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Gottschalk, deputy city manager, to take over Dallas pension fund
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Gottschalk, deputy city manager, to take over Dallas pension fund

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Kelly Gottschalk, a deputy city manager and former finance chief for Tucson, was announced Tuesday as the new head of the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System — the same pension fund that lost millions on an ill-fated land deal in Tucson.

Gottschalk, Tucson's CFO until being bumped up a level in January, has worked for the city since 2009. She's expected to begin working in Dallas around April 15, a release from the pension fund said.

"We are excited about Kelly joining the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System," said George Tomasovic, chairman of the fund's board. "Our organization will certainly benefit from the vast combination of experience, vision and leadership that she brings to this role during this critical time."

Gottschalk will be paid $270,000 in her new position, along with relocation assistance.

"I am honored to join the DPFP and lead one of the largest city pension funds in the great state of Texas," Gottschalk said in the fund's release. "More than 9,400 active and retired participants look to us for guidance and direction of their future in retirement, and I do not take their trust lightly."

Last year, the Dallas fund signed off on a deal with Pima County, selling a tract of land in the Tucson Mountains for $18 million less than they paid for it in 2006.

The Painted Hills property, between Speedway and Anklam Road on the West Side, was sold at a loss after the fund's land speculation didn't pan out. The county paid $7.5 million to preserve it as open space in a move celebrated by neighborhood and environmental activists.

The county paid about $26,200 per acre, compared to the $94,400 per acre the pension fund paid in 2006.

Attempts by the pension system to develop the land failed, largely because they were unable to secure access to water lines. Development of the 286-acre plot was opposed by green groups, who pushed the City Council to exclude the tract from Tucson Water's service area. The Council did so in 2010.

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