Mask Mandate renewed

Barry Friedman



Monday, August 3  -  Lakeland’s mask mandate has been extended until at least Sept. 8. City commissioners voted 5-2 today to renew the directive requiring masks inside businesses after Polk’s chief health officer told them their initial one-month mandate has helped retard the spread of COVID-19 in the city.


The resolution mirrors the one passed on July 2, and it passed with the same vote split.


Voting in favor: Mayor Bill Mutz and Commissioners Stephanie Madden, Sara Roberts McCarley, Chad McLeod and Phillip Walker. Voting against: Commissioners Scott Franklin and Bill Read.

Review the meeting

Read the Resolution

Lakeland Mandates Masks for 30 Days Starting July 2nd

Barry Friedman



Thursday, July 2, 2020  -  Starting at 5 p.m. today, masks will be mandatory in indoor spaces within Lakeland city limits (other than residences) where people aren’t able to maintain 6-foot distance. That’s the result of a 5-2 Lakeland City Commission vote.

The mandate lasts 30 days and will need another commission vote to be extended. There are 12 exceptions, including children under 8, people eating or drinking, and people with health conditions that preclude facial coverings.

With today’s vote, Lakeland joins 17 counties and 52 cities in Florida with mask orders, including “most of the major areas around us,” Mutz said.


"Every person working, living, visiting, or doing business in the City of Lakeland shall wear a face covering consistent with CDC guidelines in any indoor location, other than their home or residence, when not maintaining social distancing from other persons, excluding family members or companions."

Proposed resolution up for discussion on Thursday at 10:00 AM. TUNE IN


Commission will reboot consideration of mandatory masks

City News Blog - LAKELAND, FL (June 30, 2020) | On Thursday, July 2nd at 10 a.m., the Lakeland City Commission will reconsider a resolution that would require the use of masks/face coverings within the Lakeland corporate limits. 

An Agenda Study Session is scheduled to take place at 8:30 a.m. and at the end of the session, the Commission will discuss the mask/face covering issue as a specially called meeting just for that topic. City Manager Tony Delgado said, “In accordance with the City Charter, the City Manager’s Office has received a request from three of our seven elected officials to hold a specially called meeting on the mask topic in light of the current COVID-19 infection trends.”

Full blog with info on public comment and more:

"I believe we’ll be accountable for that. The numbers will play the music. We will see the results. And we will be responsible for not worrying about what matters most.” Mayor Bill Mutz

Barry Friedman



Monday, June 22, 2020  -  For now, there is no mandate to wear masks in public places in Lakeland. After hearing the leaders of the city’s two largest health organizations say requiring face masks would help them preserve lives in Lakeland by preventing the spread of COVID-19, city commissioners today declined to take a vote on the issue.

Mayor Bill Mutz said he was “extremely disappointed” that none of the other six city commissioners would make a motion to approve a mask measure that was drafted at his request.

“We focused today on everything but lives. I think we focused on every issue we could bring up as a reason not to instead of the reasons to,” he said near the end of today’s three-hour-plus meeting. 


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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.

E-mail the commissioners

But one at a time, please!


For the most part, when recipients open an email that includes others they are less inclined to take it personally. Make sure your message resonates by sending it to each commissioner separately.

Scott Franklin - Stephanie Madden -  Sara McCarley - Chad Mcleod

Bill Mutz - Bill Read - Phillip Walker

Each of these noble citizens represents all the rest of us. The four geographic designations - Northwest, Northeast, Southwest, and Southeast, etc. - apply only to the residency requirements for commissioners, not to their constituents. Bill Read, for instance, lives in the city's northeast quadrant and is likely to be more in tune with the businesses and neighborhoods in that area, but serves us all as our representative to the city management and staff.

It will always help to send your message to City Manager Tony Delgado  because it's his job to implement whatever projects, resolutions, and ordinances the Commission proposes in response to our communication.


State legislators representing Lakeland

Representative Colleen Burton

Senator Kelli Stargell