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The latest happenings in your city government.


MAYOR'S NIGHT IN -- ONE-ON-ONE WITH THE MAYOR

MAYOR'S NIGHT IN
ONE-ON-ONE WITH THE MAYOR

 

LAKELAND, FL (March 7, 2014) -- Mayor Wiggs invites Lakeland residents to participate in a new communications program that allows them to spend face-to-face time with the Mayor.  Residents can talk to the Mayor about any issue and depending upon the number of attendees, the one-on-one chats will last either 5 or 10 minutes.  Mayor Wiggs said, “The one-on-one meetings will allow me to better understand the views of our residents and to hear their concerns first hand. I am looking forward to meeting Lakeland residents and share ideas as we continue to move forward."

Scheduling is on a first come, first served basis.  The meetings will take place at City Hall in the Mayor’s Office on the 1st Monday of each month from 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.  City Hall is located at 228 S. Massachusetts Avenue, Lakeland, FL 33801. Dates for the Mayor’s evening hours are as follows:

·      April 7, 2014

·      May 5, 2014

·      June 2, 2014

·      July 7, 2014

·      August 4, 2014

·      September 2, 2014

·      October 6, 2014

·      November 3, 2014

·      December 1, 2014

For those interested in participating, please contact the Mayor's Office at 863/834-6005 to schedule time with Mayor Wiggs during his evening office hours. To assist in scheduling and preparation, residents will be asked to provide information about the subjects they wish to discuss with the Mayor.  For more information regarding City of Lakeland services, events and programs, go to www.lakelandgov.net.

 

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MAYOR WIGGS ESTABLISHES SEVEN NEW TASK FORCES - HE INVITES CITIZENS TO JOIN

MAYOR WIGGS ESTABLISHES SEVEN NEW TASK FORCES

HE INVITES CITIZENS TO JOIN

 

LAKELAND, FL (February 25, 2014) - Mayor Howard Wiggs invites you to become involved with the City of Lakeland by volunteering on one of the seven newly established task forces that have been created to help make Lakeland a better place to live, work and play.  A brief description of each task force is listed below.  Those interested in serving on a Task Force must be a customer of Lakeland Electric.  An easy to use form is on-line at http://www.lakelandgov.net/CityGovernment/MayorsTaskForces.aspx

 

AGING/QUALITY OF LIFE TASK FORCE - The Task Force will serve as a forum to share information and to promote inter-agency understanding.  The group will work together as advocates, educators and legislative activists to address the issues of older adults.

 

ARTS AND CULTURE EVALUATION TASK FORCE - This Task Force will review funding needs to help support arts and cultural programs. There is a great interest in this area and in improving the coordination of the arts in Lakeland and clearly has budgetary implications that will need to be addressed both short and long term.  

 

BUSINESS EVALUATION TASK FORCE - The Task Force will review City regulations and ordinances; they will evaluate processes for permitting and inspections; they will discuss the possible creation of a small business Small Business Liaison and how that position would be used.  The group will discuss what changes might be needed to improve Lakeland’s business friendly environment. 

CODE REVIEW TASK FORCE - This Task Force will undertake a comprehensive review of the City’s Code of Ordinances.  The group will identify and address outdated codes that may no longer be relevant to our community and organization.   

GANG TASK FORCE - This Task Force will explore how our community can respond to the negative impacts of gang-related activities. This group will work with outreach programs and representatives from law enforcement, Community Development and Parks & Recreation Department, the Polk County School Board, faith-based organizations and other community/neighborhood associations.  The group will discuss the current state of affairs and outline a comprehensive strategy in response to the destructive nature of gangs and their related violence to help protect the future of our youth.

NEIGHBORHOOD IMPROVEMENT TASK FORCE - This Task Force will discuss how the needs of the City’s neighborhoods can be better addressed.  The team will evaluate how Code Enforcement may be more effective in the neighborhoods.  The group will make recommendations as to how the Neighborhood Association Coalition might operate more effectively and if the structure should be modified.  There will be a focus on citizen engagement and ways to improve our neighborhoods.  

SOCIAL MEDIA TASK FORCE - The Task Force will evaluate social media effectiveness to determine ways in which the City of Lakeland might improve current social media programs to enhance citizen engagement.  The group will provide recommendations on social media tools and strategies, assist emerging City agencies on social media, evaluate new social media platforms and update social media guidelines and policies.

For more information regarding the City of Lakeland, please visit our website at www.lakelandgov.net.

