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City of Lakeland
City of Lakeland
City of Lakeland's Blog

TONY KIRK WITHDRAWS APPLICATION AS ASSISTANT CHIEF WITH THE LAKELAND POLICE DEPARTMENT

There will be a press conference at the Lakeland Police Department (219 N. Massachusetts Avenue) in room 3A at 3 p.m

LAKELAND, FL (February 27, 2015) - The City is disappointed to inform the community that Tony Kirk has withdrawn his application as Assistant Chief of the Lakeland Police Department. Kirk was scheduled to start on Monday, March 2nd. Kirk communicated with Chief Giddens earlier this morning that he was withdrawing his application for Assistant Chief of Police effective at 10 a.m. on Friday, February 27th.

Background investigations for police officers are rigorous and Kirk went through a thorough background check for the Assistant Chief position. It was only during the final stages of the new hire process when inconsistencies involving Kirks’s application arose. Kirk explained that he inadvertently indicated that he had never tried marijuana on his internal new hire paperwork, however during the polygraph process he admitted to trying marijuana when he was 20 years old. The use of marijuana so many years ago would not prevent employment with the Lakeland Police Department. However the inconsistencies between the new hire forms and his later admissions regarding marijuana use triggered concerns.

City Manager Doug Thomas said, “This is a very unfortunate incident and we were looking very forward to Kirk joining our team but our law enforcement personnel are held to a high standard and as insignificant as it may sound, inaccuracies between his application and the polygraph process automatically disqualifies a candidate to move forward.” He added, “I wish we weren’t in this situation and I’m truly saddened for Tony and his family under the circumstances that we now find ourselves in.”

Larry Giddens, Chief of Police said, “I’m deeply disappointed that we came so far and this is an unfortunate conclusion to what I thought was going to be a very good addition to our team at the Lakeland Police Department.” He added, “The Lakeland Police Department is full of honorable men and women and we will continue to move forward in making this Department the very best it can be.”

 


BOTANICAL PLANT SHOW AND SALE AT HOLLIS GARDEN

TROPIFLORA PRESENTS PLANTAE EXOTICUS


LAKELAND, FL (February 26, 2015) - The City of Lakeland's Parks & Recreation department and Tropiflora will host an exotic botanical plant show and sale on Saturday, February 28th in Hollis Garden. The event will take place between 10:00AM and 4:00PM and is open to the public. Visitors will have the opportunity to purchase a variety of plants such as Bromeliads, Succulents, Hoyas, Ferns and Tillandsia air plants.

 

Tropiflora is among the top producers in the world of collector-grade Bromeliads, Succulents and exotic tropical plants. Based out of Sarasota, Florida, the nursery grows over 7,000 different plant items and has been in business for over 35 years. "We are very fortunate to partner with Tropiflora in offering this great opportunity to the citizens of Lakeland" said Stacy Smith, primary caretaker for Hollis Garden. "Guests will see some of their favorite plants and hopefully discover new and exciting species."

 

Tropiflora will accept cash, credit or checks for payment. A portion of the proceeds from the sale will go into a perpetual care fund for the maintenance of Hollis Garden.

 


LAKE MORTON SHORELINE IMPROVEMENTS

STABILIZATION PROJECT WILL INCLUDE AQUATIC PLANTS AND UPLAND PLANT SPECIES


LAKELAND, FL (February 26, 2015) - The City of Lakeland will soon be planting aquatic plants as well as grasses and shrubs along an area of shoreline on Lake Morton as part of A long-term shoreline stabilization plan.  Curtis Porterfield, Manager of the Lakes & Stormwater Division said, “There is a 150 ft. section of shoreline on the north end of the lake, across from the Chamber of Commerce, in need of immediate repair and this is the area where visitors will see us working.” 

 

Similar to prior aquatic planting efforts of the City, a low-profile fence will be erected on Monday, March 9th so newly planted aquatic vegetation can get established.  The green vinyl chain-link fence will be up for approximately one year.  Porterfield said, “Because of the abundance of waterfowl on Lake Morton, the pressure on new plants is extremely high.  For this reason, a perimeter fence is needed to ensure successful plant growth.”

 

Native aquatic and upland species of plants will be used as a natural shoreline stabilizer very similar to other areas around Lake Morton that have already been established.   A portion of the geofabric that is in place now will be removed so visitors around Lake Morton may see a piece of heavy equipment in the area for a few hours before the fence is installed.

 

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SLIDE THE CITY EVENT POSTPONED
April 18th event to be rescheduled

Unfortunately the Slide the City event coordinator has notified City staff that the planned April 18th event in Lakeland will need to be rescheduled. City Staff is currently working with the promoter to secure a new date in May. As soon as we have the details we will post the information. If you have already purchased tickets you will be receiving and email from Slide the City with instructions on how to use your existing tickets for the new date or receive a refund.

We apologize for the inconvenience and will post the new date as soon as possible.