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Columbia County Observer

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Lake City News

Vince Akhimie, Engineer, Certified Public Manager, Utilities Expert, Chosen to be Asst. City Manager

Vince Akhimie
Vince Akhimie          Columbia County Observer photo

LAKE CITY, FL – In May, Lake City began searching far and wide for an Assistant City Manager; applicants applied from all over America. On August 19, Vince Akhimie, P.E., a person with over 25 years of senior local government management experience, accepted City Manager Joe Helfenberger's offer to become Lake City's Asst. City Manager.

Background

Vince Akhimie came to America from Nigeria as a young man, having left before coups rocked the country, throwing it into turmoil for 50 years.

For the young Akhimie, education was the key.

In 1966, Mr. Akhimie earned a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from the University of Washington and two years later he followed up with a master's in civil engineering.

While many people may have stopped there, Mr. Akhimie continued with his education at the University of Michigan School of Graduate Studies. By 1974, he had earned enough credits, majoring in public administration, planning, and civil engineering, to obtain a Ph.D.

Life got in the way and he never completed his dissertation.

In 2002, Mr. Akhimie earned a Certified Public Manager designation from FSU and in 2018 he earned a Lean Six Sigma White Belt Certification.

Work Experience

For over three decades Mr. Akhimie has been doing both highly involved engineering consulting and municipal management.

He has worked for cities and counties throughout Florida, such as Daytona, Miami Beach, Oviedo, Polk and DeSoto Counties.

In Bremerton, WA, Mr. Akhimie managed an annual budget of $63 mil, 156 employees including 22 engineers and an ongoing Capital Improvement Program of $107 mil.

His Florida experience includes managing budgets of over $100 mil, workforces of over 200 people and ongoing Capital Improvement Plans of up to $400 mil.

Mr. Akhimie's work experience has in good measure revolved around public works, including stormwater and public utilities.

Other

Mr. Akhimie has been involved in solving homelessness and regional planning.

Mr. Akhimie is an American Citizen.

In 1978, after serving for four years as the Director of Transportation for the nine county Kentucky-Indiana Regional Planning and Development Agency, Mr. Akhimie was awarded the commission of Kentucky Colonel, Kentucky's highest civilian honor by the governor and secretary of state.

The Kentucky Colonel commission is awarded in recognition of noteworthy accomplishments and outstanding service to the community, state, or nation.

Mr. Akhimie is married, has two children and two grandchildren. He says he enjoys tennis, golf, and participating in civic activities.

Mr. Akhimie told your reporter, "I'm looking forward to being a member of Joe Helfenberger's team. I believe my skills as an engineer, a certified public manager, and my financial management experience are what Lake City needs at the present time and moving forward."

City Manager Helfenberger told the Observer, "I'm excited to have a person of his skill level as my Assistant City Manager."

Epilogue

The hiring of Vince Akhimie officially begins a new management era in Lake City.

Lake City's City Manager and Assistant City Manager are highly experienced municipal managers with individual and unique leadership styles and backgrounds.

They are not Lake City/Columbia County insiders and for many folks, this is a refreshing change.

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