The Alachua County Commission has voted to terminate County Manager Lee Niblock. Some of the reasons brought up by the commissioners were related to a lack of faith in the direction the county was going and employee morale under Niblock. Commissioner Chuck Chestnut made the motion to terminate Niblock during commission comments.
“I just think that we’re moving in the wrong direction. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to talk with the manager. He talked about some things, I followed up on those kind of things and still disappointed and at this point he has lost my confidence,” said Chestnut.
Commissioner Robert Hutchinson made a sub-motion to attempt to discuss some of the issues with the county manager but Niblock asked that Chestnut’s motion go forward.
“To have the comments made about a loss of confidence that’s a cancer for a manager, and do you try and fix that, no,” said Niblock. “One becomes two and two becomes three and three votes is all it takes. So I fully accept the action of the board.”
Niblock has been manager since November of 2014. He asked for half of his annual leave and to stay on until September 30 which is roughly three weeks longer than the originally recommended 30 days. He also asked that as he is one year away from his 65th birthday that he would like to be considered as a retiree for the employee health plan. The commissioners agreed to negotiate on those terms.
County Attorney Michele Lieberman was named as interim county manager and Sylvia Torres was named interim county attorney.