Lake Helen City Administrator Becky Witte announced her resignation today in a letter submitted to the city.
In an email to The Beacon, Witte said she chose to submit her resignation after the election to avoid impacting local elections.
“This is a personal decision that I have been contemplating for some time,” Witte wrote.
The Beacon has covered simmering tension between Witte, City Commissioner Kelly Frasca and Mayor Daisy Raisler for more than a year.
In Witte’s official letter, she wrote, “Since the beginning of my employment in January 2014 I have awakened each day with a smile on my face and a song in my heart for Lake Helen. As George Eliot said — ‘Life seems to go on without effort when I am filled with music.’ The music has faded, and I know it’s time to write a new score.”
In an interview with The Beacon today, Witte said she is better suited to background government work than a position like city administrator, which is a focal point.
“I don’t want to be the political football,” Witte said. “I want to be a worker, to do the work.”
Witte said the city is in an excellent financial position to find its next administrator, having completed their yearly audit and having some financial reserves to play around with.
It’s unlikely that Lake Helen will find an administrator that costs what Witte did — at $74,169 a year, Witte earned half as much as many city managers in Volusia County.
Witte’s resignation will go into effect in 30 days. Unlike former City Administrator Jason Yarborough, Witte will not receive severance pay, although she has some unused vacation and sick leave from her nearly seven-year career in Lake Helen government, she said.
“I will love this city forever,” Witte said. “I will do whatever possible to help them.”