Photo by Robert Williams
Mayor Mark Flemmer announced his retirement 18 months into a four-year term at the conclusion of the Frazee City Council meeting Wednesday, June 12.

By Robert Williams


Mayor Mark Flemmer officially resigned from his position at the close of the Frazee City Council meeting Wednesday, June 12. Flemmer was 18-months into a 4-year term that was to end in December of 2026.

After presiding over his final council meeting, he interrupted a motion to adjourn to announce his retirement in a two-minute speech.

“For the past eight years as a councilman and mayor, Frazee is on the verge of great things,” Flemmer said. “I’m honored to have been a small part of this. After serving my country for 35 years, my city for 15 years, I have decided to retire as mayor effective tonight. My reason for retiring tonight is to give time for a candidate to run for mayor. Public service is a calling and I encourage the citizens of Frazee to run for elected office. 

I would like to give a great shoutout to Larry, Donnie and Kevin (Public Works Staff), the city is totally blessed to have them to see the great things get built here in Frazee. The quiet zone, skating rink, the Pedal Pusher Park (Former Seip/Sanders area) are highlights of small town living. There are many things in Frazee that have been accomplished during the process that will make Frazee a great place to live.”

Flemmer then brought up multiple issues he had with City Administrator Stephanie Poegel’s office, stating there was a failure to keep the council properly informed and failure in reporting to his office and the council.

The Mayor also commented on the city office working environment and not favorably. 

“I’ll be honest, in general, an unfriendly workplace environment, essentially, it’s not been a good working environment for me, at all,” said Flemmer. 

Poegel declined to comment on the remarks.

Flemmer closed his last speech as mayor on a positive note.

“That being said, the future of Frazee is bright. I look forward to retirement in this great town and God bless everybody.”

Photo by Robert Williams
Mayor Mark Flemmer, center, presides over his last City Council meeting prior to announcing his retirement Wednesday evening at the Event Center. L-R: Andrea Froeber, Jim Rader, Mark Flemmer, Mark Kemper and Mike Sharp.

Flemmer served six years on the city council before winning the 2022 Mayoral race by defeating incumbent Ken Miosek by 36 votes. 

Upon being elected, Flemmer stressed affordable housing as the most important issue facing Frazee. He cited that as the stepping stone to attracting more business, along with improved amenities, like the Town Lake Beach project and the trail systems increasing the viability of Frazee as a place for people to live.

To his credit, his 18-month term presided over many of those improvements. While affordable housing remains a big issue in Frazee, more businesses have come to town, amenities have improved or are in process. Both Wannigan Regional Park and Town Lake Beach are currently evolving. The trails system plays a major role in both amenities.

Flemmer’s road to Mayor of Frazee was the culmination of a lifelong plan to serve his country.

“I was always going to join the military,” said Flemmer in a 2022 feature interview with the Forum. “I knew it since I was age four or five. I don’t know why. I turned 17 and made my mom sign the paperwork. I went down to the Marine recruiter and I was going to join up the very next day.”

Marriage and family were also big priorities to Flemmer as a 19-year-old man and he and his wife Dawn married 47 years ago.

Part of Flemmer’s 35-year civil service career with the National Guard included a 2007 tour in Iraq stationed in Baghdad during “The Surge.”

“The first five months we were attacked pretty steady and when the surge hit they cleaned out a lot of the bad guys and suddenly, I know when I left, we had folks that didn’t know what an attack was because they weren’t attacking us anymore. I was a believer in the Surge,” he said.

On the homefront, Dawn was embarking on a battle of her own.

Dawn was diagnosed with breast cancer while Mark was in Iraq and he had to come home early to take care of her as the prognosis was not positive. 

“It was tough leaving your unit, leaving what you’re trained to do,” he said. “I had to come home and be Mr. Mom. She was the one that cooked for me and took care of me and here I am, me and Rachel Ray, 30-minute meals and we got tight. I didn’t know how to cook. Hopefully, she survived my cooking better than the cancer.”

Dawn was able to survive the diagnosis, treatment and Mark’s cooking and has been cancer-free since.

“I always say I met some tough guys in the military and she would be tougher than the rest of them for what she had to go through,” he said. “She fought through that and bless her she was able to survive all that. I didn’t realize at the time how personal cancer is. Everyone is different and responds to treatment differently. It’s pretty much a one-on-one thing.”

The Flemmers moved to Frazee in 2010 and Mark joined the Lion’s Club and got involved in the Community Club.

“From there it was just a natural progression,”  he said. “Serving my country for 35 years, maybe it’s time to serve my city a bit.”

Flemmer was eventually the president of the Lion’s Club and the Rescue Squad, before friends encouraged him to run for office.

As of Wednesday, Flemmer was also serving on the Parks & Recreation Committee and Finance Committee at the time of his retirement.

Vice Mayor Mike Sharp will be appointed and sworn-in as Mayor at the next council meeting Wednesday, June 26, at 5 p.m., in the Event Center. 

He will hold the office until the General Election in November and return to his council position after the election, if he chooses not to run for Mayor. The next elected Mayor of Frazee will complete Flemmer’s two-year term until December 2026.