 


NEW CITY COMMISSION AND MAYOR SWEARING IN CEREMONY

NEW CITY COMMISSION AND MAYOR SWEARING IN CEREMONY

January 6th at The Lakeland Center

LAKELAND, FL (December 31, 2013) - The City of Lakeland will be hosting a ceremonial Mayor Inauguration and Swearing In Ceremony on Monday, January 6th at 7:45 a.m. at The Lakeland Center’s Hollingsworth Ballroom (701 West Lime Street).  The morning will start with a meet and greet followed by an invocation from Pastor David McEntire at 8:15 a.m.  City of Lakeland Mayor Howard Wiggs will be sworn in as well as Commissioners Don Selvage, Edie Yates and Jim Malless.

Immediately following the ceremony, the regularly scheduled City Commission meeting will take place from the Hollingsworth Ballroom and not City Hall. 


Swearing In Ceremony Agenda

7:45 a.m.       Welcome Reception

8:15 a.m.       Invocation - Pastor David McEntire

                        Presentation of Colors - Lakeland Police Department

                        Welcoming Remarks

                        Song- Brock Family Singers

                        Swearing In Ceremony

                        Song- Brock Family Singers

8:50 a.m.        Adjourn

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Lakeland City Manager Doug Thomas Response to Media

Lakeland City Manager Doug Thomas

Response to Media

 

As reported in at least one media outlet, I did speak with Commissioner Wiggs yesterday afternoon.  We have worked together for 10 years and I am obviously disappointed by his statement.  I have carefully followed the plan of action that was publicly outlined at the July 22nd Town Hall meeting including working closely with the Commission endorsed Lakeland Police Advisory Commission (LPAC) as we address the issues facing the Lakeland Police Department. Howard is a respected member of the Lakeland City Commission but as City Manager, I work for the Mayor and City Commission as a whole and therefore understand that different opinions regarding my management of the City are inevitable, especially during the stressful times we are experiencing.

 

I believe I have been responsive to what the City Commission has asked me to do. As requested at the June 28th Agenda Study Session, I had Police Chief Womack meet with the City Commission on July 1st to speak about the actions she and the command staff were taking in response to the issues facing the LPD.  Further, during my comments at the July 22nd Town Hall Meeting, I outlined the specifics of a plan to ensure our investigations followed all required state laws, collective bargaining agreement provisions and due process and to issue appropriate levels of discipline based upon the results of those investigations.

 

I promised and have delivered upon my commitment to keep both the City Commission and the public informed as to results of the various investigations as they were completed, which have included advance notice to City Commissioners followed by public media releases, press conferences and posting on the City’s special LPD microsite.  Recognizing the importance of transparency in response to these issues, this same microsite also includes a robust listing of virtually every piece of information that has been generated throughout our efforts and has become a widely accessed and trusted source of information by our community, our employees and the news media. 

 

I also pledged the support of both myself and the entire municipal organization to work with and promptly respond to any information or request by the Commission endorsed LPAC as they carried out their mission and charge to address the following:

1.      Do we – the City of Lakeland and the LPD – have the appropriate processes in place to address the challenges we are confronting today?

2.      What can be done to improve a speak-up culture within the LPD and City Hall?

3.      What can be done to improve a culture in which citizens can know their complaints will be heard, fairly evaluated and acted upon promptly?

4.      What measurements can we set in place to fairly judge our success?

The LPAC was asked to provide an update to the City Commission within 30 days of their first meeting which was done on September 3rd and complete their final report within 60 to 90 days.  They are on schedule and are planning to present their findings and recommendations at the October 21, 2013 City Commission meeting.

Lastly, in addition to my commitment to work with the LPAC, I stated as City Manager that I would simultaneously be developing a specific plan of action that will address what we learned from our investigations; why our established policies and procedures failed; and outline a framework of initiatives that I and the LPD administration will be implementing to prevent such matters from occurring in the future.  In our September 11thpresentation to the LPAC, Chief Womack and I highlighted our accountability for our respective operations, the status of our investigations, disciplinary actions taken, current responses to issues and most importantly, a comprehensive blueprint of the steps and programs we believe will be required going forward.

 

At a Lakeland Chamber of Commerce function that very same evening, I encouraged Commissioner Wiggs to watch the presentation on the LPD microsite as several of his colleagues had attended the meeting and were very complementary of the information provided.  I was surprised to learn during yesterday’s conversation that he has not yet watched the video presentation.  That presentation was intended to serve as the basis of my final report and recommendations to the City Commission on October 21st following their receipt of the LPAC report.

 

My job as City Manager is to professionally lead and oversee the operations of this organization and I will continue to do so to the best of my abilities during these trying times.  I have carried out exactly what I committed to do dating back to the July 22nd Town Hall meeting. I reaffirmed that same path of action with the consent of the City Commission at their August 5th meeting and we are within weeks of completing that process.  The City of Lakeland has accomplished tremendous success during my tenure as City Manager through a productive and collaborative relationship with the City Commission, and I am confident that this foundation will enable us to successfully resolve our current challenges as well.