Lee Evett

Lake Helen has chosen a city administrator: Lee Evett, former city manager of Frostproof, former public works director of Okeechobee County, and Lake Helen’s interim city administrator for the past two months.

City Administrator Becky Witte left the Lake Helen position Dec. 4.

Evett was selected to serve as interim administrator with a salary of $85,000 plus a $500 per month car allowance and medical insurance. He has been on the job as interim since Dec. 16.

In the search to fill their top managerial spot, the city commissioners enlisted the aid of the Florida City and County Managers Association, a professional organization that helps cities find top staff.

For the past several months, the commission whittled down a pool of applicants, leaving only two standing when the time came for a final selection Feb. 16: Evett and Michael Sheffield, a longtime governmental employee in Naples.

Evett’s experience and familiarity with the city tipped commissioners in his favor.

“I don't think the city can go wrong with either one of them,” Commissioner Rick Basso said. “With that said, I think probably the most important thing we can do is be a unified board going in one direction.”

The commission agreed — they voted unanimously to retain Evett permanently.

“I want you to know, I have a list of stuff here,” Mayor Daisy Raisler told Evett jokingly.

“I was going to say, can I go back to my emails now?” Evett replied.

Evett’s salary for the permanent position has yet to be determined. Witte, who had been city administrator since 2018, was making $74,169 when she left.