City News Blog

rss

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!


LAKELAND, FL (August 17, 2016) -- The City of Lakeland is pleased to announce Michael “Shawn” Sherrouse as the newly appointed Assistant City Manager.  Sherrouse has been serving as the Assistant City Manager for the City of Auburndale. He has been with the City of Auburndale since 2006 serving as the Community Development Director for six years and the Assistant to the City Manager for almost four years before taking the position of Assistant City Manager.

Sherrouse has over 20 years of local government experience and he served with the United States Marine Corps from 1989 to 1997.  He is a Gulf War Veteran having served in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait as a Sergeant.  He also managed battalion training exercises for 800 marines and oversaw battalion helicopter support operations. 

After his military career, Sherrouse became a Branch Manager and Residential Appraisal Supervisor for the Polk County Property Appraisers Office.  He worked in that capacity for 11 years from 1995 to 2006 before joining the City of Auburndale.

“I am a native of Lakeland and other than my experience with the Marine Corps, I have lived my entire life in Polk County.  I have a deep sense of pride for Lakeland that has fueled my passion to serve the community,” said Sherrouse. “I am very excited about this opportunity and I look forward to joining the City of Lakeland team.”

City Manager, Tony Delgado said, “We conducted a national search and we were very pleased with the quality of the pool of applicants.  The selection committee narrowed it down to three highly capable candidates and we all came to the conclusion that Shawn is the right person for the job. We were all impressed with his track record and believe his focus on customer service as well as his experience overseeing Human Resources, Project Management and Budget Performance will contribute to the success of the City of Lakeland going forward.”

The selection committee included:

  • Mike Brossart, Finance Director for the City of Lakeland
  • Cory Skeates, President, Greater Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Mark Farrington, HR Director for the City of Lakeland
  • Brad Johnson, Deputy City Manager for the City of Lakeland
  • Tim McCausland, City Attorney for the City of Lakeland
  • Sara Roberts, Former Executive Director Polk Vision
  • Julie Townsend, Director of the Lakeland Downtown Development Authority
  • Jarvis Kendrick, SVP / West Regional Manager, MIDFLORIDA Credit Union

Sherrouse who is 44 years old, graduated from Warner College with a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management and he is scheduled to receive a Master of Public Administration from the University of South Florida this fall. He will start as the Assistant City Manager on September 12th and will be paid a yearly salary of $115,000.  

Sherrouse has two teenage sons and he is an avid sports fan following the Detroit Tigers, Florida Gators and all of the Tampa Bay professional teams.  He has been a Tampa Bay Buccaneer season ticket holder for over 20 years.

The City of Lakeland was incorporated January 1885 and has grown to become one of 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 hour away, Lakeland continues to capitalize on its ideal central Florida location along the I-4 corridor.  The City owns and operates Lakeland Electric, the third largest publicly owned utility in Florida and it was one of the first to offer power in the Sunshine State over 110 years ago.  To learn more about the City of Lakeland, please visit www.lakelandgov.net.  

 

CONTACT:

Kevin Cook, Director of Communications | 863/834-6264


LAKELAND, FL (August 3, 2016) — Publix Super Markets is pleased to announce support of the City of Lakeland, the Detroit Tigers and the Lakeland Flying Tigers by sponsoring the field naming rights of Tigertown. On February 9, 2017 —  the first day of the 2017 Major League Baseball (MLB) spring training season — the stadium will be renamed Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. The naming rights will continue through 2036. 

“Lakeland is where our roots are, and we are proud of our long-standing relationship with the City of Lakeland and Tigertown,” said Brian West Publix Lakeland media and community relations manager.  “We are honored to have an opportunity to help keep America’s pastime alive and well in this great city.”

The Publix sponsorship will assist with the redesign and updates to the complex, which include:  

  • A 72,000-square foot player development facility to house Major and Minor League clubhouses (largest in the Grapefruit League)
  • A new state-of-the-art High Definition video scoreboard will sit atop the enhanced Berm in left field
  • The “new Berm” will feature a unique food and beverage destination
  • Improved and realigned seating areas, including additional shading
  • A 360-degree walk around design offering fans great sightlines and a constant view of the game
  • Upgraded concessions and new vending areas offering a variety of menu items
  • New artificial field surface in the Minor League complex
  • Improvements throughout the complex to assist in player development and rehabilitation

“This is a great day and we are very excited to have Publix Super Markets as the naming sponsor for what will now be Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Publix Super Markets is synonymous with Lakeland and we can’t wait to see their name in the outfield,” said Mayor Howard Wiggs. “We have a dedicated team overseeing construction of the stadium and once the project is complete, we will have one of the finest Spring Training facilities in all of Major League Baseball.”

Bob Donahay, Director of Parks & Recreation said, “The construction and design team has been working day and night on the Tigertown complex so it will be ready for the opening day of Spring Training. The partnership with Publix Super Markets will allow us to complete the vision and we look forward to showcasing Lakeland’s very own field of dreams.”

