Lake City appoints new interim city manager

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 6:16 PM EDT
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LAKE CITY, Fla. (WCJB) - Lake City is moving from one interim city manager to another in just a matter of months.

City council members appointed Mike Williams to the interim city manager position in a special meeting today.

It all started when Interim City Manager Ami Fields sent in her letter of resignation yesterday.

Fields is the former human resources manager.

She took over as interim city manager after the council fired Joe Helfenberger in June.

“Once they terminated him, and Ms. Fields came on board, the attitude within the city staff just changed, you know we’ve got an ongoing investigation,” said Glenel Bowden, a former city council member.

Bowden said the way things played out in today’s meeting led him to believe there were discussions under the table.

“The mayor and at least one council member had his mind made up, and they offered someone a job with that person not even being present. I thought it was kind of unseemly,” he said.

Utility director, Paul Dyal, took to the podium to express his interest in the position.

He said he worked closely with Fields.

“If there’s anything I can do to continue her work, and the vision that she had, if that’s the will of the council that’s what I will do,” said Dyal.

Ultimately, the council decided on Mike Williams, despite him not being at the meeting.

“He’s just retired, he’s the former chamber of commerce president and very active in our community,” said Lake City Mayor Stephen Witt.

Witt said the next city manager will need to have good experience and a number of years in leadership.

“Because we have a lot of issues with utilities, the airport, so there’s a lot of big issues we have to deal with,” he said.

The next meeting is set for Monday at 6 pm.

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