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!

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. 


The City of Lakeland is pleased to announce that the T.Mims Corp. Red, White & Kaboom Independence Celebration will take place at Lake Mirror on Friday, July 1, 2011 from 6:00 p.m. - 9:15 p.m. with music and a breathtaking fireworks display dazzling the crowd at 9 p.m.

Tom Mims, President of T. Mims Corporation said, “We are pleased to sponsor Red, White & Kaboom again this year.  It is an excellent opportunity for our community to come together in celebration of our great country and it is free to the public." Mims added, "We will be continuing our Chow for Now canned food drive to benefit Volunteers In Service to the Elderly so we want each spectator to bring at least one can of food for Viste."

The evening’s main entertainment will include live music from Channel Z Band.  The Channel Z Band has been in existence since 1997 and is a five piece band with a current member compliment that has been in force for nearly eight years.   A culmination of many diverse and augmenting talents allows Channel Z to be a notch or two above your average Pop Rock Cover Band.  The Channel Z Band continues to perform numerous events in Central Florida.  They are sure to be a crowd pleaser with their diverse song list that spans from the 60’s to current pop favorites and includes hits from the Beatles to the latest from Katy Perry.

There will be a guest appearance from Derik Thomas.  Thomas is a talented student at Lakeland’s Harrison School for the Arts.  He first began playing shows in early 2009 and in 2010 he won the Earthday Networks “Song for Earth” competition.  He got to perform at the 2010 Earthday Climate Rally on the National Mall in Washington DC alongside Sting, John Legend and The Roots. 

The evening will also include a showcase performance from the award winning 2011-2012 Taken By Surprise Step Team.  This talented group of young ladies have performed at many Central Florida venues and continue to dazzle the crowds at step competitions.

There will be a variety of food and drink vendors around Lake Mirror so bring a blanket and enjoy the live music and a dramatic display of fireworks over the lake.  The evening is free to the public and everyone attending is encouraged to bring at least one food item to benefit Chow for Now. All City parking garages will be open for T.Mims Corp. Red, White & Kaboom. 

At the City Commission meeting held Monday June 6th the items were addressed.

County Manager, Jim Freeman briefed the commission on the state of the counties budgeting process.

Beautification Awards were presented to:

David and Susan Amann, for, landscaping, their residence at 1065 Clearview Ave. The Commercial award was given to the Andrew M. Reed Law Firm at 1828 S. Florida Ave.

Employee 10 year service awards were presented to:

Steven Moore, Mark Gautney, and Raymond Overmiller

Twenty year service awards went to:

Mike Breen, Walter Dennis Jr. and Gary Bence.

Dorinda Bowen was recognized for 25 years of service.

Elliot Wayne was presented with a 30 year service award.

Proclamations were presented honoring National Garden Club Week and Platform Art Community in Motion Day.

John Burton, President of the Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In Inc. was on hand to thank the city and all involved in making this year’s Fly in a success under the worst of circumstances due to the tornado that struck this year.

Several amendments to the Comprehensive Plan as regards Level of Service, Land Use Policies, the Transportation and Infrastructure Elements were approved.

Land use and Zoning were approved on land at Kathleen Rd. and Sleepy Hill Rd. to allow for the relocation of the Salvation Army Church facility and the building of retirement housing and housing for homeless families.

Over $10,000 of special assessments were levied for city maintenance of overgrowth at 25 locations throughout the city.

A $42,000 project to upgrade fencing and security gates under a 100% grant from FDOT was approved.

A project to upgrade several runway and taxiway areas at the airport for $447,000 which is also 95% funded by the state was approved.

Public Hearings were announced for the June 20th Commission Meeting regarding the following:

 Land use and zoning at Drane Field Rd. and Hamilton Rd. for the Lakeland Electric Solar Panel farm.

Zoning at Mall Hill Rd. and Griffin Rd. for auto dealerships and office use.

Land use and zoning at N. Combee Rd. and Saddle Creek Rd. to allow for chemical products manufacturing.

And airport ground transportation regulations.

A resolution to authorize the police chief to enter into police related contracts.

An interlocal agreement, for the distribution of natural gas, with Florida Gas Utility was approved.

It was decided that the at large and resident members of the Lakeland Housing Authority need only be county not city residents.

Construction Bids on the Edgewood Drive Extension Project were approved

Engineering Design and Construction Phase Services Relating to the Completion for the Southwest Wastewater Capacity Project were approved.

A construction agreement for the replacement of the Wastewater Artificial Wetlands Maintenance Building and a task authorization for an Emergency Action Plan for the City’s Artificial Wetland Treatment Facilities were approved.

In final action Commissioner Walker was elected as the voting delegate to the Florida League of Cities annual conference.


WASHINGTON, D.C., June 21, 2011 — James Stanfield, general manager of Lakeland, Fla., Electric received the American Public Power Association’s (APPA) James D. Donovan Individual Achievement Award at the Association’s national conference in Washington, D.C.  The award recognizes people who have made substantial contributions to the electric utility industry, with a special commitment to public power.


Since becoming general manager at Lakeland, Stanfield has cut $11 million per year in operations and management costs. He established a strategic operating plan with measurable key success indicators while raising job satisfaction from 59 percent to 71 percent. He has been active on the boards of the Florida Municipal Electric Association, the Florida Municipal Power Pool, the Florida Municipal Power Agency, and the Florida Reliability Coordinating Council.


Stanfield began his 40-year career with the Florida Municipal Utilities Association (now Florida Municipal Electric Association) writing for Florida Public Power News. He then spent 22 years at Florida Power Corp. as Public Service Commission liaison and senior council for the utility. He was the former chair of the Public Utilities Law Committee of the Florida Bar Association and worked for the city of Gainesville and the Salt River Project in Arizona before joining Florida Power.