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Flagler Beach

Flagler Beach City Commission Chooses 5 City Manager Finalists

ⓒ Flagler Beach City Commission

FLAGLER BEACH – The City Commission of Flagler Beach has narrowed their City Manager search to five finalists, out of a total applicant field of 37. The finalists will be interviewed by the City Commission on July 13th and 14th at City Hall.

The finalists are as follows, with city management experience provided:

  • Howard Brown:
    • Village Manager of Indiantown, Florida (2019 – 2023)
    • City Manager of Bell, California (2016 – 2018)
    • City Manager of Muskogee, Oklahoma (2014 – 2016)
    • Acting Assistant City Manager of Opa-Locka, Florida (2010 – 2014)
  • James Gleason:
    • Town Manager of Littleton, New Hampshire (2021 – present)
    • City Manager of Mascotte, Florida (2011 – 2020)
    • City Manager of Chamblee, Georgia (2008 – 2010)
    • City Manager of Woodstock, Georgia (2004 – 2007)
    • City Manager of Ocoee, Florida (2001 – 2004)
  • Dale Martin:
    • City Manager of Fernandina Beach, Florida (2015 – 2023)
    • Town Manager of Winchester, Connecticut (2011 – 2015)
    • City Manager of Davison, Michigan (2008 – 2010)
    • City Manager of Dowagiac, Michigan (2007 – 2007)
    • City Manager of Linden, Michigan (1998 – 2007)
    • Village Manager of Lexington, Michigan (1996 – 1998)
  • Todd Michaels:
    • City Managaer of Greendale, Wisconsin (1998 – 2022)
  • David Williams:
    • Town Administrator of Sherborn, Massachusetts (2013 – 2022)
    • Assistant Town Manager of Framingham, Massachusetts (2010 – 2013)
    • Assistant Town Manager of Weston, Massachusetts (2006 – 2010)
    • Town Administrator of West Bath, Maine (2000 – 2003)

One of these candidates will likely become the new permanent City Manager of Flagler Beach, following Interim City Manager Mike Abels when he steps down this summer. Abels himself was appointed by the City Commission after they voted to fire William Whitson, the former City Manager whose mishandlings of a potential tourism grant and the city’s annual firework show lost most of his goodwill from the city. Prior to Whitson, Flagler Beach was helmed by the late Larry Newsom, who passed away in August 2020.

Commissioners and residents alike hope that whichever candidate is chosen in next month’s meetings, they’ll provide the city with much-needed stability for years to come. The choice may well be the last major accomplishment of Commission Chair Eric Cooley and Mayor Suzie Johnston before each of them face re-election in March 2024. Johnston as Mayor does not have a vote in the hiring process, but provides input which is considered by the five voting commissioners. Neither Cooley nor Johnston have announced their 2024 plans.

Written By

Chris Gollon is a Flagler County resident since 2004, as well as a staple of the local independent music scene and avid observer of Central Florida politics, arts, and recreation.



  1. TR

    June 28, 2023 at 9:44 pm

    Stability for years to come? Most of the candidates have short terms in the cities they were managers in. Why is that? Did they get fired for something like not doing their job? Did they quit because they couldn’t do the job because the city was to big? There are soooo many questions for these candidates on WHY? The worst thing is to bring someone in from another state because they will want to do things that they did in that state. Whatever those things were, apparently didn’t work because of the short amount of time they were in office.
    Anyone out there want to bet that the council will be looking for a new manager within 2 years.

  2. Peggy L

    July 16, 2023 at 6:09 pm

    I can only hope Dale Martin learned a lesson or two after he was fired in Fernandina Beach. Some of our old neighbors who left Ormond to live in Fernandina Beach experienced an extremely unpleasant ordeal at the City Hall there after Dale Martin called the police on an engineer who went there to ask questions about a permit. Martin has no defense for such a sorry, irresponsible maneuver. The engineer is the fiance of a woman we know very well… she and her family are wonderful people and are missed in our community. Beware Flager Beach! I’m afraid you’re going to have your hands full with this Martin character.

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