City News Blog


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

The Lakeland City Commission voted to increase the fuel charge for Lakeland Electric customers 15 cents per 1,000 kWh effective for meters read on or after June 30th.  The fuel charge increase was due to an 8% raise in the cost of natural gas since March 2011. The new fuel charge will be $50.65 per 1,000 kWh.  As of June 30th, Lakeland Electric residential customers will pay $110.17 for 1,000 kWh of electricity.

After listening to a staff presentation at the June 20, 2011 Utility Committee Meeting, the Lakeland Electric Utility Committee recommended to increase the current fuel charge.  The City Commission reconvened and approved the recommendation. 


Past                                Effective June 30, 2011

Base Rate        $  59.52                                   $  59.52

Fuel Charge    $  50.50                                   $  50.65

TOTAL:            $110.02                                   $110.17

With the increase in the fuel charge, Lakeland Electric rates remain at the 4th lowest out of the 37 utilities serving Florida residential customers and the 3rd lowest in Florida for large commercial customers. 

Lakeland Electric bills are broken out for customer convenience in detail to show the base charge, fuel charge and appropriate taxes and service charges.  The fuel charge on a utility bill is exactly that, the actual costs for fuel used to generate the amount of electricity used within your residence.  Most utilities subscribe to the same billing practice and break out the base rate and the fuel charge for their customers. There is no mark-up in fuel.  In fact, fuel is a straight pass-through to customers. 

Visit for more information and to see a residential rate comparison.

Assistant City Manager Stanley Hawthorne recently accepted a new position with the City of Fort Lauderdale as Assistant City Manager effective July 5, 2011.  Hawthorne joined the City of Lakeland team on January 17, 2005 as Assistant to the City Manager.

Hawthorne said, “I welcome this new opportunity and I look forward to the challenges that may lie ahead but it has been a great honor serving the Citizens of Lakeland.”  He added, “This past year has been exceptionally rewarding as we continued our strategic operation process, we implemented a new budgeting system, we concentrated on new public outreach initiatives and we focused on our organization’s most valued resource – our employees.  I am very glad to have been a part of these initiatives.”

Before coming to Lakeland, Hawthorne had a very illustrious career in municipal government that started in Saginaw Michigan where he worked for seven years, advancing to Assistant to City Manager. In 1992, he was able to return to his home state of Florida, accepting the position as Budget Director for Hollywood, Florida.  Since then, other opportunities have included Assistant City Manager and Director of Finance for Tamarac, City Manager for the City of Lauderdale Lakes, and as General Manager for the Sun ‘N Lake of Sebring Improvement District.

City Manager, Doug Thomas said, “We wish Stanley well in his new endeavor as Assistant City Manager in Fort Lauderdale and I will truly miss him as an integral member of my management team.”  Thomas added, “He led the Performance Excellence Division that focused on developing operating efficiencies and was tasked with aligning the City’s budget priorities with our Strategic Operating process.  Additionally, he played a key role on the City’s negotiation team for the inaugural collective bargaining agreement with the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA).  I am confident his skills will serve him well in his new position as part of the newly appointed municipal management team in Fort Lauderdale.”

Hawthorne is a native of Highlands County, born in Sebring and raised in Lake Placid.  He received his undergraduate degree at Troy State University in Alabama and he earned his Master of Arts degree in Public Administration from the University of Virginia.  He is a certified government financial manager and a graduate from the Senior Executive Institute at the Darden Business School.  Hawthorne has been active in the Government Finance Officers Association, National Forum for Black Public Administrators and the International City Management Association. 

Lakeland Electric has recently partnered with Culver Company in producing educational DVD’s that provide a solid curriculum support Florida’s Sunshine State Standards in the area of science for elementary students that are in second through the fifth grade. 

The Culver Company has over 30 years of experience working exclusively with utility public outreach and hundreds of utilities across North America partner with Culver Company to produce educational materials.

There are five video lessons that cover the following topics:

Electricity Basics: How does electricity get to my lights?

Conductors & Insulators: Why are power cords covered in plastic-like stuff?

Outdoor Electrical Safety: What’s up with kites near power lines?

Indoor Electrical Safety: Why can’t I put a fork in the toaster?

Fallen Power Lines: What if a power line falls on my car?

Jim Stanfield, General Manager for Lakeland Electric said, “Our partnership with the Polk County School Board is very important.  We have a strong commitment to education that is evident with our efforts at the Power Academy at Tenoroc High School.  We are pleased to spread our focus to include electrical safety in the elementary schools.”

On Tuesday, June 14th Lakeland Electric presented 100 DVD’s to the Polk County School Board to be used for elementary schools throughout the Lakeland Electric Service Territory.


Leah Lauderdale, Senior Director, Community Relations for Polk County Public Schools greeted Jim Stanfield, General Manager of Lakeland Electric in front of the Polk County School Board and accepted the DVD’s along with District 2 School Board Member Lori Cunningham.


Lauderdale said, “Our business partnerships are so vital and the important lessons introduced in the DVD’s parallel what our students are learning in the classroom.” 


A total of 46 elementary schools within the Lakeland Electric service territory will receive the DVD’s.








Juvenile gun violence is a growing national concern and our local law enforcement officers indicate that we are seeing an increase in violent crimes conducted by younger members of society.  Statistics prove that more and more juveniles are committing crimes including violent gun crimes.  This rise in juvenile crime corresponds with increased gang activity.

Last year, several anti-crime marches were held to raise awareness that something needs to be done.  This year’s focus is to develop strategies that are proven to work.  These strategies include but are not limited to empowering schools, churches, non-profits, parents, local government organizations and social agencies to stand united and work together to eliminate crimes committed by our youth. 

The Lakeland Police Department has joined with The Education & Enlightenment Group, Inc., Stand Up Speak Out Foundation, as well as several church and community organizations to sponsor a weekend of youth anti-crime activities in Lakeland.  The weekend activities include:

The Refuse 2 Lose Youth Summit: Thurs., June 23rd from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.

New Mt. Zion M. B. Church, 1321 N. Webster Avenue

The Refuse 2 Lose Summit will feature a myriad of workshops geared toward grades K-12th with a concentrated focus on teens.  These prevention and intervention workshops are designed to promote awareness and teach youth the consequences of their actions. The Keynote Speaker is Darrell Daniels, Executive Director of Derrick Brooks Charities. 

Enough is Enough Youth Anti-Crime Rally: Fri., June 24th from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.

The Freedom Center – 635 W. 5th Street

The program will include a march in the streets with highlights from community and City of Lakeland officials. Post-rally entertainment will include Sho Nuff Sounds, The Wilson Boyz, Leegit of 360 Entertainment Corporation, Crystal’s World of Dance, and Taken By Surprise Step Team. Also, youth organizations and Church youth groups will be asked to set up vendor booths to provide information about their programs. Prizes will be awarded to the youth groups that bring the largest delegation to participate in the rally.

The Stand Up Speak Out 3 on 3 Youth Basketball Tournament: Sat., June 25th from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Word Alive Ministries Vision Center - 1019 N. Tennessee Avenue

Crystal Brown founded the Stand Up Speak Out Foundation in honor of her father who was murdered almost two years ago.  She is the owner of Crystal’s World of Dance and she is a Juvenile Probation Officer.  This tournament will feature exhibits and speakers that will provide youth with information about the juvenile justice system and how it works.  The basketball tournament is designed to promote teamwork.

For more information, please contact Lynne Simpkins at or by phone 863/513-2712 and Deidra Joseph at or by phone 863/934-0786.