City News Blog


The latest happenings in your city government.


LAKELAND, FL (March 12, 2012) -- The City of Lakeland is pleased to announce Brad Johnson as the Assistant City Manager.  Johnson most recently served as the Budget Administrator for the City of Palm Bay, Florida. 

Johnson started his local government career in 2006 at Palm Bay where he worked for four years as a Management Analyst.  During his tenure as Management Analyst he worked with Palm Bay’s public safety, utilities and City Manager’s office assisting in projects such as the Fire Department’s accreditation process, the City’s performance management system and the implementation of Palm Bay’s annual budget.


In 2010, he was hired as the Assistant to the City Manager/Public Works Director for the City of Holly Hill, Florida.  While at Holly Hill, he managed the daily operations of the Public Works Department and assisted the City Manager with the coordination of Economic Development, Planning and the development of the City’s annual budget.


Johnson returned to the City of Palm Bay in 2011 as Budget Administrator where his duties included overseeing the daily operations of the City’s Budget Office.  He developed and implemented Palm Bay’s $140 million annual operating and capital budgets that involved 10 departments and over 40 funds.


Johnson said, “I am grateful for this very exciting opportunity within an extremely dynamic organization and I am looking forward to being an integral part of the team.”  He added, “My first task is to meet the staff to better understand Lakeland’s many services and to better learn the community’s needs. I am very excited and I look forward to my family and I becoming part of the Lakeland Community.”


City Manager, Doug Thomas said, “We conducted a national search that delivered a group of highly qualified applicants. After a very thorough process that included panel interviews, one-on-one interviews and community tours; we believe that Brad will enhance our operation as we prepare for the future.”  He added, “We know that his previous experience in performance management, strategic planning and his financial knowledge of municipal operations will be a great fit for our team. Brad has a tremendous passion for local government and his experience in a comparable well managed Florida community (Palm Bay) will also enable him to hit the ground running.”


Johnson received his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland in 2002 and he earned his Master of Arts degree in Public Administration from the University of Missouri in 2007.  He is very active in community service.  He has served as a United Way of Brevard Campaign Cabinet Member, Indian River County Healthy Start Coalition Volunteer Member and he has served on the event planning committees for Relay for Life as well as Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida. Brad and his wife Shira, a non-profit administrator, have a 4 1/2 month old daughter.


Johnson will be paid an annual salary of $90,000 as the Assistant City Manager for the City of Lakeland.   He is scheduled to start March 29, 2012.

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At The City Commission meeting held March 5th Casey and Carly Reeves, of Girl Scout Troop 90 began the meeting by leading the audience in the pledge of allegiance.

Communications director Kevin Cook presented an update of the cities communications activities highlighting the city’s newsletter “Access Lakeland” now distributed with the city utility bills.  There was also a presentation made honoring Helen Chappell the city’s main lobby receptionist for the last 17 years on her impending retirement later in March. March 9th 2012 was also declared as Helen Chappell day.

Beautification Awards were presented to: 1601 Josephine St. , Hickory Hills Manor  for commercial landscaping and 409 Tucker St. ,Donald Williams for residential.

Employee service awards for 10 years of service were presented to: Eddie Benitez, Jannie Cuttrell, Chawn C Hall, Jeffrey Michel, Kathy Mott, Julie Pride, and Staci Scott.

20 years: Terry Crosby, Kenny Jordan and Donzetta Lloyd.

25 years: Frank Bass, Jack Daugherty Jr., Linda Fairbanks and James Niblack.

35 years: Jeffrey Wiiliams

Proclamations were presented in honor of the Women’s Club 100th Anniversary, Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, Girl Scout Week, Lakeland Fire Fighters Association Local 4173, Appreciation Month, and Purchasing Month.

The Real Estate & Transportation Committee meeting recommendation of the first amendment to the lease agreement with At Your Door Moving & Storage, LLC at Lakeland Linder Airport, was approved.

The Municipal Boards Committee recommendations to appoint: George Figgs to the Beautification Board, Jason Troller to the Citizen Advisory Committee, Jim Studiale to the Harden/Parkway CRA Board, Rosalyn Kennedy to the Planning & Zoning Board and Steven Wade to the Utility Committee were all approved.

