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TOWN HALL MEETING ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT MODELS

STRONG MAYOR, CITY MANAGER FORMS OF GOVERNMENT & CHARTER CHANGES

LAKELAND, FL (July 20, 2015) - The City of Lakeland will host a town hall meeting on Tuesday, July 28th at 6 p.m. so citizens can learn more about municipal governance models including strong mayor and city manager forms of government. Mike McGrath, Chief Information Officer with the National Civic League will give a nonpartisan overview of the various local government models. The meeting will be held in the City Commission Chambers located on the 3rd floor of City Hall at 228 S. Massachusetts Avenue. 

Theodore Roosevelt, Frederick Law Olmsted, Louis Brandeis and other leading municipal reformers founded the National Civic League in the late nineteenth century; the league has been instrumental in efforts to make local governments more open, accountable and effective.  Mayor Howard Wiggs said, “We have a great deal of discussion taking place in our community about various governance models and this is an excellent opportunity for our citizens to hear about the issue so they can be informed and engaged in the process.”

The National Civic League is a 120-year old nonpartisan, nonprofit organization based in Denver, Colorado.  The League focuses on public participation and civic action. It depends on groups and individuals across the country that promote community engagement and problem solving approaches to build better governments.

As chief communications officer at the National Civic League, Mike McGrath heads the organization’s publication program, edits the 102-year-old National Civic Review and other NCL publications. He recently served as research and writer for the Fiscal Sustainability Case Investigations Project, a joint effort of NCL and the University of Southern California’s Price School of Public Policy.  He has a master’s degree in journalism is from the University of California, Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.

 


STATEMENT FROM LAKELAND CITY MANAGER DOUG THOMAS
LAKELAND POLICE DEPARTMENT VOTE OF CONFIDENCE

I have just received the results of the non-binding votes regarding confidence in Chief Lisa Womack by unionized sworn and non-union civilian personnel in the Lakeland Police Department. 

It is important to note that the Chief of Police is not an elected position and the outcome of the voting does not result in her removal from her position as Chief of Police. However, the results of the vote are concerning because it represent the current pulse of both sworn and non-sworn Departmental personnel. 

I plan to meet with the leadership of the various employee groups at the Lakeland Police Department to discuss their feelings and concerns to better understand the particular issues that impacted their individual voting, especially among non-unionized civilian personnel.  I will also be meeting with Chief Womack to discuss her perspectives of tonight’s outcome and how she and the administration at the Lakeland Police Department can best address the concerns regarding the Department. 

The City will also gain further insight on particular issues that may have influenced tonight’s outcome from the employee survey process that is scheduled to be administered in the first quarter of 2014. These steps will help us further evaluate the direction the Department as we continue to work toward addressing employee and public concerns that LPD has faced over the past year. The Lakeland Police Department has a very dedicated staff and we appreciate their hard work and commitment to this community.