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The original item was published from 6/5/2023 8:39:00 AM to 6/5/2023 8:39:10 AM.

News Flash

City Manager's Update

Posted on: April 10, 2023

[ARCHIVED] City Manager's Update - April 10, 2023


Good Morning Lakeland Residents,

Thank you to all the Lakeland residents, City Staff, and volunteers who showed up and showed out in a big way for our neighbors in Covington last week! As Mayor Josh Roman reported on social media, with your donations, love, and care shared with Covington, five truckloads were delivered to relief efforts Friday evening! We truly appreciate your willingness to aid in the relief efforts, and we continue in our prayers for a speedy recovery to this community. 

We have two opportunities for you to get involved in City governance this week, with the Parks and Recreation / Natural Resources Board (PRB) meeting Tuesday evening, and the Municipal Planning and Design Review Commission (MPDRC) meeting Thursday evening. But first, let's take...

A Look Back to Last Week

Board of Commissioners Regular Meeting

With a new schedule and a new time, the Board of Commissioners (BOC) met Thursday evening at 6pm in a regular session. This is a change from prior months, in which a work session was held on the first Thursday, following by a regular monthly meeting the next week. The change was made in March to allow for two regular voting sessions per month by the BOC. With four of the five members of the BOC in attendance (Commissioner Michele Dial was absent due to illness and we continue to wish her well), we had a quorum and the meeting proceeded. As always, the full meeting video can be viewed at

Presentations and Proclamations

Part of the agenda for last week's BOC meeting involved each Commissioner liaison giving updates on the recent activities from the various volunteer Boards and Commissions on which they serve. These reports only cover the meetings that have occurred since the last BOC regular meeting. 

Thursday, as a part of the presentations and reports section, City of Lakeland Parks and Recreation Director Pat O'Mara (with Commissioner Dial's absence), reported briefly on the most recent PRB meeting. Then, after being introduced, Brian McLaughlin with the YMCA Mid-South was on hand and presented a plan and desire to work with the City of Lakeland to bring an exciting new YMCA/City partnership to our residents, providing much-needed amenities, facilities, and services. As reported, the Y desires to bring basketball, baseball, and swimming facilities to Lakeland, along with an early learning center. As more work in done toward the accomplishment of this partnership, we will of course keep you informed!

Brian McLaughlin making a presentation to the Board

As part of Vice-Mayor Wesley Wright's update on the recent Lakeland Board of Education meeting, the Vice-Mayor presented the idea of the City of Lakeland providing staffing to the high school's library for use by the public. We will have more information as available for this partnership!

Coming later in the meeting's regular agenda, the BOC also approved a Mayoral Proclamation (presented by Commissioner Connie McCarter) honoring April 14, 2023 as Blue and Green Day Mid-South in Lakeland, in support of organ and tissue donation. Melody Ramsey of the Mid-South Transplant Foundation was on hand to address the need. We encourage everyone in Lakeland to wear Blue and Green this Friday in support of increased awareness of the importance of organ and tissue donation! Oh, and of course - the Resolution approving the proclamation passed unanimously via proclamation!

Blue Green Day Mid-South commissioners and Melody Ramsey with proclamation

(Left to Right) Commissioner Atkinson, Commissioner McCarter, Melody Ramsey (front center), Vice-Mayor Wright, Mayor Roman

Voting Matters

Here is a brief recap of the matters presented and voted upon in the meeting, in addition to the proclamation above:

  • With questions from Commissioner McCarter related to the BOC minutes on the consent agenda, the items were ultimately removed from the consent agenda to vote upon later in the meeting. 
  • An amendment to the agreement with Buchart-Horn related to the Clear Creek Interceptor project was needed due to the amount of time passed (and related increased costs) from when the agreement was initially approved two years prior. The resolution was approved 4-0 in favor of the amendment.
  • A second and final reading of an ordinance updating the municipal code related to the City's official depositories was approved unanimously via acclamation.
  • A first reading of an ordinance modifying the City's municipal code language, specific to the date of the inter-jurisdictional agreement with the City of Memphis for treatment of wastewater, was approved unanimously via acclamation.
  • Resolutions were passed related to - 
    • A change order for the exterior Americans with Disabilities Act improvements at City Hall was needed due to additional concrete work needed. Approved unanimously via acclamation.
    • Approval of a purchase of a mastic melting machine for Public Works, a large crack seal melter for roadway improvements. Approved unanimously via acclamation.
    • Approval of a purchase of a shoulder mower, allowing for more efficient Public Works endeavors in grass work. Approved unanimously via acclamation.
    • Approval of an agreement with Enscor LLC for the current year's sanitary sewer improvements project (sewer system maintenance). After discussion, the resolution was approved unanimously via acclamation.
  • A resolution was presented to establish a Neighborhood Watch Funds reimbursement policy, presented by Commissioner McCarter. Commissioner McCarter and I discussed these funds ahead of the meeting, and collaboratively determined that no official policy for the eligible use of the funds was ever established. In presenting the resolution, Commissioner McCarter requested that she be named Neighborhood Watch liaison for the BOC to work directly with communities and the Shelby County Sheriff's Office to coordinate the establishment and maintenance of these programs in Lakeland. Mayor Roman pointed out that the materials presented were solely for the establishment of the policy. A later item was added to the agenda to consider the Neighborhood Watch liaison position discussion. The resolution approving the policy itself, was read into the record by Mayor Roman and discussed by the BOC, including a request from the Board that I report back on the administration of the policy and any needed updates within six months. The resolution establishing the policy was approved unanimously via acclamation.
  • A resolution was presented to establish a moratorium on new commercial development along a portion of Canada Road was presented by Vice-Mayor Wright. After discussion and clarification of the area of the moratorium, which addresses the area south of Interstate 40 to Highway 64, the resolution was passed with a vote of 3-1, with Commissioner McCarter voting against the measure.
  • Mayor Roman presented a resolution to provide disaster relief donations to the City of Covington, Tennessee, and the City of Wynne, Arkansas. The resolution was passed unanimously via acclamation.
  • The minutes approval (Beer Board and prior BOC meetings) was presented, and were approved (3-0, 1 abstain by Commissioner McCarter on Beer Board minutes, 4-0 on BOC minutes).
  • The discussion and possible action related to the Neighborhood Watch liaison was tabled to a future meeting.

A Look Ahead to this Week

Parks and Recreation and Natural Resources Board Meeting

The PRB will meet Tuesday night at 5:30pm at City Hall. The agenda includes:

  • Updates on Athletic Complex and the Cheer program
  • Goal setting for the Lakeland Senior Center
  • Division updates from the Parks and Recreation department

Municipal Planning and Design Review Commission Meeting

The MPDRC will meet Thursday night at 5:30pm at City Hall. Their agenda includes:

  • Consideration of a time extension on the Arcadia planned residential development
  • Discussion of the lighting requirements and any needed modifications for the Mobil Station's lighting plan
  • An update on the progress of the Lakeland P.U.L.S.E. Comprehensive Plan and the City's land development regulations review

To Be Continued...

As always, remember to check for meeting times, videos of past meetings, and materials for upcoming meetings, as available. Also, stay plugged in to the City through our website, our social media, and our Lakeland Connect app. And reach out to me any time at

In Your Service,

Michael Walker, City Manager

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