Palm Coast City Council abruptly fires City Manager Denise Bevan
Denise Bevan, photo via

Bevan’s abrupt and immediate firing also reinforces instability recently seen in the top administrative positions at Palm Coast City Hall.

The Palm Coast City Council has voted to fire their City Manager.

Denise Bevan, who has held the City Manager post for barely more than a year, was terminated without cause according to a brief news release issued by the city. The vote was 3-2 in favor of her termination.

Palm Coast Mayor David Alfin made the motion to fire Bevan. That motion also included measures to begin a search for a new City Manager using resources such as the Florida League of Cities to find a replacement.

Assistant City Manager Lauren Johnston was appointed Acting City Manager by the City Council until a permanent replacement for the top slot can be hired.

A report by the Daytona Beach News-Journal addressed Bevan’s career, which started with the city in 2007. Bevan was viewed by many city officials as a hard worker who climbed the governmental ladder, beginning as a city hall functionary in the capacity of environmental planner and rising through the ranks in several institutional positions.

Bevan’s abrupt and immediate firing also reinforces instability recently seen in the top administrative positions at Palm Coast City Hall. The News-Journal also detailed how previous City Manager Matt Morton resigned, prompting Bevan’s promotion to Interim City Manager before the City Council unanimously approved naming her as a permanent replacement.

Despite receiving nearly 100 applications for the open City Manager job a year ago, the City Council stuck with Bevan as a permanent replacement for Morton, even though she never actually submitted an application for the job.

While no official reason for the termination was given, City Council member Cathy Heighter said her decision to vote for the firing was rooted in the essential reality that Palm Coast is a growing community and an administration is needed to reflect that, according to a report.

“Denise has done a (good) job but I do feel that we’re moving into a different era in this city,” Heighter said. “We are a rapidly growing city and we do need strong management and we do need someone that’s going to address issues.”

Drew Dixon

Drew Dixon is a journalist of 40 years who has reported in print and broadcast throughout Florida, starting in Ohio in the 1980s. He is also an adjunct professor of philosophy and ethics at three colleges, Jacksonville University, University of North Florida and Florida State College at Jacksonville. You can reach him at [email protected].

One comment

  • Dont Say FLA

    March 20, 2024 at 2:11 pm

    What happened, did she turn down an advance made by the Zieglers?

Comments are closed.


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