Friday, May 14, 2021

New City Manager Excited About Marco

Marco Island City Manager Lee Niblock Photo by Steve Stefanides

Marco Island City Manager Lee Niblock Photo by Steve Stefanides

From the farmlands of Iowa to the warmer Florida climate of Pasco County, Lee Niblock has had an interesting journey during his life. His latest stop on his journey will be here on Marco Island as he assumes his duties as the community’s next city manager.

Niblock and his wife Connie will relocate to Marco Island from their home in Gainesville, Florida on December 4th when he begins his new position.

Niblock was brought up in Iowa. He and his wife (like many couples) were introduced to each other by joint friends. On November 5th they not only celebrated the new opportunity being offered to them on Marco Island, but their 40th wedding anniversary.

Another highlight of this year was the birth of their first grandchild to their daughter who lives in Sacramento, California with her husband.

Niblock has a deep respect for law enforcement. He initially served as a State Conservation Officer in Iowa prior to listening carefully to his wife, who had a desire to move back towards warmer weather, as she was originally from Florida and he was receptive to the idea.

Niblock’s first Florida employment came with Pasco County, where he worked for three years in their Parks and Recreation Department. He would rise to the position of Deputy Director before moving to Dunedin, Florida to head its Leisure Services Department, which gave him experience dealing with coastal issues.

After three years in Dunedin he became manager for the State of Florida’s DEP and its Division of Recreation and Parks for the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park in Key Biscayne. There he was involved in the restoring and re- building of the popular urban beach park, which hosts about one million visitors a year.

In 2003 he was hired as the Community Resource Bureau Chief, and in 2009 he was elevated to the position of county manager for Marion County, Florida. From there, in 2009 he would be hired as the Alachua County Manager where he remained until this fall.

At the November 6th Marco Island City Council meeting, the board finalized his contract making his job as Marco’s City Manager official.

“Both Connie and I are extremely excited to be offered this opportunity to work in such a wonderful community. Our experiences so far have been heartwarming to say the least. We had the opportunity to attend a wonderful fundraiser at the Christmas Island Style Casino Night and then the next day to join with so many wonderful folks at the Meals of Hope packaging event; it was very humbling and we both feel blessed,” said Niblock.

Although Niblock holds a doctorate in public administration, he prefers to simply be called Lee, and although he is an imposing figure, he speaks in a deliberate and soft tone with a welcoming personality.

He and Connie will be taking a Thanksgiving cruise where he intends relax a little and do some studying of materials so he might hit the ground running when he walks into his office on December 4th.

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