Julie Butterfield



Feb 19, 2021  -  Four candidates — a photography manager, a construction company owner, a construction manager, and an educator — are competing in an April 6 special election for a short-term seat on the Lakeland City Commission.


The winner of the April election — or a May 4 runoff if nobody wins a majority in April — will serve until the end of this year, filling the unexpired term of former Commissioner Scott Franklin, who was elected to Congress last fall. Don Selvage is serving as interim commissioner in the seat, which represents southeast Lakeland.


City Commission Approves Statement Calling for COVID-19 Safety

Barry Friedman



Jan 20, 2021 -  City commissioners approved a resolution late Tuesday night urging Lakeland residents to wear masks and take other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The vote was unanimous following the urging of Commissioner Don Selvage, who acknowledged he doesn’t think the measure goes far enough but suggested the commission show a united front.


The action came at 10 p.m. after commissioners had already been meeting for seven hours. It generated little discussion from commissioners and only one comment from a member of the public: a scolding from a disabilities advocate who said the city is doing nothing to help people who face public scorn when they decline to wear face coverings in public because of health or emotional issues.


The resolution “recommends and urges in the strongest possible terms” that residents and businesses practice social distancing, use virtual meeting technology, wear face coverings, and practice hand hygiene


Commission Approves Plan for 300 Apartments in SW Lakeland

This aerial image provided by the developer shows plans for Parkway Preserve, boxed in white, just west of Airport Road. Farther west is Carillon Lakes. To the east: Publix headquarters.

Barry Friedman and Rick Rousos



Jan 20, 2021 -  Lakeland city commissioners had to choose Tuesday between two very different visions for 30 undeveloped acres off Airport Road south of the Polk Parkway:


On one side, a developer and city planners envision 300 apartments providing needed housing in southwest Lakeland for young professionals working for a growing number of businesses nearby.

On the other side, homeowners foresee an ugly mass of 14 three-story apartment buildings creating traffic congestion and intrusion on their nearby quiet community.

After hearing arguments on both sides for six hours on Tuesday, commissioners gave the green light to the developers, Matcon Construction Services of Tampa, who want to substitute an apartment complex named Parkway Preserve for a previous plan that called for 142 townhouses on the property.


Watch Lakeland City Commission Agenda Studies the Friday before each Monday City Commission Meeting at 8:30 AM.


Watch Lakeland City Commission Meetings on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month at 3:00 PM, unless the date falls on a recognized holiday.


On weeks where there is a holiday, the meeting will be held on Tuesday at 3:00 PM.

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Steve Frankenberger, 56, manager of the photography department Publix at Super Markets, Inc., where he’s worked for 36 years. He’s also owned and operated his own photography business for 20 years. It is his first time running for political office.

Mike Musick, 49, owner of Musick Construction and Roofing in Lakeland. The company has existed for nearly two decades. This is his first run for office.  

Ken Post, 55, who has worked for health-related nonprofits, focusing on building management, project management and strategic planning. He spent three years in human resources. It’s his first time running for office.

Shandale Terrell, 46, an educator for Polk County Public Schools who works with special-needs students, analyzes academic assessment data, and mentors students. This is his fourth run for political office.

Four Candidates in April Commission Election
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