City commissioners are preparing for the 2019 fiscal year in a two-day planning retreat that ends today in the Hollingsworth Room of the RP Funding Center. (Agenda | Watch it live beginning at 8:15 a.m. | Download the staff presentations for Tuesday and today.)

Tuesday’s topics included the results of a citizen’s survey, efficiency, the local economy and downtown development. Today’s topics include quality of life, growth management and economic opportunity. Here are some of Tuesday’s highlights posted to social media:

City commissioners are about to hear about results of the annual citizen survey. 5,558 people completed the survey. pic.twitter.com/pvcnjn5H4b

— Lkld Now (@LkldNow) April 3, 2018

Here’s a look at the demographics. The 18-24 age group is under represented. So are African Americans. pic.twitter.com/JndD27I7EP

— Lkld Now (@LkldNow) April 3, 2018

A few key Community Values Survey results: pic.twitter.com/RIkrIbgXnr

— City of Lakeland (@lakelandgov) April 3, 2018

Key 2017 Lakeland Community Values Survey results (2): pic.twitter.com/l28V7oN54T

— City of Lakeland (@lakelandgov) April 3, 2018

Parks and rec: Appearance of facilities is by far the most valued aspect in the citizen survey. Least: quality of golf course. pic.twitter.com/VbuRviaY5L

— Lkld Now (@LkldNow) April 3, 2018

Citizen survey on cultural services: Library remains highest valued, but it’s down from previous years. RP Funding Center value was way down, but survey master Larry Ross says that may be an identity issue due to the new name of the former Lakeland Center. #lkld pic.twitter.com/xoMn5HVPsK

— Lkld Now (@LkldNow) April 3, 2018

Community survey: People who took the survey prefer increasing user fees over increasing general taxes and found decreasing service levels least favorable. #lkld pic.twitter.com/kyaiuOJhXh

— Lkld Now (@LkldNow) April 3, 2018

What are Lakeland’s best assets? Community survey respondents say safety is greatest asset, and good place to operate a business is least of five options. #lkld pic.twitter.com/paenAeJ8rA

— Lkld Now (@LkldNow) April 3, 2018

Do you get good value for the taxes you pay? 55 percent of those surveyed say they completely or mostly agree. That’s down 4 percentage points from last year after it rose for three years. #lkld pic.twitter.com/4YEuad13yl

— Lkld Now (@LkldNow) April 3, 2018

Services people said they want on the survey: Most common answer was events. Here’s a word cloud. #lkld pic.twitter.com/2QEu3q8pQR

— Lkld Now (@LkldNow) April 3, 2018

2018 Lakeland Community Values Survey Key Findings & Supporting Data: pic.twitter.com/3F5fNfUVPC

— City of Lakeland (@lakelandgov) April 3, 2018

Marsh Faux, Polk Cnty Property Appraiser gives the avg. single family residential market value at $145,826, avg. taxable value $84,967 and there are 23,842 single family homes in Lakeland. #lkld

— City of Lakeland (@lakelandgov) April 3, 2018

Marsha Faux’s spreadsheet that outlines impact of additional $25K in homestead exemption that citizens will vote on in Nov. #lkld pic.twitter.com/mR3yTJ6Vls

— City of Lakeland (@lakelandgov) April 3, 2018

A look at @LakelandDDA property tax revenues (from downtown business owners) over the last 10 years. Collections are getting close to the 2009 level. #lkld pic.twitter.com/QpTZyLgT5O

— Lkld Now (@LkldNow) April 3, 2018

Snapshot of downtown uses from @LakelandDDA Director Julie Townsend. She notes the gain in retail since 2014 is six, not eight. Bars will be the same number as 2014 when Revival opens this year, she says. #lkld #downtownlkld pic.twitter.com/uqDULa6joB

— Lkld Now (@LkldNow) April 3, 2018

@LakelandDDA asking the city for help with:
✓ 2nd floor redevelopment
✓ support of code enforcement
✓ consistent police coverage
✓ identify city-owned properties for development. #lkld pic.twitter.com/nK1tcbhWW6

