Lake Helen Mayor and City Manager Attempting Mediation
Tuesday, September, 8, 2020
Residents of Lake Helen and others with an interest in the situation are hoping that mediation can ease the ongoing tension between the mayor and the city administrator. Most recently, after a three-hour meeting that included a call for the mayor’s resignation, both sides agreed to try mediation. More than a few dozen Lake Helen residents were in attendance at the meeting that included debate over property permits and the handling of other documents and tasks.
According to the city administrator, complaints had been filed about how approval and denial of permits had recently been handled. Residents were also concerned about statements recently made by the mayor.
One specific concern had to do with documents connected to a developer building a home on one city-owned lot. According to Commissioner Rick Basso, documentation exists that shows the builder took ownership of the mistake.
Despite people involved in the dispute pointing to mistakes that had been made, they also stated they do not believe the city administrator to be incompetent or malicious. They described her as having integrity and being “the model of what we want a public servant to be.”
Residents also spoke at the meeting and expressed their concerns about the ongoing dispute.
One said the commissioner hadn’t ben “set up for success” and he believes there was an intention to undermine the commissioner. Another said this situation will be difficult to recover from and that it will be tough to find competent people to serve in these positions in the future and had at times undermined her.
Both sides agreed to be more civil as they move forward in their attempt to mediate the issues.