"The Detroit Tigers thank Publix, the City of Lakeland, Polk County and the State of Florida for sharing our vision and commitment to provide a first-class entertainment experience and a point of destination for Tigers and all baseball fans to enjoy," said Duane McLean, Tigers' Executive Vice President of Business Operations.  "The history both the Tigers and Publix have in Lakeland is historic and unique. Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium will symbolize how deeply rooted and invested both the Tigers and Publix are within the Lakeland community for many years to come.” 

Named in honor of the late Joker Marchant, a former Lakeland Parks and Recreation Director, Joker Marchant Stadium was used by the Detroit Tigers for Spring Training for the first time in 1966.

Publix is privately owned and operated by its more than 184,000 employees, with 2015 sales of $32.4 billion. Currently Publix has 1,122 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina. The company has been named one of FORTUNE’s “100 Best Companies to Work For in America” for 19 consecutive years. In addition, Publix’s dedication to superior quality and customer service is recognized among the top in the grocery business. For more information, visit the company’s website, corporate.publix.com.

The City of Lakeland was incorporated January 1885 and has grown to become on of 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 hour away, Lakeland continues to capitalize on its ideal central Florida location along the I-4 corridor.  The City owns and operates Lakeland Electric, the third largest publicly owned utility in Florida and it was one of the first to offer power in the Sunshine State over 110 years ago.  To learn more about the City of Lakeland, please visit www.lakelandgov.net.

The Detroit Tigers, Inc., a charter member of the American League in 1901, have won four World Series and 11 American League pennants. The team is owned by Michael Ilitch who purchased the ballclub in 1992. Michael and his wife, Marian, jointly own other companies in the food, sports and entertainment industries include: Little Caesars Pizza, Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, the Detroit Red Wings, Olympia Entertainment, Olympia Development, Little Caesars Pizza Kit Fundraising Program, Champion Foods, Uptown Entertainment and Ilitch Holdings, Inc.  Marian Ilitch is the sole owner of MotorCity Casino Hotel. For more information, visit www.tigers.com.

CONTACT:

Brian West | Publix Super Markets | (863) 688-7407 ext. 63486


LAKELAND, FL (August 1, 2016) – The City of Lakeland has launched a new digital platform powered by OpenGov that provides residents, elected officials, and staff unprecedented access to the city’s finances and performance information. The OpenGov platform transforms complex financial data into an interactive, digital format that enables better analysis and understanding of the city’s finances. The intuitive design makes it easier to explore how taxpayer money is collected. The platform may be accessed from the City of Lakeland’s home page at www.lakelandgov.net. 

The OpenGov platform displays 10 years of government spending and revenue detail in a user-friendly portal. Users can view historical revenue and expenditure trends over time and explore multiple views of financial data, including by fund, department, expense, or revenue type. For example, visitors to the platform may answer frequently asked questions such as “What did the city spend on public safety over the past 10 years?” or “How much did the city collect in taxes? Users can review revenues and expenses along with budget history to get a better understanding of the City of Lakeland’s finances.  The tool also allows users to share information directly from the platform via email or on social media.

City Manager Tony Delgado and the City’s Finance Department led the initiative to make the City’s finances more transparent and understandable.

Delgado said, “One of my major goals is to provide a customer centric philosophy to local government and understanding a complex issue like budgeting and finance is important for our citizens and our local officials.  By making financial data easily accessible in an intuitive, digital format, I really feel that Lakeland is demonstrating our commitment to efficient, data-driven and open government.”

Beyond sharing information with the public, the City will be able to use OpenGov internally to create custom reports, manage operations to budget, and keep administrators informed. With the launch of OpenGov, the City of Lakeland joins a growing list of more than 1,000 leading cities, counties, state agencies, school systems, and special districts across the country that leverage OpenGov technology.  Users are invited to review budgets using a series of filters and views.  There is a tutorial video on the City’s OpenGov landing page to help users get started using the budget transparency tool.


Grand Opening August 3rd at 10:30am

LAKELAND, FL (July 27, 2015) - The City of Lakeland’s Webster Park has received a facelift thanks to a $190,000 donation from Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company and a $17,000 donation from the Midtown CRA.  Improvements include a new playground with several themed pieces of equipment that features a full range of slides, climbers, ladders and play activities. A grand opening of the new park will take place August 3rd at 10:30 a.m.  The public is invited to attend.

The new playground has elements for preschoolers and elementary aged children.  Renovations to the park also includes swings, two picnic pavilions, a drinking fountain, fencing, benches, trash cans, resurfaced basketball court, basketball backboards, bike racks and ADA access. 

Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company has an iconic red elephant as their logo and the new Webster Park uses a number of zoo animals as a theme including a red elephant.

Pam Page, Deputy Director of Parks said, “The City of Lakeland was able to replace Webster Park’s playground equipment that was originally installed in 1994 with brand new equipment designed to enhance the experience for those visiting the park.”  She added, “We thank Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company for their generous donation to make the vision become reality.  We could not have completed the park without their assistance and as a thank you, the public will see the red elephant prominently displayed in a piece of playground equipment.  We also are very grateful to the Midtown CRA for their support as well.”