Former state Rep. Beverly Burnsed Spencer, who represented a Lakeland district, died Nov. 28 in Tallahassee. She was 78. She spent 35 years working for the state as a teacher, state legislator, assistant secretary of state and university vice president. More
The campaign finances of U.S. Rep. Ross Spano of Dover, whose district includes most of Lakeland, are apparently under criminal investigation by the Department of Justice. The House Ethics Committee said today it is deferring its own investigation at the request of the DOJ. A statement from Spano said he is cooperating with the investigation and that the probe was motivated by “the left.”
ALSO: Coverage by Politico
UPDATED 9:11 p.m. — Bill Read was re-elected to the Lakeland City Commission today, but it will take a Dec. 3 runoff to determine the victor in the other commission race on the ballot. Top vote-getters Chad McLeod and Carole Philipson face each other in a runoff because no candidate won a majority in their four-way contest. More
Kay Hagan, who represented North Carolina in the U.S. Senate from 2008 to 2014, died at age 66 after a three-year ordeal with encephalitis. The Roll Call article mentions her growing up in Lakeland, that her father, Joe P. Ruthven, was mayor, and that she had a Washington internship with her uncle, the late U.S. Sen. Lawton Chiles, also of Lakeland.
ALSO: Hagan’s family suffered a double tragedy. Her stepmother, Judy Ruthven, also died Monday, The Ledger reported.
The candidates running in the two contested City Commission races on the Nov. 5 ballot answered questions at a public forum sponsored by BRIDGE Local, a Lakeland small business networking organization. An interesting discussion takes place at about 53:00 when the candidates were asked to rank Lakeland on economic inclusion — providing a level playing field for all members of the community. Here’s video of the entire forum.
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.