McGarvey to retire

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 8, 2002

Austin city administrator Patrick E. McGarvey announced his resignation at Monday night's regular meeting of the Austin City Council.

Gloria Nordin, 3rd Ward council member, said it would be accepted "with regret."

As soon as McGarvey made the announcement, council members started praising McGarvey.

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Dick Chaffee, At Large council member, called McGarvey "my friend" and Wayne P. Goodnature, 1st Ward council member, said planning a farewell party for the departing city administrator should be the next order of business.

When he became city administrator in 1992, McGarvey started a "journey that I have enjoyed."

"The privilege to serve in this position in the Austin city government offers one continuous challenges and opportunities, which add to the progress and vitality of the community," McGarvey said.

The city administrator started work Feb. 17, 1992, when he was hired to succeed former long-time city administrator Daryl Stacy.

His resignation for the purposes of retirement is effective April 30, 2003. With the possible turnover of council members and mayor in November's elections, that gives the council adequate time to conduct a thorough search for a successor and for McGarvey's replacement to benefit from his insight in making a transition next spring.

During McGarvey's decade as the city's administrative help, he had many accomplishments. He shared in the development of a new public library, a complete renovation of Horace Austin Park and the Mill Pond pathway and most recently the development of a recreational trail system through the city and the expansion of the Austin Municipal Airport.

As he looks ahead, McGarvey said he is planing to "thoroughly enjoy my retirement."

As he looks ahead, he would advise his successor to be prepared to offer city officials help in dealing with the developments in the state financial crisis and how it impacts municipalities.

However, he would also tell his successor, "I think the future of Austin is bright. The city is large enough to be self-sustaining. It has a strong economic base."

McGarvey said Austin is "poised to become a legitimate tourism destination" and that is "much more possible today than 10 years ago."

McGarvey's retirement means the second loss of a major public figure in Austin. Earlier this year, Kermit Mahan, the long-time executive director of the Austin Housing and Redevelopment Authority, resigned to accept a similar position in California.

The council's personnel committee conducted evaluations of McGarvey and Tom Dankert, finance director, prior to Monday night's council meeting.

Both received unanimous praise and glowing reports from city officials.

Mayor Bonnie Rietz announced a personnel consultant will make a presentation to the council members on how the process for selecting a replacement for McGarvey should proceed.

Lee Bonorden can be contacted at 434-2232 or by e-mail at