We love our city and want it to be the best it can be. We are a group of citizens united for a better, stronger future for Lakeland.
We believe the logical next step is a strong, people's mayor, an elected official with authority over the executive functions of city government, with the ability to accelerate the city's progress while preserving the city's identity and quality of life we already enjoy.
Lakeland knows what's best for Lakeland.
At the heart of any amendment to the city's charter are the citizens, because any amendment must be approved by a vote of the people.
While our group believes it is time to move toward a form of government with a strong, people's mayor, we are most interested in simply putting this matter to a vote of the people. The people of Lakeland will be the final decision-makers in their path to the future.
Florida's statutes guarantee to the people of every city in the state the right to propose amendments to their city's charter. The other governing documents in Lakeland are the City Charter and the Municipal Code.
With the signatures of 10 percent of the voters, Strong Lakeland successfully petitioned the city commission to place this proposed amendment on the ballot on November 7, 2017.
In the simplest of terms, a mayor is the leader of a city.
But in Lakeland's current form of government, the weak mayor is not the chief executive of the city government. Instead, he simply votes on the city commission and has a ceremonial title. Answering the question of "Who's in charge?" can be very confusing. Sometimes it's the city commission. Sometimes, it's the appointed city manager. This moving target of responsibility can be a frustrating situation for citizens, businesses, and outside organizations who need to find one point of leadership for Lakeland.
A strong, people's mayor would not vote on the city commission. Instead, the mayor would be the chief executive of the city and responsible for its day-to-day operations, while the Commission would function as the legislative branch, approving the budget and passing or repealing ordinances. Such a separation of powers is common throughout other levels of American government.
Have a question or suggestion? Want to learn more? Get in touch with us!
We want to hear from you. This is an open process and all suggestions are fully considered on the merits. Please contact us with any feedback you may have.