75. Lake Helen city manager quits in October

Top 100 Local Stories of 2014 in Central Florida / Headline Surfer®
Lke Helrn City Hall where politics are as vibrant as anywhere else / Headline Surfer®Photo for Headline Surfer® /
Historic Lake Helen City Hall is shown here.

LAKE HELEN, Fla. -- KC Cichon was such a mystery as the city manager of Lake Helen, there's no photo readily accessible to even show what he looks like.

He quit as city administrator in October after 22 months on the job, having given a verbal notice to the mayor, in August, but submitted no formal letter of resignation when he left.

Some say it was Kent Cichon who had run several city officials out of city hall and wore out his own welcome as a result, while others say it was the city elders themselves who pushed him out the door.

Some say it was Kent Cichon who had run several city officials out of city hall and wore out his own welcome as a result, while others say it was the city elders themselves who pushed him out the door.

"I'm very sorry to hear that the good old boys have run off K.C. who was trying to do his job and straighten out City Hall despite not having a clear mandate or cooperation," one citizen wrote on a readers forum in the DeLand Beacon newspaper."

The citizen continued, "The city needs to be run on a professional basis. To do otherwise is cheating the citizen/taxpayer. K. C. was accused on not getting on with people. The only people he did not get along with were those who wanted their own way, did not like being told what to do, and refused to change. Possibly they had never been told what was expected of them."

The Lake Helen citizen added, "Right now they cannot even decide who runs the town and have been having regular spats over 'who's in charge' for the last 30 years, usually resulting in the administrator leaving or being pushed out."

Cichon, who was paid $75,000, replaced Don Findell who retired after 13 years on the job. Findell's salary was a whopping $108,992, but he said the city was getting a 2-for-1 deal to handle planning and zoning as well as administration.

Prior to moving over to Lake Helen, Cichon, since 2009, had worked as a budget supervisor in the Alachua County Office of Management and Budget. Before that, he spent three years managing the City of Jasper and before that he worked in Seminole County government.

Cichon has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Central Florida and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Florida.

The departure of Kent Cichon from the lead municipal job in Lake Helen comes in at No. 75 in the HeadlineSurfer.com countdown of the top 100 local stories of 2014.

Lake Helen city officials said they were not told he was taking a similar position elsewhere in Florida but would not say where where he was going specifically. A cursory search online by Headline Surfer® as to where Cichon might have landed produced no results for Florida or anywhere else for that matter.

 

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories narly eveenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in Wst Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.