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Monday, Sep 01, 2014
Pasco Tribune

Dade City makes offer for finance chief job


DADE CITY — Dade City commissioners decided Monday to offer the position of city finance director to a Wesley Chapel woman.

Leslie Porter, a Maryland transplant, served as the treasurer and chief finance officer for the city of Chesapeake Beach for almost 10 years. The commissioners were impressed with her experience.

Porter, who lives off Hunter’s Green Drive in Wesley Chapel, was contacted Tuesday and offered a salary of $63,190. During her interview with commissioners Monday, she told them she was looking for a salary between $65,000 and $70,000. Porter has not accepted the position yet, saying that some items of the contract are still under negotiation.

A commission meeting is scheduled Monday for a final decision on the hiring.

Before working for Chesapeake Beach, Porter was a payroll manager for Trandes Corporation in Lanham, Md., for 2½ years and a controller/chief finance officer for Consulting and Program Management Services in Arlington, Va., for about nine years.

She received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., in 1985 and a master’s of taxation from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., in 1991. She graduated from Maryland’s Academy for Excellence in Local Governance in 2011.

During her interview with commissioners, Porter described herself as very detailed-oriented, well-organized and good at multitasking.

Commissioners also considered Brian M. Williams, a certified public accountant, for the job. Williams, currently an audit manager at Baggett, Reutimann and Associates in Zephyrhills, was also interviewed by commissioners Monday.

Commissioners were conducting the interviews in the middle of the holiday season due to the Dec. 10 surprise announcement by Jim Class that he would be leaving city employment after almost 27 years. Class’ resignation left the commissioners scrambling to find someone to serve as finance officer.

Class is leaving the city on Jan. 10 to accept a job as a senior manager in the finance department at the Pasco County School Board.

Class had served as finance director and city clerk for more than 21 years when a divided commission at an Oct. 21 workshop decided to split the position, leaving Class as finance director.

Commissioners Scott Black and Bill Dennis, along with City Manager Billy Poe, appealed to the other commissioners to wait until the regular council meeting scheduled for the next day before voting.

Their appeals were overruled and the commission voted 3-2 to split the position.

At the Dec. 10 commission meeting, commissioners approved an amendment to council procedures that would not allow action to be taken during a workshop again.

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