Gallagher launched his public administration career in 1977, when he became the city manager for New Port Richey.
Little did he realize then the city post would groom him to become Pasco County administrator, in 1982. After more than three decades as county chief, Gallagher retired last month.
Now Gallagher has volunteered to assist New Port Richey City Council members in the search for the next city manager, Councilman Jeff Starkey said Tuesday night.
Gallagher would be willing to donate his time in rating candidates and perhaps sitting in on interviews with finalists, Starkey said. The city has received 31 applications so far, but the deadline was extended to July 12.
Starkey, elected to council in April, said he thought Gallagher's expertise could help guide Starkey in his choices. Starkey asked for more discussion about Gallagher's offer at a regular council meeting.
Mayor Bob Consalvo added that he wants to emphasize a timely selection process. In 2010, the city manager search then dragged on for so long that some of Consalvo's top choices took jobs elsewhere, Consalvo explained.
Library Director Susan Dillinger was named interim city manger shortly after John Schneiger officially departed Oct. 9. Schneiger lasted about two and a half years, after starting May 10, 2010.
Familiar names among applicants now are Peter Altman, the former mayor and Pasco County commissioner, and former New Port Richey Fire Chief Dan Azzariti.
City officials hope to have the new city manager start by Oct. 1.