City News Blog


The latest happenings in your city government.

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

At the Tuesday, December  5th Lakeland City Commission meeting  Beautification Awards were presented to : Wells Fargo Bank, 2150 Edgewood Drive and Timothy Roundtree, 614 Brunnell Parkway.

Employee service awards were presented for 10 years, to Cory Bowling, Douglas Brown Jr. Jeremiah Chaparro, Palmer Davis, Joshua Goddard, Tiffany Stilwell, Gina  Wallace, Monica Yzaguirre, Christina Camp,  Michael Collins, Kathy Davis, Lawrence Griffin, Adria Holmes, Mary Jane Spetman, Sandra Winek.

John Zuercher was recognized for 20 years of service .  Jacqueline Hayes and Denise Steele were recognized for 25 years and Jerry Knowles for 30 years.

A modification to lease agreement with Blue Marlin Solutions LLC at the airport to allow for Earhart’s restaurant to service customers in the departure area was approved.

The amendment to the lease and transfer agreement with Lakeland Regional Medical Center was approved.

John Leenhouts, Rick Garcia and Regino Medina were appointed to the Airport Advisory Board.

Tom Waller and Kristin LaMonte were appointed to the Dixieland Community Redevelopment Area Board.

Jeffrey Stearns was appointed to the Employees’ Pension Board.

Naomi Tillett was appointed to the Nuisance Abatement Board.

Lynn Schindler was appointed to the Zoning Board of Adjustments & Appeals.

Sylvia Blackmon-Roberts was appointed to the Civil Service Board.

An ordinance Authorizing the Issuance of the City’s Water and Wastewater Revenue Refunding and Improvement Bonds, in an amounts Not Exceeding $54,000,000 and $12,000,000 was approved.

$22,551.19 in lot clearing liens were approved .

An agreement between the Lakeland Community Redevelopment Agency and the Lakeland Downtown Development Authority for Fiscal Year 2012 Services was approved.

This agreement provides for management and maintenance of the Downtown container gardens program, and downtown way finding signage.

CRA Medical District Conceptual Planning by AECom  priced at $49,500.00 and estimated to take three (3) months to complete was approved.

An agreement with West Lake Management, LLC for management of Lincoln Square Apartments was approved.

A task authorization with the project engineer, Amherst Consulting, under the current City of Lakeland Continuing Contract for Airport Engineering to complete the Environmental Assessment for the not-to-exceed fee of $82,500 in reference to the Instrument Landing System was approved.

A task authorization in the amount of $62,350 related to the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport taxiway, apron, and pond project was approved.

Public hearings were announced for the December 19th City Commission meeting reference the Capital Improvements Element of the Lakeland Comprehensive Plan, Conditional Use for a low turnover restaurant on property located at 1037 Dixieland Mall Lane, The City of Lakeland Employees Pension Plan and inclusion of certain lands located within the City of Lakeland within the boundaries of the Lakeland Area Mass Transit District.

The award of a bid to QGS Development, Inc. for the Edgewood Drive extension project construction services was approved.

Task Authorization with Cardno TBE for construction engineering inspection services Edgewood Drive extension project was approved.

A one and one-half percent (1.5%) across the board raise for all regular non-union employees was approved.

In final action an agreement with Centurion, Inc. for a call center integrated voice response system purchase and extended maintenance agreement was approved. This will allow Lakeland Electric Customers to have a more integrated customer service phone experience that will include additional payment and service options through the phone.



Santa's Calling

Tuesday, December 6th - Deadline for forms is Monday, December 5th
Special arrangements have been made this year for Santa to phone local children from his workshop. Santa and his long distance operators will be calling elementary school children on Tuesday, December 6th from 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm. To ensure your child doesn’t miss out on this exciting opportunity you must complete a Santa’s Calling form. Forms can be obtained online or picked up at any of the following facilities:

  • Kelly Recreation Complex - 404 Imperial Blvd
  • Simpson Park - 1725 MLK Jr. Ave
  • City Hall located - 228 S Massachusetts ave

All forms must be submitted by Monday, December 5th.

As you see, the City of Lakeland has plenty of fun holiday events for you season. And, from all of us at the City of Lakeland we want to wish you a Happy and Safe Holiday Season.

The holidays are here and the City of Lakeland proud to sponsor many fun activities for you and your family throughout the month of December.

Annual Holiday Walkabout

Tuesday, November 29th - Downtown Lakeland
This annual event in Downtown Lakeland celebrates the holidays with shopping, dining, music, horse-drawn wagon rides and more! Holiday music from many area schools and churches create a festive atmosphere. And don’t forget shopping!  If you want a gift that doesn’t say I was mass produced in a department store, then shopping in Downtown Lakeland is for you.  Stores and restaurants will be open from 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm.

Free parking will be available at the main street garage. The public parking entrance is located on Cedar St. The Bay Street entrance is also open and can be accessed from Tennessee Ave.

31st Annual Christmas Parade

If you missed the parade or want to watch it again we will be replaying the full event at the following times:  

Saturday, December 3rd at 11:00am

Sunday, December 4th at 6:00pm

Tuesday, December 6th at 11:00am

Friday, December 9th at 7:00pm

Sunday, December 11th at  9:00am

On Thursday, December 1st the 31st Annual Christmas Parade will kick off at 7:00 pm with a fantastic fireworks display over Lake Mirror. The theme of this year’s parade - All I want for Christmas Is...  Over 100 organizations will be participating in this year’s event. The parade will leave the Lakeland center and make its way down Lemon Street twisting and turning through Downtown Lakeland. Streets along the parade route will begin closing at 5:30 pm. Additional parking will be available after 5:00 pm in the Downtown parking garages and parking lots. So get your seat early and keep and keep an eye out for the Big guy at the end.  View Parade Map 



Saturday December 3rd - Lake Mirror Promenade
Snow will fall in Lakeland as the 31st Annual Snowfest kicks off at Lake Mirror from 10am – 2 pm. This year’s event will feature the traditional snow mountain along with an exciting snow slide, a visit from Santa Claus, children’s entertainment, inflatables and food vendors will complete the day. Price for admission to snow mountain or the snow slide will be a canned food item or a $1.00 donation. Admission to the inflatables will be $1.00 All canned food items will be donated to the Polk county Senior Orphans Charity.



