Et Tu, Arte?
Chief says: thanks, but ... nah
By Jordan Smith,
10:49AM, Fri. Mar. 12, 2010
The increasingly interesting will-Acevedo-stay saga rolls on: After City Manager Marc Ott offered the moon, Ace said he'd rather bet on the stars.
The Dallas stars, that is, of the cop-shop in the city of malls and sprawls. Yup, Austin PD Chief Art Acevedo has turned down a very nice salary increase – offered for a promise to stay put in Austin – in order to roll the dice for his chance to become top dog in Dallas.
To recap: Acevedo announced this week that he was a finalist for the top spot at the Dallas PD. He said he wasn't looking to leave ATX but that he'd been lobbied to apply up north – and that a move to Big D would be a Big Step. Up. On the urban PD chief ladder, that is, and that he had to look out for his family, his career options, and financial security. Amen to that.
So, on Thursday, City Manager Marc Ott announced that the city had offered a sweet incentive to get Ace to stay in place: a boost in salary to $188,480, plus an annual deferred compensation boost to $11,000, if he'd commit to staying. The package would make Acevedo the next-highest paid top-cop in the state – second only to Houston's chief (who, by the way, has three times as many blues to manage).
No dice, said Ace on Thursday evening: Generous offer, yes, but compared to Dallas? Apparently, the urban environment here isn't what the Ace is looking for. True, Acevedo came here from Los Angeles, where he'd worked with the California Highway Patrol for 21 years. So, sprawl is in his blood (hell, give us a few years, Ace, we can be your Dallas – I swear!). At the end of the day, it seems Acevedo is simply looking to trade up: A bigger city with bigger problems. "I consider the City of Dallas to be a fine city, with many opportunities to enjoy cultural, entertainment and sports venues," Acevedo said in a statement. "I know that many of my friends find it hard to believe that I would leave the City of Austin, however, having been raised in Los Angeles County, I truly find Dallas to be a very desirous place to work and live."
It sounds like Ace is the "desirous" one.