Saturday, April 21, 2018
News Roundup

Dade City hires new finance director

DADE CITY — The former chief financial officer of a Maryland beach community has agreed to a contract to become Dade City's new finance director.

On Monday, Leslie Porter — who now lives in Wesley Chapel — agreed to a $65,000 salary with a stipulation that it would be increased to $70,000 should she complete a six-month probationary period.

Porter, a certified public accountant and former CFO for the town of Chesapeake Beach, Md., agreed to the contract during a special commission meeting. Commissioners initially offered Porter $63,190 but voted unanimously to approve her requested increase.

The commission called the meeting in order to have a replacement ready upon the upcoming departure of longtime finance director/city clerk Jim Class.

Class announced his resignation last month after nearly 30 years with the city, following the commission's decision to split his dual position into two jobs during a workshop in late October. His last day with the city is Friday and Porter will start the following Monday.

The decision to split the positions brought dissension on the board as two commissioners, Bill Dennis and Scott Black, lost a 3-2 vote. Black was critical of what he considered to be a rushed vote without public notice.

But on Monday, both supported hiring Porter and praised her experience. Black shook her hand following the vote and Dennis gave her a hug.

"I think you are very qualified," Dennis said during the meeting.

Unfinished business remains stemming from splitting Class' position. The city is still looking to hire a clerk and commissioners expect to come up with a short list of candidates by their Jan. 14 regular meeting. Also at that meeting, the commission is expected to discuss an ordinance proposed by Black banning the board from voting on items in workshops or not previously announced on meeting agendas.

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