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!


LAKELAND, FL (January 12, 2017 - The Lakeland City Commission Chamber located at City Hall (228 S. Massachusetts Avenue) is currently closed in preparation for a renovation project that is part of an overall compliance plan to meet ADA requirements. All meetings historically held in the City Commission Chambers will now take place in the Lakeland Electric Building in Conference Room 1A/1B. The Lakeland Electric Building located at 502 E Lemon Street is directly across from City Hall. The meetings that will be impacted during the construction project include:

  • Code Enforcement Board 
  • Code Enforcement Hearing Officer 
  • Planning and Zoning Board
  • Utility Committee 
  • Board of Adjustments 
  • City Commission Meetings 
  • Agenda Study Meetings 
  • Commission Workshops 
  • Task Force Meetings 

During the construction project these meetings will take place in Conference Room 1A/1B located on the first floor in the Lakeland Electric Building. The impacted meetings will still be broadcast on Charter/Spectrum channel 643, Frontier FiOS channel 43 and streamed live on

The Commission Chamber located at City Hall is currently noncompliant with current ADA codes and possess other safety related deficiencies which has left the City in need of correcting these issues. The necessary remodel project will address these deficiencies as well as upgrade antiquated audio and visual components in the Chamber. The project will include ADA access to the dais platform and allow ADA access to areas at and around the dais with ramps and handrails which will be added for access and safety. New public presentation areas will be added as well as upgraded television monitors and TV broadcasting equipment. Additionally, the project will address safety issues and personal protection related to City Commissioner and City Staff. The scope of this work with Henkelman Construction includes: Demo of the existing Dais area; Installation of ramps and handicap railing; Removal and replacement of the dais for ADA and safety modifications; Electrical and Mechanical modifications; Additional ADA seating areas; and Installation of new audio/visual components and TV broadcasting equipment.

Funding for this project is provided for in FY 2017 Public Improvement Fund under ADA projects. The project work is scheduled to begin on January 30th and is estimated to be completed within three months. Cost for the project is $182,281.

The following list are ADA projects that the City of Lakeland has completed over the past two years:

  • New ADA Specialist position approved by City Administration
  • Formal development of ADA Transition Plan ($55,000)*
  • Inventory and evaluation of 15 signalized intersections and 8 miles of sidewalk ($50,000)
  • 388 linear feet of sidewalk replaced to address ADA compliance ($13,700)
  • 235 curb ramps rebuilt to ADA compliance ($292,000)
  • Handicap accessible seating at Bryant Stadium South End Zone ($15,000)
  • Handicap accessible improvements at Lakeland Electric Customer Service ($20,000)
  • Lake Mirror Auditorium Stage Lift ($20,000)
  • Glendale Admin and Warehouse Restrooms ($30,000)
  • City Hall Bathrooms retrofit on 1st Floor ($25,000)
  • City Hall Department Reception Counters ($15,000)
  • Handicap accessible improvements at Iowa Garage Parking ($50,000)


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

LAKELAND, FL (January 10, 2017) - On Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at approximately 2:45 p.m., Lakeland Police officers responded to the area of Harden Boulevard, near Forest Park Street, in reference to a traffic crash involving a pedestrian struck by a pickup truck.  


Glenn Gillenwater, age 63, of Lakeland, was struck and killed by a 1984 Ford pickup truck driven by 26-year-old Michael Duey.  According to reports, Duey was traveling southbound on Harden Boulevard when his truck began to swerve, drove up onto the raised shoulder and struck Gillenwater who was walking on the sidewalk. Duey’s truck continued down an embankment and struck two trees before coming to a final rest. 


Emergency medical professionals from the Lakeland Fire Department and Polk County Fire Rescue arrived on scene and began assisting officers in providing life saving measures. Both Gillenwater and Duey were transported to Lakeland Regional Health Center. Gillenwater passed away due to the injuries sustained in the crash. Duey was treated for minor injuries and released. 


Members of the LPD Traffic Homicide Unit closed the portion of Harden Boulevard between Beacon Road and Ariana Street for approximately three hours. 


