Good Morning Lakeland Residents!
Last week we were all excited to see the resident turnout and support for the Lakeland P.U.L.S.E. Comprehensive Plan public engagement workshop! With over 80 residents in attendance, we obtained some valuable feedback to the process and direction of the plan. Keep reading below for a recap from last week, and here are the headlines for the week ahead:
- The Lakeland School System (LSS) Board of Education meets tonight at City Hall at 5:45pm - the published agenda includes several school policy updates, school fees updates, budget amendments and other financial matters, new job descriptions, and an update to the 22-23 salary schedules.
- The Lakeland Board of Commissioners (BOC) meets Thursday night at City Hall at 5:30pm, and the meeting is expected to include the first reading of an Ordinance to update Sewer User Rates.
A Look Back to Last Week
Lakeland P.U.L.S.E. Comprehensive Plan Public Engagement Workshop
For several weeks, the City of Lakeland had been pushing via every communications channel available a call to action from citizens to attend this public engagement workshop for the comprehensive plan - and it paid dividends last Tuesday at 6pm at I.H. Clubhouse! The format of the meeting was different than most public board and commission meetings, as it was intended to be a working session to obtain public comments and suggestions. Over 80 residents were in attendance, including many members of the Lakeland P.U.L.S.E. Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee.
- After introductions, the meeting kicked off with a presentation by Michael Shelton of Kimley-Horn on the status of work done on the P.U.L.S.E. Plan so far.
Michael Walker and Commissioner Connie McCarter welcome the crowd and introduce presenters - photo by Alexis Cheyenne Photography
Michael Shelton of Kimley-Horn provided an update on the P.U.L.S.E. plan so far - photo by Alexis Cheyenne Photography
- After the presentation, attendees broke out into work stations around the room to provide feedback on specific elements of the economic growth strategy so far. This feedback was summarized by the consultants at Kimley-Horn and is available at this link (keeping in mind, these are the unfiltered public comments).
Residents completing comment cards while the crowds behind them visit work stations - photo by Alexis Cheyenne Photography
Why the P.U.L.S.E. Plan Matters
For those who may not have an extensive background in City planning and design (in other words, most of us...), you may wonder what exactly a comprehensive plan is and why it matters. When it comes to best situating Lakeland for the future, the comprehensive plan sets the vision of where, how, and what is built and developed. Once that vision is established, the City's land development regulations need to be updated to comply with this vision. And finally, with these two legs of a three-legged stool in place, our Municipal Planning and Design Review Commission, as well as the BOC, make recommendations and approvals based on a developer's compliance with the comprehensive plan and land development regulations. All three legs are important - because without one of them, the stool simply falls over.
Board of Commissioners Work Session
Last Thursday, the BOC met in a work session to discuss the items that will be voted upon this coming Thursday, March 9th. With Mayor Josh Roman absent, Vice-Mayor Wesley Wright chaired the meeting. The discussions can be viewed by watching the meeting video, and will largely be continued in the course of the regular meeting this coming Thursday.
A Look Ahead to This Week
LSS Board of Education Meeting
The LSS Board of Education meets at City Hall in Lakeland tonight at 5:45pm. The published agenda includes several school policy updates, school fees updates, budget amendments and other financial matters, new job descriptions, and an update to the 22-23 salary schedules. As noted on the LSS website, meetings are also streamed live and archived on the LSS YouTube page.
Beer Board Meeting
The elected BOC also serves as the Beer Board for the City of Lakeland. Beer Board meetings occur when the City receives beer permit applications. This Thursday at 5:15pm a Beer Board meeting will be held ahead of the BOC's regular meeting. The agenda is expected to include off-premise beer permits for two applicants.
Board of Commissioners Meeting
This Thursday, March 9th, the BOC will meet in voting session at 5:30pm at City Hall. In the work session last week, several items were added to the consent agenda. Here's a look ahead to what's on the agenda and what's up for a vote this week:
- Two Ordinances are up for public hearing and final reading in March (voting session on March 9th) - one finalizes code revisions regarding wireless transmission (cell) tower required setbacks, and one finalizes a budget amendment increasing both revenues and expenditures for a grant from Shelby County to make accommodation improvements at City Hall.
- Our Finance Director will provide the Treasurer's report for February.
- Other committee and officer reports will be provided by the Sheriff's office (crime report), me (City Manager's report), and Commissioners (updates on meetings to which each BOC member serves as a liaison).
- The consent agenda will be up for approval - these are items that are typically routine in nature, and the BOC has reviewed in work session and determined should be placed on the consent agenda:
- Minutes approvals.
- First reading of an Ordinance updating the City's municipal code section regarding official depositories (bank accounts).
- Resolutions approving contracts: guardrail installation; land development regulations update; mobile service provider; and Clear Creek interceptor construction contract.
- A Resolution accepting public improvements for certain phases in Winstead Farms.
- A Resolution authorizing me to engage real estate and financial advisory services related to the Lakeland Gateway TIF District.
- In addition to the Ordinances on second reading mentioned above, the agenda also includes a first reading of an Ordinance establishing sewer user rate changes, based on the recent rate study completed by the Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS).
- Other Resolutions to be considered are:
- To change the City's meeting calendar, allowing for two regular voting meetings of the BOC each month.
- To approve agreements for: the annual audit engagement; I.H. Managerial Park parking lot construction; and sewer flow monitoring.
- To authorize Mayor Roman and I to meet with surrounding Shelby County mayors and administrators to discuss strategies for change in public safety and prosecution.
To Be Continued...
Meetings at City Hall are always open to the public, and are opportunities for you to be informed and involved in City governance. The entire Board of Commissioners, our volunteer board and commission members, and City Staff are encouraged by the level of public engagement we have seen lately - a sign that the work we are doing matters, our citizens care, and a reminder that our work is always to be continued.
As always, please email any questions or concerns to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I remain...
In Your Service,
Michael Walker, City Manager