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Monday, October 18, 2021

Alachua County has a new CEO.

At least that’s how Betty Baker, the incoming county manager, views her new set of responsibilities.

She was selected Tuesday by the Alachua County Commission to fill a vacancy after a fruitless out-of-county search. Her primary responsibilities will include carrying out policies set forth by county administration and managing day-to-day operations.

Baker has worked for Alachua County for 11 years and most recently served as the deputy county manager. Before that, she worked in Ohio, where part of her job was conducting a government-produced talk show to connect with residents.

Baker said the new position may give her a platform to handle issues students care about, such as improving transportation. She hopes to revisit a county internship program that’s currently placed on hold due to budget constraints.

County Communications Coordinator Mark Sexton said Baker will bring many strengths to the position.

“She has the reputation of being fair,” he said. “Somebody who encourages innovation.”

Baker will serve until her retirement next year, while the county keeps searching for a more permanent county manager.

But for now, she said she’s happy to be at the center of Gainesville.

“I actually fell in love with the people in Alachua County,” she said. “Three years turned into 10 and also two promotions. It was meant to be, as they say.”

Contact Kelcee Griffis at kgriffis@alligator.org.

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