Dr. Lee A. Niblock
County Manager, Alachua County
When my wife Connie and I saw an opportunity to return to the place where she was born and raised, we were both very excited. Since then we have settled into what we hope is the last home we ever wish to purchase, and I was fortunate to be selected as your County Manager by the Alachua County Commission. We have quickly come to love and appreciate this community as we reconnect with long-time friends and make new ones.
We are so fortunate to live and work in Alachua County. It is such an extraordinary place. Our residents are highly engaged in their local governments. They are involved and informed. Our mission is to provide responsive service to citizens and responsible stewardship of county resources for current and future generations. As our slogan, “Where Nature and Culture Meet” suggests, our community is a perfect balance of natural and cultural excellence and diversity.
Through careful planning and citizen involvement, we have thousands of acres of land in conservation, as well as beautiful rivers and crystal clear springs. From Paynes Prairie State Park to the Hawthorne Trail to our numerous parks and conservation lands, our area is a nature lover’s paradise. We never take these treasures for granted and continually work to protect and improve our precious natural resources.
We are fortunate to have a vibrant arts and cultural community. We have a world-class theater, museums, dance and visual arts. From our teaching zoo to our botanical gardens to our planetarium, Alachua County has so many opportunities for citizens and visitors to be entertained and inspired. Construction has started on the new Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention, which will nurture and foster innovation in children from Alachua County and from all over the state.
We are home to the University of Florida, one of our nation’s preeminent universities, and Santa Fe College, recently voted America’s No. 1 community college. These institutions are two of the main economic engines of our community. From sporting events that bring us together to celebrate and root for our home team to an amazing variety of cultural and intellectually stimulating activities, UF and Santa Fe are an essential part of the fabric of Alachua County.
Alachua County is open for business, and business is good. New growth is visible everywhere. Because of the quality of life in Alachua County and the availability of a highly educated workforce, businesses of all kinds are locating here. Our metropolitan area has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state of Florida. We have great restaurants, and a lively nightclub and music scene. We are the premiere shopping and business hub of north central Florida. Our retail opportunities range from big city sophisticated to unique, quaint shops, galleries and antique stores in our historic small towns.
Life is great in Alachua County. It is my professional commitment to make the best decisions possible to ensure a sustainable future and create a great place for us all to call home.