LAKELAND, FL (November 21, 2011) --  Although it was previously reported that Lakeland Electric General Manager Jim Stanfield was originally planning to retire on December 31, 2011, he has accepted a request by Lakeland City Manager Doug Thomas to remain at the helm of the utility through March 31, 2012. 

Thomas said, “I have asked Jim to consider a slight delay in his original retirement plans to assist the utility complete a few remaining issues that were delayed due to the additional time involved with the utility’s recent rate case.”  He added, “Jim’s leadership and tenure with the electric utility will be invaluable as Lakeland Electric finalizes a number of key initiatives, including the completion of the utility’s updated integrated Resource Plan (IRP).”  The IRP is a a comprehensive decision support tool that outlines the most efficient way to meet customer’s electricity needs while addressing the substantial risks and uncertainties inherent in the electric utility business.

Stanfield will also be overseeing the finalization of the smart meter installation process and the staffing needs associated with supporting smart grid technology.   Stanfield said, “I am pleased to assist with the completion of some matters initiated by this team and help Doug finalize a few remaining utility projects  before I end my tenure here.”  Stanfield has been General Manager of Lakeland Electric since 2003. He enrolled in the City’s Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) on March 18, 2011 and is fully able to retain regular full time employment with the City through March 18, 2016. 

Prior to this appointment as General Manager, he served as Director of Legislative, Regulatory and Environmental Affairs for Lakeland Electric.  While General Manager at Lakeland Electric, he has managed to cut $11 million per year in O&M costs.  Before assuming his job at Lakeland Electric, Stanfield held several positions during his 22-year career at Florida Power Corp., including that of Public Service Commission Liaison and Senior Counsel for the utility.  He was the former chair of the Public Utilities Law Committee of the Florida Bar Association and also worked for the City of Gainesville and the Salt River Project in Arizona before joining Florida Power. 

Stanfield has been active on the boards at the Florida Municipal Electric Association, Florida Municipal Power Pool, the Florida Municipal Power Agency and the ERO for Florida, the Florida Reliability Coordinating Council.  He received the James D. Donovan Individual Achievement Award from the American Public Power Association in 2011.

Lakeland Electric is a full service power provider with over 600 full-time employees and it was one of the first electric utilities in the state of Florida.  Serving over 120,000 customers, it is the third largest public power provider in Florida generating over 1,100-megawatts and operating 2000 miles of transmission and distribution facilities.  Lakeland Electric owns and operates one of the most efficient combined cycle gas units in the United States and has been on the forefront of emerging renewable energy sources.  It was one of the first utilities in the country to offer customers a solar hot water heater program over 20 years ago.  The utility continues a push to the future with a recent large platform roof-top solar project and it will soon be introducing a 5.5-megawatt, 40-acre solar farm into the generation mix as part of its commitment to renewable energy.


LAKELAND, FL- Ultimate Indoor Football League (UIFL) Lakeland Raiders are pleased to be announcing a second try out. ”We want to out the best team possible on the field to display the best entertainment possible to our fans.” Owner Michael Mink is very excited about the core of his “Raider Battalion” and can't wait to add more talent to his roster.

The Raiders have began ticket sales and floor box sales along with advertising for companies and sponsorships. Michael said “Lakeland has welcomed us and we are very happy to be here. I did not think I would have this much support from the city when I originally planned this but I am glad I have the help and encouragement to succeed by The Lakeland Center and the city of Lakeland.” The Raiders still have many roster spots to fill and look forward to their open tryouts to do so. The team’s operations manager, Feddy Azofeifa did comment on how many emails he was receiving of interest of local player wanting to tryout and even players outside the state of Florida.

The Raiders are very excited today to announce that they have an official date, time and location for their final tryout. The host of the Raiders tryout will be Bryant Stadium in Lakeland located at 1125 N Florida Ave Lakeland, Fl 33805. The tryouts will be held on December 3, 2011 and registration will begin at 10am. Players are advised to bring cleats and proper clothes for a variety of different drills and plenty of liquids for hydration. The players can pre-register at and click on player tryouts. The cost if pre-registered will be $40 and to register at the event will be $50.

Lakeland Raiders owner Michael Mink also commented ” We have had two tryouts and have found some great athletes but we are looking for the best players and still have many spots to fill on our roster. We hope everyone that attends is ready to compete but have fun during the tryouts. Hope to see everyone out there.”

For more information about the Lakeland Raiders visit the team website at or call 863-834-7511. The Raiders will be playing home games at The Lakeland Center.  The Lakeland Center offers a full variety of sporting events, concerts and shows. The Lakeland Center is a short drive from anywhere in Central Florida. Regular box office hours are Monday-Friday 9:30am-5:30pm and can be reached at 863-834-8111.tLake c

The Raiders were founded by Michael Mink and owned by Michael Mink and Robert Tannenbaum. The Raiders are a Professional Indoor/Arena Football Team in the Ultimate Indoor Football League( The Raiders organization is a community based team that supports affordable family fun and entertainment. The original Marine Raiders were honored a group of warriors and sons from America. The lost Marine Raider Battalions completed their mission in real war and were the pride of World War II. One Team. One Mission. The Invasion begins in 2012!