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The latest happenings in your city government.


PORTION OF NORTH GARY ROAD TO HAVE LANE CLOSURE

DUE TO WASTEWATER MAIN REPAIR

 

LAKELAND, FL (September 11, 2014) - North Gary Road between East Rose Street and East Magnolia Street will be closed to northbound traffic starting at 7 a.m. on Monday, September 15, 2014.  It is anticipated that the road will re-open by 5 p.m. on Friday, September 19, 2014.  This will be a continuous 24-hour a day lane closure.  Traffic will be detoured along East Rose Street to North Lake Parker Avenue to East Magnolia Street.  

 

The City of Lakeland Wastewater Department has discovered a break in a 10” gravity sanitary sewer main along the western side of North Gary Road, approximately 150 ft. north of East Rose Street.  

 

Although the main is 12 ft. off the edge of pavement in the right of way, City Wastewater crews will have a large excavation area due to the depth of the main (14’ deep).  For any questions or concerns, please contact Drew Adcock at 863-834-8277.

 

 


LONGABERGER GRIEVANCE DENIED

 

LAKELAND, FL (August 29, 2014) - The City of Lakeland just received the Arbitration Award from Barry J. Baroni regarding the termination of former Lakeland Police Department Sergeant Russell (Rusty) Longaberger.  The hearing was conducted on April 16, 2014 under the auspices of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.  The arbitrator denied the grievance outlined by Longaberger.  The report concluded that “It is the Arbitrator’s considered opinion that termination was the appropriate form of discipline and that there was just cause for the termination of Longaberger.”

 

Lakeland Interim Police Chief Larry Giddens said, “We support the decision made by the arbitrator in this case. The arbitration process was fair and objective and we support the conclusion drawn by the arbitrator.” Arbitrator Baroni concluded that in addition to the loss of community trust that there was consideration regarding the State Attorney’s “Death Letter” which removes a considerable amount of the grievant to continue functioning as a Police Officer within the Department.

 

City Manager Doug Thomas said, “The arbitration was a very involved process that started in April.  We are pleased that the arbitrator upheld the City’s disciplinary action and denied the grievance.  We are glad to close the disciplinary chapter in this matter and the City of Lakeland can continue to concentrate on moving forward.”

View Arbitration Award From Barry J. Baroni


Critical Mass, a gathering of bicyclists and skateboarders, will take place Friday at Munn Park in Lakeland.

It is the first of what are planned to be regular rides held the final Friday of each month. Critical Mass, which originated in San Francisco and has spread to cities throughout the world, brings attention to cycling and other forms of transportation as alternatives to driving.

Participants will gather at 5:30 p.m. and begin their ride at 6 p.m. Helmets are recommended. Maps of the ride route will be shared before the ride begins.
*copy courtesy of @theledger


Lakeland’s Fire Chief Gary Ballard is New First Vice President
for the Florida Fire Chiefs’ Association


On August 5, 2014 Chief Ballard was nominated and elected by his peers to become the First Vice President for the Florida Fire Chiefs’ Association (FFCA). Having served as the West Central Regional Director and the Second Vice President for the FFCA over the past two years, Chief Ballard has the skills and knowledge to continue to lead within the organization. This new role will allow him to share his 37+ years of experience in an expanded capacity with fire service leaders from all over Florida as First Vice President.

This professional platform will allow Chief Ballard to showcase the excellent emergency services that the Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) offers the people of Lakeland, as well as create additional networking opportunities that will add to the quality and scope of LFD’s services. It is also a wonderful opportunity to lend his leadership skills to help the fire service as a whole in Florida.

The FFCA is made up of fire and emergency professionals from all ranks representing all regions of Florida. The association’s mission is to promote and support excellence in fire & emergency services. The association does so by recognizing the fields best and brightest, offering scholarships, fundraising for charity, and providing professional development. With Chief Ballard in this new leadership position, he will undoubtedly continue to expand those efforts.

Congratulations and sincere thanks to Chief Ballard for increasing the City of Lakeland’s profile and presence throughout the state.