— Lkld Now (@LkldNow) April 3, 2018

Jason Willey, City of Lakeland Business Development Manager provides an Economic Development Update. First, Lakeland’s population: pic.twitter.com/OdjElZw2vp

— City of Lakeland (@lakelandgov) April 3, 2018

In case you had any doubt Lakeland is a college town… #lkld pic.twitter.com/Jq2lNoNslL

— Lkld Now (@LkldNow) April 3, 2018

Population growth: Largest percentage gain is in mature workers (35-64) and largest number growth is 18-34, city business development manager Jason Willey notes. #lkld pic.twitter.com/8RKMXvu4F7

— Lkld Now (@LkldNow) April 3, 2018

Workforce Development: Lakeland’s average unemployment rate by year & month (2017): pic.twitter.com/A1rIJRPvrk

— City of Lakeland (@lakelandgov) April 3, 2018

Residential housing & construction in Lakeland: pic.twitter.com/RseUrxvsv9

— City of Lakeland (@lakelandgov) April 3, 2018

Projects permitted in Lakeland last year were valued at about $300 million, Jason Willey notes. #lkld pic.twitter.com/r8knhxQdHN

— Lkld Now (@LkldNow) April 3, 2018

Dr. Larry Ross presents the results of the @LakelandVision 2018 Age-Friendly Lakeland Stakeholder Survey: pic.twitter.com/Y3ffoh7oIG

— City of Lakeland (@lakelandgov) April 3, 2018

Lakeland Vision conducted an AARP survey on #lkld seniors. Dr. Larry Ross of @FLSouthern is going over results at the city strategic planning session. More than 600 participated. Ross notes it’s not a representative sample. #lkld pic.twitter.com/9ahUPDhSjJ

— Lkld Now (@LkldNow) April 3, 2018

Survey results shows seniors think public transportation is important but not sure what is available, Ross says. #lkld pic.twitter.com/Y51OjjbwAS

— Lkld Now (@LkldNow) April 3, 2018

Discussing Aging Community and age independence. The Rath Center provides seniors 50+ with education, resources, services, advocacy and leadership, enabling them to age with independence and dignity. #lkld

— City of Lakeland (@lakelandgov) April 3, 2018

Age Friendly Lakeland wants to partner with the Rath Senior Connection to create a hub for senior services in #lkld, Lakeland Vision board member Liz Craven says. pic.twitter.com/Y16bsHm9sI

— Lkld Now (@LkldNow) April 3, 2018

Age-Friendly Lakeland requests $20K from the City of Lakeland in order to continue work during the next fiscal year. #LKLD

— City of Lakeland (@lakelandgov) April 3, 2018

Learn more about The Rath Center at https://t.co/hKG40rTKqw. (Page 131 – https://t.co/uPE2JUhFiZ) #LKLD #agefriendly @LakelandVision

— City of Lakeland (@lakelandgov) April 3, 2018

Lakeland Economic Development Council working to identify prime downtown sites for new development. Slide presented by Steve Scruggs shows some possibilities. #lkld pic.twitter.com/wxBdrE1oQZ

— Lkld Now (@LkldNow) April 3, 2018

Steve Scruggs, President, Lakeland Economic Development Council (LEDC) shares Development and Potential Development sites throughout Downtown Lakeland. (Slides start at page 135: https://t.co/uPE2JUhFiZ) #LKLD pic.twitter.com/pKcaDPUI90

— City of Lakeland (@lakelandgov) April 3, 2018

✓ See Scruggs’ full slideshow here

✓ Read The Ledger’s coverage of Scruggs’ report.

City of Lakeland budget staff is making certain assumptions as it plans the fiscal 2019 budget:
✓ 6.1% property value growth
✓ 1.25% operating expense growth
✓ Raises of 1.5% across the board and 2.5% for merit
✓ 6% maximum hike in health care costs. #lkld pic.twitter.com/vGJfS0Zgx7

— Lkld Now (@LkldNow) April 3, 2018

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Barry Friedman founded Lkldnow.com in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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