Jeff Peters named interim City Manager for Fort Walton Beach

During last night’s Fort Walton Beach City Council meeting, Parks & Recreation Director Jeff Peters was appointed as interim city manager by the council. 

  • You’ll remember from last week that current City Manager Michael Beedie officially tendered his resignation as he has decided to accept another job opportunity in the private sector.

Beedie was required to provide a minimum of 60 days’ advance notice for a voluntary resignation, however, he requested a shorter notice period of 30 days. This was approved by council last night and Beedie recommended moving forward with appointing an interim city manager.

Councilman Nathan Kelley said he spoke with Peters, Public Works Director Daniel Payne and Fort Walton Beach Police Chief Robert Bage about taking on the role. Kelly stated that while all 3 are willing to step up, only Peters showed interest in making it a full-time thing. 

  • With that, Kelley made a motion to appoint Peters as the interim with a second by MG Moran. 

“When I came onboard 18 years ago, my goal was the same as it is now: to move the city forward,” said Peters to the council. “To do things in this community that my kids would not only be able to find a job here, but want to find a job here and a want to live here. And I’ve done that every day since I’ve been here over the 18 years.”

Peters, who grew up in Fort Walton Beach, told the council that he will work hard in whatever his role is with the city, but that he’s here for the long haul. 

  • “I love the employees, I love the community, and I’m not going anywhere,” he said. “I live here. I want my kids to live here. I’m proud of the city and what we’ve done in the last 18 years. Thank you for the confidence and we’ll take it day by day and go from here.”

Beedie’s last official day as City Manager will be November 4, 2022. Between now and the next council meeting, the details surrounding Peters’ interim appointment will be worked out and presented to council. 

  • Initially, Kelley made the motion to appoint Peters as interim for a 6-month period, giving him the option to accept the position full-time, or return to his existing role as Parks & Rec Director.

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