If you vote in person for the Jan. 15 City Commission election, chances are you’ll be going to a new location. In an effort to cut costs, city commissioners today reduced the number of polling places from 25 to 12 — and most of those will be on city property. More
Although most Lakelanders have little day-to-day contact with the city’s airport, officials say Lakeland Linder International Airport has a $284 million economic impact on the community, including being home to 45 businesses with 1,500 employees. More
Less than a year after he left office, Don Selvage is returning to the Lakeland City Commission for the next three months. The commission this morning chose him as interim commissioner to succeed Michael Dunn, who resigned from his Southwest District seat last week. Selvage represented that district for eight years prior to Dunn’s election last December. More
Michael Dunn’s resignation, effective immediately, means Gov. Scott won’t have to take steps to remove him from the Lakeland City Commission less than a year after being elected. City commissioners on Friday will discuss next steps on appointing a replacement and holding a subsequent special election. Also today, Dunn had a second appearance before a judge — this time accompanied by his lawyer. Bond is still denied after he was charged Friday with second-degree murder in the death of a shoplifter at his store.
A clash between the developer and residents of a gated community near Lakeland Linder Airport appears to be a straightforward case but it’s not: Morgan Creek Preserve homeowners want to stop Landstar Lakeland from moving a portion of a visually appealing stormwater retention pond to make room for eight houses. More
Highlights of tonight’s Lakeland City Commission budget hearing:
- Commissioners unanimously approved a $612 million 2019 budget as recommended by their staff.
- They granted a small reduction in the property tax rate. Compared with the current rate, the 2019 rate of 5.4644 mills will save property owners a dime for every $1,000 of taxable property, or a $10 saving for somebody paying taxes on a $100,000 property.
- No funding was approved — for now — for a proposed $195,000 initiative to reduce homelessness that was recommended by a 23-member steering committee and championed by Mayor Bill Mutz. The vote was 4-3, with Commissioners Justin Troller and Phillip Walker joining Mutz in support of the homelessness plan.
- Commissioners are supplementing the city general fund with a $300,000 “infusion” from a reserve of about $2.5 million collected through red light camera fines. Under projections used by the city Finance Department, that infusion will allow the city to show a 45-day cash reserve in the 2021 budget, a figure administrators say is needed to continue high scores from bond-rating agencies.
Voters will decide in November whether Florida should join 37 other states that allow people convicted of felonies to vote after they have served their sentences, an issue that the Lakeland City Commission decided by a 5-to-2 vote Monday not to take a stand on. More
When city commissioners changed their twice-a-month meeting time from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., they said they hoped the late-in-the-day start would encourage more citizen participation. With only two meetings held at the new time, it’s too early to draw any conclusions, but so far nobody has taken advantage of the public speaking time near the end of the meeting.
It didn’t help that the audience participation part of the meeting came at 4:37 p.m. today and 5:03 p.m. two weeks ago — inopportune times for somebody who wants to come to the meeting after a typical 9-to-5 work day. More