Dade City to finalize city manager contract

The City of Dade City is nearing a contract agreement with its newly named city manager and current finance director Leslie Porter.

Details of the latest drafted employment contract were shared and amended during an April 23 regular city commission meeting.

Leslie Porter (File)

The latest draft calls for a base salary of $98,906.00 payable in monthly installments in the same manner as other city employees are paid.

The base salary would be automatically amended to include any salary adjustments that are provided or required by the city’s compensation policies to other city employees, such as cost of living adjustments.

Additionally, the agreement calls for the city manager to receive standard benefits provided to other city employees, including holiday leave, health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, term life insurance, FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) leave, short- and long-term disability, and transfer of earned benefits to named beneficiaries in the event of death.

The contract also includes provisions for sick leave, retirement contributions and expenses provided for a cellphone and professional development services.

A final version of the employment agreement is expected to be approved at the next commission meeting on May 14.

Porter would be on a probationary period during her first 90 days of employment as city manager, per the contract.

Porter, who lives in Tampa, will not be required to maintain a residence in Dade City while serving as city manager. She also will be permitted to continue operating her tax service and real estate businesses.

In the event Porter is terminated without cause within the first 180 days of employment as city manager, the city would pay eight weeks’ salary and any accrued benefits. Severance pay maximizes out at 20 weeks’ salary and any accrued benefits if Porter is terminated after two years of employment, according to the draft contract.

In the event of voluntary resignation, Porter would be entitled to accrued vacation leave and sick leave (capped at 480 hours) if employed for longer than 10 years. She would also be paid through the last workday and is required to give at least 60 days’ notice prior to resignation.

Elsewhere, regular performance reviews and evaluations have been worked into the contract agreement.

City commissioners would conduct structured quarterly reviews with Porter during her first year as city manager, then proceed to annual evaluations every year after that; pay raises or salary increases may be tied to the results of those reviews and evaluations.

In early April, the commission voted to extend an offer and enter contract negotiations with Porter to become its next city manager.

Porter has been acting as the interim city manager since February, while also maintaining duties as the city’s finance director, a position she’s held since 2014.

Porter assumed the city manager vacancy created by Billy Poe, who left the post after nearly 12 years. Poe is now the deputy city manager in the City of Zephyrhills and is expected to move up to city manager once longtime city manager Steve Spina retires later on this year.

Before coming to Dade City, Porter spent nearly a decade working as town treasurer for the Town of Chesapeake Beach in Maryland. She holds a bachelor’s degree from George Mason University and a master’s degree from George Washington University.

The decision to offer Porter the city manager job came during a special meeting on April 3, when commissioners reviewed and ranked top candidates for the city manager position; Porter was one of the nine applicants who applied by the March 15 deadline.

It marked the second call for applications after the city was unable to come to a contract agreement with Tallahassee-based real estate associate Christopher Edwards, its top candidate for the city manager position back in February.

Published May 01, 2019

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