On Tuesday night, City Manager Michael Beedie officially tendered his resignation to the Fort Walton Beach City Council and Mayor.
- Beedie has served in various roles with the City of Fort Walton Beach. After 17+ years, he has decided to accept another job opportunity in the private sector.
In his letter, Beedie explained that this “unique opportunity” in the private sector would allow him to further advance his career that is in alignment with his professional goals and interests.
Beedie is required to provide a minimum of 60 days’ advance notice for a voluntary resignation, however, he has requested a shorter notice period of 30 days. According to his letter, he feels that this will be more than enough time to develop a transition plan, to allow City Council to appoint an interim City Manager and to ensure ongoing projects are continuing to move forward.
- If this shorter notice period is approved by City Council, his last official day as City Manager will be November 4, 2022.
In his 17+ years at the city, Beedie has seen a lot of change. He first applied for an engineering position at the city in the Public Works Department around 2003-04. He ultimately landed at the city in April 2005 as a Civil Engineer.
He would then go on to hold the roles of:
- Utilities Operations Manager
- City Engineer
- Engineering Director
- And finally, City Manager
“I never aspired to be a city manager,” said Beedie. “My love was always utilities and that was my background. I was happy doing what I was doing, but when they were looking for somebody to take over, I volunteered.”
And while he never aspired to be city manager, it is what has happened over the past 10 years as City Manager that he’s most proud of when he reflects on his time at the city.
“When I took over, we were struggling financially,” said Beedie to Get The Coast on Wednesday morning. “We were still operating on a daily basis, but we weren’t replacing vehicles, we weren’t maintaining facilities. With the team I was able to assemble, we’ve replaced vehicles on a regular basis and built new facilities, with City Hall being the last piece of the puzzle.”
Beedie says that what they’ve been able to put into place will put the City of Fort Walton Beach in a good position for next 40-50 years.
“We’ve enhanced our public safety with the Police and Fire Departments and we are doing some major projects that have been in the works for a long time,” he added.
These projects include:
- The Landing renovations
- Expanded Preston Hood Sports Complex
- Brooks Bridge Project (FDOT project)
- Downtown Master Plan
- Around The Mound
Because of the forward momentum on all of these initiatives, Beedie says it made his decision to leave his role in government a little easier.
“Government doesn’t work quickly, but a lot of these projects are to the point now where it’s no turning back,” he said. “They’re either in final design or going out for bids. So I think it was a great time for me to leave if I was going to with where these projects are.”
Circling back to his team, Beedie was quick to point out that nothing that has been accomplished in the city could have been done without the city staff.
“I’m going to miss the employees the most,” he said. “That was probably the toughest part of the decision was leaving the 300-plus employees that have basically become my extended family. The city is in a great place because of them so all credit should go to the employees.”
As the projects that he’s championed start to be completed over the next 3 to 5 years, he acknowledges that it is bittersweet knowing he won’t be at City Hall to see them through.
“This is probably one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had to make,” he added. “I’ve loved working for the city and it’s been the highlight of my career, by far. I was born and raised in this area. I’ve seen the city in it’s prime back in the 80s, and I’ve seen the city kind of stagnate to development to our east. I think bringing the city back to prominence has been a huge accomplishment for me both professionally and personally.”
In the end, Beedie is confident in the city employees to continue working towards a better Fort Walton Beach.
“We are on the right track with all of these project, whether it’s recreation, entertainment, or huge infrastructure projects,” he said. “I hope the city is able to keep all of that momentum going and see those projects through.”