Lake City OKs camera funds, raises salary range

The Lake City Council convened for its regular meeting on Monday evening and talked about its city manager search, utility advisor board and cameras in city parks.

The city manager search has continued since 2021, and the council voted at a special meeting on April 26 not to accept Glen Adams as an interim city manager for six months.

Mayor Steven Witt and council member Todd Sampson voted to hire Adams for the six-month trial while members Eugene Jefferson and Jake Hill Jr. disagreed, citing lack of experience and the interim nature of the contract.

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Also at that meeting, Sampson motioned to terminate the city contract with Renée Narloch and Associates for its services to find candidates for the position. But the motion failed without a second.

At Monday’s regular meeting, the council agreed to raise the salary range to $140,000-160,000.

Sampson restated his desire to hire a different hiring firm.

“I don’t think this has been handled well,” Sampson said. “We’re well beyond the 90 days that the contract we signed said for her to find us somebody.”

He said that Narloch should have guided the city from the start about the salary range needed to hire a qualified candidate, especially in the current market with low supply of city managers.

The council also discussed security cameras in four parks—Lake Montgomery Park, Sally Mae Jerry Park, Annie Mattox and Youngs Park.

Matt Benedetti, IT director for the city, said the cost for the camera systems will total just over $80,000. He said initial site walks had been completed with Motorola, and the only additional costs may come from the city needing to install electricity at a couple points.

Sampson motioned for the city to approve no more than $100,000 to the project and for staff to research financing though American Rescue Plan Act funds.

The motion also asked the city’s lawyer to reach out to the Annie Mattox Recreation Center Board for a contract allowing the cameras even as the two continue negotiations on other items.

The city has moved forward on upgrading its entire camera system and decided that city parks should be included.

The council also voted to change the structure of its Utility Advisory Board to avoid violating the Florida Sunshine Law. The motion will return as a resolution to the council for confirmation.

The new board would consist of two city council members, three utility directors and two county commissioners. However the county has asked to not be included in the board.

The city council kept the seats open so that the county could change its mind down the road.

Even without the two county commissioners, the board can still reach a quorum if one other member is absent.

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