No charges have been filed at this time. This is an open case and the Lakeland Police Department Traffic Homicide team is continuing to investigate.


Media inquiries should be directed to 863.583.2357.



Robin Tillett

Media Relations | Lakeland Police Department | 863/834-2946



LAKELAND, FL (January 4, 2017) - The City of Lakeland is in the process of taking applications for the 2017 Lakeland Citizens Academy. This interactive public information program encourages participants to experience City services and the functions of City departments through hands-on sessions for a true learning experience. This FREE program was designed for local residents and those that participate get a true behind the scenes look at their local government.  

The Citizens Academy program consists of six (6), two (2) hour evening sessions beginning February 23, 2017 and runs through the first week of April. The program is limited to 30 residents age 16 and older. Enrollment is based on a first-come, first-served basis.

The 2017 Citizens Academy will be a great program starting with a tutorial on City budgeting and finance, followed by a historical overview of the community. During the 2017 Citizens Academy, participants will get to experience the tools of the trade at both of the City’s public safety divisions. Citizen Academy cadets will learn more about City Planning, get a chance to tour Lakeland Electric’s generating facility and get an inside look at future projects from the City’s award winning Parks & Recreation Department.


  • February 23rd - History & Finance
  • March 2nd - Police Department
  • March 9th - Fire Department
  • March 16th - City Planning/Economic Development
  • March 30th - Lakeland Electric
  • April 6th - Parks & Recreation 

The purpose of the Citizens Academy is to familiarize citizens with Lakeland’s City government. The program provides an overview of City Departments, explains the relationship between the City Commission and City Administration, allows an overview of the budgetary process and it provides an outlet for citizen involvement. This year’s class will also get the chance to preview the City’s new website and assist with valuable input that will help optimize the website for the best user experience!


Participants are encouraged to attend all of the sessions in order to get the most from the program.  

  • All sessions are from 6 pm - 8 pm.
  • The first meeting will be held in the City Commission Chambers at City Hall, 228 South Massachusetts Avenue, Lakeland. 
  • A light meal is always served at 5:45 pm before each session, so participants are encouraged to get there a little early.
  • Citizens interested in participating should contact Christina Camp at to secure a spot on the roster. Please include a home mailing address and contact information in the email. 

LAKELAND, FL (January 3, 2017) - Don Selvage will not be seeking re-election for a third term as Lakeland City Commissioner representing the Southwest District. Selvage was first elected to the Lakeland City Commission in 2009. He currently chairs the Aging Task Force and the Broadband Task Force. He is a member of the Utility Committee and Municipal Boards & Committees. He also serves on the Lakeland Area Mass Transit District Board, Lakeland Downtown Development Authority, SUN 'n FUN Board, Polk Transit Authority, and the Transportation Planning Organization.

“It has been a high honor to work for the residents of Lakeland and I’m extremely grateful for the community’s support during my tenure on the commission. I’ve had the privilege of serving with many distinguished elected officials, whose commitment to this City has never been in doubt,” said Selvage. “The dedicated civil servants who work for the City of Lakeland have been supportive of me and exceptionally responsive to constituent issues. It is their passion for excellence that makes Lakeland great.”

Selvage served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 30 years, retiring as a colonel before coming to Lakeland in 1999. He is the owner of SHR Human Resources, LLC. He continues to be active in many civic and professional organizations. Selvage holds a degree in Political Science from Ohio State University and advanced degrees in Administration and National Security Affairs from Central Michigan University and Salve Regina College respectively.

Selvage’s tenure with the Lakeland City Commission will end December 2017 after eight years of dedicated service to the community. Selvage said, “Although I will be leaving elected office, my wife, Rita and I intend to remain engaged in community affairs where we hope to be able to contribute in some way to this vibrant, wonderful City. I will be 70 years old when my term ends with the Lakeland City Commission and that will be a good time to start thinking about a new chapter of my life.” 


Don Selvage, Commissioner |