STUART — City Manager David Dyess is slated to leave Stuart to become town manager of Juno Beach in Palm Beach County. The Town Council there selected him at a special meeting Wednesdspany.
Dyess has been in his current job for more than four years. A former Stuart police chief, he was interim city manager for six months before the City Commission named him to the permanent post in November 2018.
Dyess’ departure is the result of a Florida retirement program requiring enrolled employees to leave their posts after a specific amount of service. Dyess, 54, has been employed by the city for 33 years and had two years left before he had to switch to a new employer or retire.
As a means of being proactive, he applied for the Juno Beach position, he said. It’s unclear when Dyess’ last day with Stuart would be as he still is negotiating his contract, which is to be discussed at the Town Council’s Feb. 22 meeting.
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The Juno Beach Town Council in November approved a salary range of $155,327 to $210,148 when the search for a new town manager began. Dyess’ current salary is $176,342. Joseph Lo Bello, the current Juno Beach town manager, earns $200,145, according to officials.
“I’m excited about having a new opportunity and to be able to continue on my career without having to hang up the hat permanently,” Dyess said. “But I’m saddened that I’m not going to be part of Stuart anymore.”
Although growth is a main focus in Stuart, Dyess points to building a new fire station, adding improvements to Memorial Park and transforming the Willie Gary Plaza in East Stuart into a training center for trades jobs as notable initiatives during his time in office, he said.
“I think we’ve got a lot going on, a lot accomplished that is over and above all, this talk of development,” Dyess said
Juno Beach Mayor DD Halpern could not be reached for comment.
Mayor Troy McDonald credited Dyess with leading the city through challenges related to water quality, development and the COVID-19 pandemic during his tenure, he told TCPalm Monday.
“If there was a way to get him to stay, I would have him stay,” McDonald said. “I’m certainly going to be sad to see him go.”
McDonald wants the next city manager to have “a strong historical knowledge of Stuart and Martin County,” he said. The City Commission is to hold a special meeting to discuss how it will go about its city manager search.