Tom Deardorff, Polk County Planning Manager, presented the Draft Community Planning Strategy Report.

 Pamela Damewood, President of Carillon Lakes Homeowners Association and others addressed the commission about fire protection in their area of the city.

The Neighborhood Services division presented the One Year Action Plan and Projected Use of Funds, 38th Year CDBG and 18th HOME . The recommendations continue to emphasize benefits to low and moderate income residents of the City, with funding directed to housing rehabilitation, home purchase assistance, code enforcement, and public services ranging from summer recreation to services for the elderly.

A Public Hearing was held for Comprehensive Plan Certification

Program Monitoring Report and the recommendations were approved.

The city commission approved $22,490.16 in assessments for lot clearing at 76 properties throughout the city.

Public hearings were scheduled for the next commission meeting concerning ordinances to allow for the expansion of an existing solar energy farm on property located at 4070 Hamilton Road, allow a six bed group home on property located at the northwest corner of East Lime Street and South Indiana Avenue, a third incentive category to qualify for economic development impact fee mitigation for Transportation, Law Enforcement and Fire fees.

The position of Deputy Parks and Recreation Director was approved as a position not covered by civil service.

An agreement between the City and Keystone Challenge Fund, Inc. governing the terms/conditions of eligible Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) projects related to the development of affordable housing in the City of Lakeland was approved.

An acquisition and redevelopment agreement with White Challis Redevelopment Co., LLC for the New Southern Square – Bay Street Parking Lot Redevelopment Project was approved.

In final action a Task Authorization with TJR Technical Services, Inc. for technical assistance for McIntosh Power Plant’s Unit #3 during the March-April 2012 scheduled outage was approved.








Come to Munn Park on Saturday, March 10, 2012 from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. for the 10th Annual Spring Obsession, Garden and Art Festival.  Enjoy a Free family day of activities while exploring the many flowers and plants for sale, attend garden presentations, purchase art for the patio and listen to live music from the jazz band Free Time. 

After the unusually cold winter we have experienced, it is time to stock up on all your spring plant needs including: flowering plants for house and garden, outdoor plants for your landscaping, and garden art and accessories to spice up your lawn or patio. 

Learn about jazzing up your yard from landscaping professionals as part of the garden presentations.  There will also be a presentation on rain barrels and water conservation with rain barrels available for purchase.

Delight in hard to find exotics, orchids, Florida native plants, roses, herbs, gingers, and more as you stroll through Munn Park to the sounds of Free Time.  Free Time will play an eclectic and entertaining blend of musical styles ranging from Al Jarreau and Stevie Wonder to Bob Marley, Miles Davis, Grover Washington, Duke Ellington and BB King. 

Spring Obsession is a non-profit event with proceeds going toward community projects such as functional and aesthetic bike racks for downtown.


Lieutenant Hans Lehman
 Lakeland Police Department

Arnulfo Crispin BBQ and Live Auction - March 24, 2012 

 Proceeds to benefit travel of Officer Crispin’s family and supporting officers to DC National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial when his name is added to the wall of fallen heroes.

LAKELAND, FL (February 20, 2012) – Professional barbeque teams from across Polk County will come together on Saturday, March 24, 2012 to host the Arnulfo Crispin BBQ & Live Auction Benefit. The event will take place from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the American Legion (Post 72) located at 1500 State Road 37 North in Mulberry. A live auction will be held at 2:00 p.m. where guests can bid on current sports memorabilia, outdoor activities and much more.

Ribs will be sold for $20.00 per slab and should be pre-ordered by calling 863-529-3131(recorded line) or by visiting the Lakeland Police Department reception desk anytime Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Ribs will also be sold during the event while supplies last.

The BBQ and Live Auction is being held in honor of fallen Lakeland Police Officer Arnulfo (Arnie) Crispin who was killed in the line of duty on December 21, 2011. Proceeds from the benefit will allow family members of Officer Crispin and supporting officers to travel to Washington D.C. in May when Crispin’s name will be added alongside other fallen heroes to the National Law Enforcement Memorial Wall. The remaining proceeds will be given to the Arnulfo Crispin Memorial Fund.

Auction Donations Needed

Donation items are being sought for the live auction. Those who would like to make a donation, please call 863-529-3131 or send an email to