Lakeland City Commission Adds Fairness and Inclusion to List of Principles and Values

Commissioner Walker saying that breakdown of principles & values have resulted in the decline of this country. #lkld — Lakeland, Florida (@lakelandgov) June 2, 2014 In some respects, I agree with Commissioner Walker. The breakdown of principles and values cause the decline of many countries. We may not agree about that exact list of principles […]

Benefit Equality Vote Friday or Monday; Simple Choice for Gow and Edie

It appears the Lakeland City Commission will hold a vote of sorts on whether to allow same sex employees to include their committed partners on the city’s health insurance policy and other basic benefits enjoyed by other employees. The circumstances are a little odd, so let me explain briefly: As The Ledger reported a few […]

Same Sex Benefits Update Set For Friday Agenda Study

I received a heads up late Wednesday afternoon from City Manager Doug Thomas that city staff will update commissioners on the results of their survey of nearby local governments that have adopted same sex benefits for employees. Here’s exactly what he wrote me: Pursuant to my comments following your February 6, 2012 presentation to the […]

Mayor Fields Looks to the Near Future

On April 20, 1992, Gow Fields took his seat as the appointed Lakeland city commissioner representing the Northwest District. Recommended for the position by the departing commissioner, Fields appointment was challenged by a group of area ministers and citizens. The group wanted a Democrat in the Northwest seat. The city commissioners stood firm with their […]

Reader Request: Walker – Grier Results

A reader requested we publish the November and December results for the Phillip Walker and Clarance Grier, Sr. City Commission race.

• In December, Walker won all save four precincts (117,120,204,205). He picked up the 119 from November, but lost the 120.

• Grier trailed Walker by 1511 votes in November. He picked up 819 votes in December, but Walker added 316 to take Grier by 1008 votes.

• The percentages in December were Walker (45.6), Grier (30.2), and Shirah (24.2). In December, Walker (55.9) and Grier (44.1)

• Grier gained the most ground in Precincts 236 (82 vote turn around), 221 (56 vote turnaround) and 224 (50 vote turnaround)

Find the chart at

A Final Pair of Postcards from the Mayoral Candidates

commentary On Friday, I sent Gow Fields and Jim Verplanck a pair of softball questions. The campaign is near the end and I didn’t see a need to ask questions they’ve answered a hundred times before. I wanted to see the spirit of the men in their answers to those two particular questions. If I […]

A Final Pair of Questions for the Mayoral Candidates

In my continuing effort to give you a peek behind the scenes, here’s an email I sent Friday to the two Lakeland mayoral candidates: We’re in the last days of the campaign. On Monday and Tuesday I’d like to have a chance for Lakeland Local readers to see something from each of you. However, by […]

Two Candidates File to Run against Yates for City Commission Seat

Two Lakeland residents have filed to run in the special election for the District D (Southeast) City Commission. They will face off in the December 8th special election against incumbent Edie Yates. Election code called for the special election when candidate Edit Yates was left unopposed when James Goetz withdrew from the race. Their names and more inside…

Listing Home for Sale Raises Additional Concerns About Candidate Goetz

According to World For Sale By Owner, the home at 3038 Cleveland Heights Blvd is for sale. In this economy many are looking to sell their homes. However, it is unusual for a person running for city commission to have his or her home on the market. It appears to be the case for this […]

Lakeland Electric Rate Up October 1st

Inside you’ll find a memo sent out from the city today. It bears the Truth in Advertising title of “LAKELAND ELECTRIC FUEL CHARGE DECREASE EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1ST.” However, while that fact is true, other charges conspire to make that first 1000 kwh of electricity more expensive after the 1st than it was in September. Get the details inside…

Lakeland Commission: Man, The People We (Ostensibly) Serve Are Annoying

In the latest effort to ensure it still gets invited to all the good regional cocktail parties if and when the CSX deal goes splat, our Lakeland City Commission – excluding Justin Troller and Howard Wiggs – has sent a blanket email – with DOT-fawning letter attached – urging Florida senators to ignore any silly citizen emails or other contact expressing opposition from anyone not “official”.

Gow Fields Opens the Lakeland Mayoral Race

The next few months will bring us another race for Lakeland mayor. Currently squaring off are city commissioners Gow Fields and Jim Verplanck. We’re reaching out to both men to speak to the community. We’re in it for the whole race, and hope to have many conversations with both candidates during the campaign. First up is Gow Fields. Last Tuesday, we spoke a little about this emerging medium, CSX, and what he’d do with a magic wand.

Union Letter of Complaint Against Commissioner Yates

The Utility Workers Union of America recently filed a complaint against Commissioner Edie Yates. The Ledger covered the story in today’s edition. However, there are additional links and text I think you’ll find pertinent. This post includes the letter against Commissioner Yates. An earlier post covered the complaint letter concerning Mayor Fletcher.

Union Letter of Complaint Against Mayor Fletcher

In December 2008, a lawyer/researcher for Utility Workers Union of America filed two separate complaints to the The Florida Commission on Ethics. A December 4th, 2008 made the complaint against Mayor Buddy Fletcher, and December 19th letter addressed a complaint against Commissioner Edie Yates. The Ledger includes the pertinent story, and I urge you to read it. However, there are additional links and text I think you’ll find pertinent. This post includes the letter against Mayor Fletcher. A follow-up post will feature the letter against Commissioner Edie Yates.