How can you hear our voices if you're not listening?

Public - NOUN -

The people as a whole : POPULACE

A group of people having common interests or characteristics

specifically : the group at which a particular activity or enterprise aims

Elect - VERB -

To select by vote for an office, position, or membership

Representative - NOUN -

One that represents another or others: such as one that represents a constituency as a member of a legislative body

Communicate - VERB -

To convey knowledge of or information about : make known

To reveal by clear signs

To transmit information, thought, or feeling so that it is satisfactorily received or understood

Try this.

Call the governor, write to the governor, email the governor. Get back to me when he gets back to you.

Then try this with your state legislators. Let me know how it works out.

Now, call, write, or email any one of the seven city commissioners, or any of the city’s sixteen department heads. This may yield better results. My personal experience has been good on this.

Everyone on the city management team has responded politely, professionally, and for the most part, promptly. All but one of the commissioners have replied directly to at least some of my email while assuring me that, even in the absence of written responses, all of the messages are received and read and respected.

And so, two things occur to me.

The government closest to me matters most and engages best. The further from the people it is, the worse it gets.

And, if you are a public representative or government official, and you publish your contact information, why don’t you answer?

Hello? Anybody there? How can you hear the voices of the citizenship if you’re not listening?

The Governor:

State legislators:

Contact information for the Commission and the city management can be found here:

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 Shawn Sherouse  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