed.
“No one can speak to this effort as well as our Michele Baker,” said Starkey. “I don’t know what that (job) would look like and if she wants to do that.”
Baker didn’t respond, and Moore said discussions on meet-and-greets and Baker’s status should wait until Biles arrival.
Published April 5, 2017