‘Dyal-ed in’: Interim Lake City Manager promoted to permanent position

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Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 10:41 PM EDT
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LAKE CITY, Fla. (WCJB) - After over a year-long search, the Lake City city council is again closing in on filling their city manager position and this time the are working it out in house.

During Monday night’s council meeting the body unanimously approved Council Member Jake Hill Jr’s motion to give Interim City Manager Paul Dyal a permanent promotion.

For many in attendance it was a no-brainer move that was 13 months in the making. Kelton Ficklin spoke during public comment before the decision was made and was happy to see Dyal, who had previously worked at the city’s utility department, be given this position full-time.

“Other workers are looking at that. now they see they have the ability that if they work hard and do the right thing maybe one day they can be the city manager,” said Ficklin.

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On paper the vote will go down as a four-to-zero decision, but before the vote Council Member Todd Sampson was leaning toward once again continuing the search with a head hunter and potentially interviewing three more men for the job. He responded to word’s of support from many in the audience by saying this:

“The worst option is to be arm twisted into doing something because a community activist says he’ll calm it down.”

He wasn’t the only dissenter prior to voting. Jerry Leszkiewicz felt the board should have waited until after election day for a decision to be made so that the new look council will get a chance to feel out and interview other candidates.

“Two people are going to come out of this election guaranteed to have two seats here. They are the future. Mr. Jefferson is the past, this is one of his last sessions as a council member,” said Leszkiewicz.

The next steps for the council will be to begin negotiating Dyal’s new salary and contract details. Those discussion will begin as soon as the next city meeting on Sept. 1.

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