City News Blog


This is the official blog of the City of Lakeland, Florida. Check back frequently to stay up to date with all that going on in our beautiful city!

North Wabash Avenue Extension
60% Design Public Workshop
From 10th Street to Fairbanks Street

The City of Lakeland is holding a 60% Design Public Workshop regarding the North Wabash Avenue Extension Project in Lakeland, Florida. The project will construct an extension of North Wabash Avenue from 10th Street to Fairbanks Street, a distance of approximately 0.75 miles. This project is shown in the Polk Transportation Planning Organization’s Cost Feasible Plan through construction.     

The 60% Design Public Workshop will be held Thursday, September 10, 2015, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Trinity Life Church of God located at 1942 West Memorial Boulevard Lakeland, Florida 33815. City staff and representatives from the project team will be available to discuss the project, receive input, and answer questions related to the 60% Design Plans under consideration. Display boards and other visual aids depicting project concepts will be available throughout the meeting. The Workshop will end at approximately 7:00 p.m.

Participants may provide written comment at any time during the Workshop. Written comments can be submitted at this hearing or by mail to: Mr. Greg James, 228 South Massachusetts Avenue, Lakeland, Florida 33801 or by email to, no later than Monday, September 21, 2015. All comments will become part of the project’s public record.   

Public participation is solicited without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability or family status.  Persons who require special accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act or persons who require translation services, free of charge, should contact: Special Projects Coordinator, Ms. Lana Braddy, at (863) 834-6779 or by e-mail to , at least seven (7) days prior to the workshop.

For more information concerning the project, please contact City of Lakeland Project Manager, Mr. Greg James, at (863) 834-8440, by e-mail to or follow the City of Lakeland Public Works Facebook page at





In a budget workshop following the City Commission meeting, Tony Delgado was named Interim City Manager by the Lakeland City Commission as the current City Manager Doug Thomas prepares to leave the organization to pursue a new opportunity.  Thomas announced his resignation on Thursday, August 13th at the conclusion of a late afternoon budget meeting. Thomas stated in a prepared memo to the City Commission that his last day with the City of Lakeland is September 13th. Delgado will take over as Interim effective immediately after Thomas leaves the City of Lakeland.

Mayor Howard Wiggs said, “Tony has my full support to manage our City. He has be been a very capable and effective Deputy City Manager and he’s demonstrated an excellent ability to make decisions based on prioritization.”  He added, “Tony is trusted by the Commission, the employees, the unions, the business community and everyday citizens.”

Delgado said, “I’m truly humbled and honored to be considered as Interim City Manager. I thank the City Commission in having faith in my ability to manage this organization and I’m excited to focus my attention into moving the City of Lakeland forward.”  He added, “We have a great organization with devoted employees and we have an established roadmap in place as we continue to focus on what we do best during this transition period.”

Delgado has served the City of Lakeland for 19 years. He was first hired by the City of Lakeland as Assistant Director of The Lakeland Center in 1997.  In 2001, he was promoted to Assistant City Manager and in 2004 he was promoted to Deputy City Manager.  As Deputy City Manger, Delgado has been instrumental in negotiations with the labor bargaining units and he has been involved in management decisions with all Departments during his tenure.

Delgado is 54 years old. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Parks and Recreation Management from Southern Illinois University. Delgado is a Certified Public Manager from Florida State University.  He currently serves the community as a board member for Lakeland Vision, Polk Vision and The Polk Museum of Art. Delgado is married to his wife Robin. 

LAKELAND, FL (August 13, 2015) - The City of Lakeland is pleased to announce Bob Conner as Water Utilities Director effective immediately.  Conner has been serving as interim Director since December 2014.  He started with the City of Lakeland as Assistant Director of Waste Water in September 1996.
City Manager Doug Thomas said, “Bob has done an excellent job as Interim Director of Water Utilities and throughout his lengthy career with the City of Lakeland.  He also played a leadership role in the nationally recognized 30-year public-private agreement with the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) and the Tampa Electric Company (TECO) to provide reclaimed water from the City’s wetlands to the Polk Power Station. The agreement has been heralded as an innovative “win-win” project that provided TECO an alternative water supply for their Polk Power Station and it eliminates future City costs and permitting requirements for our wetlands.”  He added, “The project also secured a new water use permit from SWFWMD to help meet the future water supply needs of our growing community.”
Conner said, “Lakeland now perhaps more than ever, needs long-term planning to secure the resources that form the base for our continued prosperity.  Planning for 50 years is not a bad thing.  The City is still reaping the benefits of sound decisions made about utilities in the 1960’s and as Water Utilities Director, I plan to continue that legacy.”
Conner holds a Masters of Science and Engineering from the University of South Florida and an undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of West Florida. As Director of Water Utilities, Conner will be paid an annual salary of $149,739 and directly oversee a $64,870,000 budget in a service territory that covers 132 square miles.
The City of Lakeland was incorporated January 1885 and has grown to be come on the largest inland communities in Florida. With a current population over 100,000, Lakeland continues to grow.  It has been designated a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area by the US Census Bureau for over 30 years. With tourist attractions and gulf beaches only an our away, Lakeland continues to capitalize on its ideal location along the I-4 corridor.  To learn more about the City of Lakeland, please visit


LAKELAND, FL (August 13, 2015) – Rick Lilyquist, Director of Public Works, is pleased to announce that Angelo Rao, P.E., will serve as the City of Lakeland’s next Manager of Traffic Operations. Prior to beginning work with the City of Lakeland, Rao was employed by BCC Engineering, Inc., serving as the Director of Local Government Services. Rao has over 35 years’ experience providing planning, design and project management in the transportation services arena with emphasis on traffic calming, complete streets, livable communities, and bicycle/pedestrian safety enhancements. For more than 23 years of his professional career, he has been employed in the public service sector as an employee of various government organizations.

Lilyquist commented, “Angelo brings a tremendous wealth of knowledge in the transportation field, and more specifically an area which the Lakeland City Commission has elected to place a heightened importance on – making Lakeland a more bike-friendly/walkable community.”

Rao said “I am looking forward to being part of the City of Lakeland, Public Works Management team”.  He added, “I am particularly eager to work with citizens on transportation issues to help enhance the quality of life that the residents of Lakeland already enjoy.”

He holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Toronto and is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Florida. His annual salary as the Manager of Traffic Operations will be $94,494.