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Lake City City Manager Search: CM Dyal Mugs the Council With 12th Hour Agenda Addition His Proposed Contracts – Code of Ethics MIA

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widget-city-manager-storiesLAKE CITY, FL – Every time one thinks Lake City can’t get worse, it does. At approximately 12:20 pm this afternoon, City Manager Paul Dyal's proposed contracts were added to the City Council agenda for inclusion in this evening's 6 pm Council meeting.

Lake City, already reeling throughout North Florida for its dysfunctional City Manager search and its out-of-control meeting antics, some of which came from Mr. Dyal himself, helped to enhance these opinions today by Mr. Dyal's 12th-hour addition of his contracts.

Earlier, the date is unknown, Mr. Dyal provided City Attorney Todd Kennon and Councilman Jake Hill copies of his suggested contract. Mr. Kennon and Mr. Hill were to then negotiate with Mr. Dyal. It does not look like they did this, as any negotiation session, including Councilman Hill, would have to have been publicly noticed.

It appears Councilman Hill and Attorney Kennon made changes in the contract. It is unclear how their version made it into the Clerk's office.

The Contracts

Mr. Dyal wanted to be paid the maximum the City Council allowed for a well-qualified and seasoned city manager, $160,000.

Before he came to Lake City, Mr. Dyal had no city manager experience. His only city manager experience was as Lake City's Interim City Manager. He did not like the Lake City job and, in May 2022, applied for the job as Ketchikan, Alaska's City Manager. He interviewed for that position in July, never telling anyone but the Mayor, who never mentioned it to the City Council.

The Kennon-Hill reviewed contract lowered Mr. Dyal's preferred salary to $140,000, reviewable in six months.

Mr. Dyal suggested that instead of a take-home city vehicle, the City pay him $600 a month to use his personal vehicle. The Kennon-Hill contract crossed that out.

Mr. Dyal wanted his termination controlled by a super-majority of the City Council.

Mr. Dyal's wish for a super-majority for termination exemplifies his lack of attention to detail. Had Mr. Dyal looked at the City Charter, he would have found that his termination required a "majority of all its members."

In the past, termination of the city manager without cause required payment of 12 weeks severance. Mr. Dyal wanted 20 weeks. The Kennon-Hill contract left the 20 weeks intact.

Noteworthy, Mr. Dyal wanted to be compensated “for all, including pre-effective date, accrued paid leave/time off, of any variety, annual and sick at time of termination, whether with or without cause.”

The Kennon-Hill version knocked down Mr. Dyal's post-employment sick-vacation payout to 1,000 hours, whether he was terminated with cause or without cause. In real dollars, not including taxes, this amounts to approximately $70,000.

The City policies for other employees allow a maximum of an 820-hour payout.

While past city managers were allowed to develop work schedules “appropriate” to accomplish city business, Mr. Dyal wants “reasonable flexibility and discretion to take time off during normal business hours for personal reasons…." This is in no other Lake City City Manager contract.

Ethical Standards

With the hiring of city manager Joe Helfenberger, the city manager was contractually bound by the ICMA Code of Ethics, an ethical code established in 1924.

Mr. Dyal removed this requirement from his contract, and the Kennon-Hill version did not add it back.


The disregard of the ICMA code of ethics by Mr. Dyal and its lack of reinsertion by Attorney Kennon and Councilman Hill is a red flag for the City moving forward and for anyone doing business with Lake City.

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