There’s been a head of steam building behind an effort to change Lakeland’s form of government to a strong mayor system. Under that system, used in cities such as Tampa and Orlando, the mayor controls administrative departments rather than an appointed city manager.
Bay News 9 looks at the issue today. Current Mayor Howard Wiggs, whose main duties are chairing the City Commission and representing the city at ceremonial functions, favors the change. Prominent business leader Bill Mutz opposes it, saying the city manager system has served the city well and protected residents from knee-jerk political decisions.
City commissioners will decide in coming months whether to put the issue before city voters.