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Dallas City Manager A.C. Gonzalez Addresses Criticisms On His Salary And Being 'Too Nice'

A.C. Gonzalez when he was named city manager in 2014.

To the surprise of many, Dallas City Manager A.C. Gonzalez this week announced he’ll retire after three years on the job. 

Despite recent issues with the city's Animal Services and police, Gonzalez reveled in the results of a survey that showed Dallas residents really like the town they live in – and most of the services the city provides.

He talked with KERA about his upcoming retirement, and what he thinks about his Twitter nickname #AC400.

Interview Highlights: A.C. Gonzalez…

…On the biggest frustrations with his job:

“When you’re dealing with the magnitude we have to cover – over a $3 billion budget, 13,000 employees, along with 1.3 million people that will tell you they know how to do it better. That level of scrutiny is something we try to make the best use of in terms of helping us do our job better, but it wears on you over time.”

…On criticisms that he springs big decisions on an unprepared city council:

“I apologized [back then for the Uber situation], I told people I would learn from that, and as far as my recollection of history from then is that I did.

The matter of the Standing Wave [a whitewater feature along the Trinity River deemed too dangerous for kayakers] is something that surprised me as well. Had it not been for a chance encounter with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, they were telling me at a reception that a real bad situation was coming down. Because that project was being managed by the parks department, which is not under my control, I was just as surprised by it as the council.”

…On being ‘too nice’ to do his job:

“I don’t know that seeking the limelight, going out and making a scene is necessarily the most effective. I daresay when you look at the CEOs of successful corporations, you have people who are respectful of the people they’re leading. If anything, they show tenacity and character and that’s what moves an organization.”

A.C. Gonzalez is the city manager for Dallas. He retires in January.   

Former KERA staffer Krystina Martinez was an assistant producer. She produced local content for Morning Edition and She also produced The Friday Conversation, a weekly series of conversations with North Texas newsmakers. Krystina was also the backup newscaster for the Texas Standard.
Rick Holter was KERA's vice president of news. He oversaw news coverage on all of KERA's platforms – radio, digital and television. Under his leadership, KERA News earned more than 200 local, regional and national awards, including the station's first two national Edward R. Murrow Awards. He and the KERA News staff were also part of NPR's Ebola-coverage team that won a George Foster Peabody Award, broadcasting's highest honor.