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 Police will hold a swearing in ceremony for Chief Lisa Womack on Friday, March 11, 2011, at City Hall Commission Chambers, 228 South Massachusetts Avenue, Lakeland, Florida at 1:00 p.m. Chief Womack will be introduced by City Manager Doug Thomas and Lieutenant John Thomason will preside as Master of Ceremonies. Mayor Gow Fields will also be in attendance.

The swearing in ceremony will be streaming live on the City of Lakeland website and televised live on our Lakeland Government Network, Channel 43 for Verizon FiOS and 615 for Brighthouse. The public and media are invited to attend. Due to limited space in City Hall we may need to utilize a pool camera if there is a large media attendance.

There will be a Meet and Greet reception for City of Lakeland employees following the swearing in ceremony at 2:30 p.m. to be held at the First United Methodist Church, 72 Lake Morton Drive in Lakeland.

The media is invited to attend. Chief Womack will be available to answer media questions at the beginning of the reception. Time allowed for formal media questions will be limited as this event is designed to be a casual and warm welcome for our new Chief.

Media inquiries should be directed to Sergeant Terri Smith, PIO, 863-834-6917. This information is also available on

At the March 7th 2011 City Commission meeting, the Risk Management Department explained the City’s purchasing procedures and operation.


25-year employee service awards were presented to Greg Brown, Jay Ellis, Bobbie Jackson, and Julian Thelen. 20 year service awards went to: Michael Moran, Shelley Ray Smith, Richard Wade and Eric Watson. 10 year awards went to: Eric Bryant, Aaron Jensen, Robert King, Richard Platt, and Joshua Stalvey.


Proclamations were presented honoring Purchasing Month, Girl Scout Week, and Red Cross Month.


Colleen Burton, Executive Director of Polk Vision, Inc. presented the “Refreshed” Vision for Polk County. More information is available at


The Proposed 2011-2012 One Year Action Plan and Projected Use of Funds - 37th Year CDBG and 17th Year HOME. $841,806 for CDBG and

$472,097 for HOME. Were approved.


The Commission approved for submittal to the state the annual monitoring report for the State Local Government Comprehensive Plan Certification Program. The report has an Executive Summary with highlights of this year’s report; the report is followed by three key attachments:

• a statistical & narrative summary of all Plan Amendments adopted since the last report;

• a status of required monitoring indices; and

• a status of items outlined in the Work Program required for certification.


The Commission approved assessments for lot clearings at: 1245 George Jenkins Blvd., 1008 W. Marjorie St., 10026 Mesa Madera Dr. and 1705 Bush Ave.


A request for expansion of a church at East Parker Street, East and North Massachusetts Avenue was approved.


612,203 Square feet of additional warehouse and distribution space for Publix Super Markets on property located at 2600 County Line Road was approved.


An amended boundary description of the certified area contained in the  Lakeland Local Government Comprehensive Planning Certification Program Agreement was approved.


A resolution of the City Commission of the City of Lakeland, approving and adopting minimum standards for commercial aeronautical activities at the Lakeland Linder regional airport was passed.


The Commission approved a resolution relating to elections and election

campaigning; stating the policy of the city commission for fair, open and responsible campaign practices; endorsing activity intended to increase citizen participation in municipal elections and to foster an informed citizenry.


The Commission approved an agreement with Starboard Consulting LLC for consulting services related to the Maximo 6.3 Upgrade. IBM Maximo software provides management tools to maximize the value of critical business and IT assets over their lifecycles with workflows by enforcing best practices to yield benefits for such things as transportation, production, delivery, facilities, communications and IT. A number of City departments, including Lakeland Electric, use Maximo and are in the process of upgrading to newer versions of the software.

A group of well-trained individuals dressed in yellow shirts and driving specialized vehicles have been spotted recently throughout Lakeland. There’s no cause for concern because they are removing and replacing existing electric meters with Lakeland Electric’s new “Smart Meters”.  Smart Meters are electric meters that can transmit data directly to and from the utility.

Technicians from Scope Services, the Lakeland Electric contractor assigned to this project, will be driving well-identified pickup trucks marked with “Plug into Smart” decals and the Lakeland Electric logo.  They will all carry a photo I.D. badge for identification.

The Plug Into Smart Meter project is expected to be complete in the winter of 2012.

Customers may experience a brief interruption of their electric service when the Smart Meter is installed.  The Smart Meter and Smart Grid System will provide Lakeland Electric customers with more detailed information about their energy use and allow them, for the first time ever, to be active participants in their household energy management.   

Smart Meters will automatically notify Lakeland Electric in the event of a power outage, and let the utility know when power has been restored.  

For more information on how and when you can Plug Into Smart Power, visit




WHO:  City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, City of Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio & City of Lakeland Mayor Gow Fields

WHAT:  Announcement regarding Florida High Speed Rail                               

WHERE:  City of Lakeland - Outside City Hall (228 S. Massachusetts Avenue)

WHEN: Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 12 p.m.


LAKELAND, FL (March 2, 2011) – The Mayors along the I-4 Super Region, as representatives of the proposed Florida Regional High Speed Rail Commission, will hold a press conference on Thursday, March 3rd at 12 p.m. in Lakeland, FL to talk about the Florida High Speed Rail Project.  The press conference will take place at Lakeland’s City Hall in the City Commission Chambers located at 228 S. Massachusetts Avenue, Lakeland, FL 33801. 


The Florida High Speed Rail Commission, as proposed includes the Cities of Lakeland, Miami, Orlando and Tampa.  The group has offered a plan to save Florida High Speed Rail as an answer to the recent announcement by Governor Rick Scott rejecting the $2.4 Billion federal grant.