Three new candidates for Lakeland City Commission share a desire to speak for citizens they say have been marginalized:
- Kathy Barsotti, the 58-year-old co-owner of Django and Friends Dixieland Emporium, wants to represent people who work and pay taxes but are never asked their opinion: “small businesses, artists, the creators in town, the people all through Dixieland and the lower elements of Lakeland.” She enters a four-way race for an at-large seat.
- Laurel Pullo, a 42-year-old who’s had a career as a manager and supervisor in the hospitality sector, is also running for the at-large seat. She said she wants to bring a blue-collar voice and also end red-light cameras, increase littering penalties, help fund schools and curb interferences on property rights.
- Pablo Sologaistoa, a 28-year-old with a background in social services and volunteerism, is the fourth candidate in the race for the southwest district seat. He wants to make sure north Lakeland residents have an equal voice and supports both the strong-mayor move and plans to test a South Florida Avenue “road diet.”