(Note: This is the unedited announcement sent this afternoon from the Mayor’s Office.)
City of Lakeland Mayor Buddy Fletcher is announcing that he will not seek reelection as Mayor in 2010. His current term ends December 31, 2009. Fletcher was first elected as a City of Lakeland Commissioner in 1989 and has served in public office for 20 years.
Fletcher became Mayor in January 1993 and he has held the office since then, serving the people of Lakeland. Mayor Fletcher said, “I wanted to announce my decision early so those that have a desire to run can do so without having to worry about facing an incumbent.” He added, “I am still very active in the leadership role as Mayor and I plan to continue serving until my term expires this December.”
Fletcher counts his success not on himself but on a community that has worked together including citizens, businesses and volunteers who have partnered toward improving the quality of life in Lakeland. During his tenure as Mayor, Fletcher’s priorities included stimulating economic growth, upgrading Lakeland neighborhoods and improving Lakeland’s appearance through a series of new park initiatives and beautification projects.
Fletcher said, “Serving the community has been such a big part of my life. We have had a great team of commissioners through the years that have served unselfishly with the goal of improving our City.” He added, “Once my term as Mayor ends, I would like to continue serving well into the future as a volunteer. I love this community and I will continue giving back to the place where I grew up.”
Fletcher is a native of Lakeland and is president of Fletcher Printing Company. He is an alumnus of the Lakeland Citizens Police Academy and Leadership Lakeland. He has served on the Advisory Board of the Imperial Symphony Orchestra, Lakeland Rotary Club and Lakeland Regional Medical Center. He is past president of the United Way of Central Florida, a 32 degree Mason and Shriner and past Chairman of Florida Baptist Ministries.
Fletcher resides in Lakeland with his wife Weetsie. The Fletchers are active members of First Baptist Church at the Mall where he serves as a deacon and trustee. In his spare time, Fletcher enjoys golf and tennis.