City Commission candidates Jiwa Farrell and incumbent Bill Read answered questions today in a forum sponsored by the Lakeland Kiwanis Club. Both are seeking the Northeast District seat on the seven-member, nonpartisan board. (The four candidates for the at-large seat on the Nov. 5 ballot faced off at the same club two weeks ago.) Here is a video of today’s forum, along with a presentation afterward by Lakeland Electric General Manager Joel Ivy:
The six candidates for Lakeland City Commission in the Nov. 5 election answered questions during a forum at today’s meeting of The Lakeland Rotary Club. The forum was moderated by Jack Lowman of Avon Leasing, a former president of the club. Topics included, in order:
- Whether the city should launch a broadband utility.
- Summit Consulting’s proposed eight-story office building and garage on the western shore of Lake Mirror.
- A planned “road diet” to reduce Florida Avenue from five lanes to three in Dixieland.
- Funding for homelessness programs.
- The city’s role in solving employment barriers: transportation, child care, affordable housing.
- Forgiving increases in Lakeland Regional Health’s lease payments to the city.
- Methods to make Lakeland more attractive to young professionals.
When Justin Troller leaves the City Commission at the end of the year, it’s unlikely his replacement will have the same zeal for a city broadband utility that he has. At a forum today, three of the four candidates running for the at-large seat he is vacating shied away from getting the city into the Internet business; a fourth said he is willing to look into it. The article continues after the video of the fourm:More
Phillip Walker was re-elected to the Lakeland City Commission today since he did not receive opposition for his northwest Lakeland seat by noon, the end of the period to qualify for office.
In an unexpected move, former School Board member and County Commissioner Randy Wilkinson entered a five-way race for an open City Commission seat. And in the other contested race, incumbent Bill Read picked up an opponent, Jiwa Farrell. More
Candidates for City Commission agreed far more than they disagreed at a forum today hosted by the Republican Club of Lakeland. The issue that brought the sharpest differences was whether the current commission was correct in giving Lakeland Regional Health a five-year break on increases in lease payments to the city. More on that after video of the forum; skip ahead to the 16:15 mark to hear candidate statements:More
Democrat Alan Cohn of New Tampa is making another run for the Congressional seat that represents most of Lakeland. Cohn, a former TV reporter and news anchor, announced today he is seeking to replace first-term Republican Rep. Ross Spano of Dover. More
The political arm of the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce has endorsed Bill Read in his bid for re-election to the Northeast seat on the Lakeland City Commission. For now, he has one opponent — patient advocate Jiwa Farrell — although qualifying for office doesn’t close until Sept. 20. More
U.S. Rep. Ross Spano, whose district includes most of Lakeland, told WFLA-TV’s “Politics on Your Side” he doesn’t believe climate change can be traced to “manmade activity.” He said, “What I’ve seen so far doesn’t prove to me that man has had the influence that some people [have] said it has had.”
Adam Hattersley, a Navy veteran and 41-year-old Democrat who flipped a previously GOP Florida House district last year as a political newcomer, announced today he is running to challenge Republican Ross Spano for the Congressional seat that represents most of Lakeland. “National Democratic organizations see a rising star in Hattersley,” a Riverview resident, The Tampa Bay Times reported.
MORE COVERAGE: Florida Politics | The Ledger
CANDIDATE FEE: Reporter Sara-Megan Walsh reveals a detail about the proposed changes to the City Charter that’s gotten little notice before: The filing fee to run for City Commission or mayor would increase from $25 to $250. The old fee was set 30 or 40 years ago and the higher one better reflects the city’s administrative costs, City Attorney Tim McCausland says. The proposed changes go to the voters in November.