Don’t Lower Taxes?

Lakeland Florida CommissionersLast night members of the Lakeland City Commission spoke to the members of the Lakeland Citizen’s Academy. I asked what they felt was the major priority for the city over the next few years. In every case, they spoke of “growth management.” Commissioner Yates was emphatic that she doesn’t want to see Lakeland become a bedroom community serving Tampa and Orlando.

Most of the graduates of the Citizen’s Academy stayed for the budget meeting that was held last night. I was actually surprised to hear residents speak out in favor of not cutting taxes to force eliminating programs.

Residents who showed up for Wednesday’s budget workshop at City Hall urged the Lakeland City Commission to not forsake their quality of life or safety and follow the lead of Polk City in ignoring Tallahassee’s mandate to roll back property taxes. — The Lakeland Ledger

Of course, most who spoke were most concerned the commission would eliminate their program. But, of the programs listed for elimination, I couldn’t see any as being “fat” that needed trimming. I’d suggest the City Manager look less at eliminating programs and try to find a way to trim all departments a bit. I realize it’s easier to just say, “remove this program and that one,” but the city needs its sole police helicopter and the Lemon Street Sculptures are an important piece of this city’s charm.

Pictured are: Commissioner Edie Yates, Commissioner Dean Boring, Mayor Buddy Fletcher, Commissioner Howard Wiggs, and City Manager Douglas Thomas

Photo CC by Chuck Welch