The September 2019 - Public Hearing Draft Copy is a proposed summarized line item budget and 10-year CIP that may be changed by the Commission based upon the 9/5/2019 Budget Hearing at 6 PM in the City Commission Chambers. 

This document is subject to revision pending final adoption

Once the 2nd (9/12/2019) Budget Hearing is complete, a final detailed line item budget and 10-year CIP will be placed on this page, prior to the 10/1/19 new fiscal year.

City gives hospital rent relief, plans budget cuts

Lakeland Regional Health is getting rent relief after city commissioners agreed Monday to suspend annual rate increases for five years. READ MORE HERE

Broadband committee supports $97,000,000 middle option

The scope of a possible city-owned internet service provider became more focused Monday as the City Commission’s broadband committee set a goal to build a fiber optics network to cover all of Lakeland city limits. READ MORE HERE

City manager offering budget cuts to avoid a tax increase

A plan by the city’s staff will reduce the pressure to raise the property tax rate if a request for rent relief by Lakeland Regional Health is  granted, but it won’t be pain-free, City Manager Tony Delgado said. READ MORE HERE

Franklin seeks smarter, more thoughtful budget planning process

Allison Guinn

The Ledger


February 1, 2019  -  Planning the city’s budget has traditionally been a multi-day gantlet of bureaucracy, wearing down all in attendance within the cold confines of the elegant Lake Hollingsworth Room in the RP Funding Center.

Department heads, deputies, division managers and subject-matter experts file into the room for hours to inform the city commission on long-term, short-term and ad hoc plans for each nook of the city, combining PowerPoint and three-ring binders into a symphony of slog.

Another interpretation is that the process is comprehensive, as necessitated by the complexity of the city with a total budget exceeding half a billion dollars.

Under either view the meetings, in the spring and in early summer, end with the commissioners being asked, in essence, “So now what?”


"Last year we spent a tremendous amount of time getting all the department updates, and then at the last hour of the day, we're trying to figure out what all of our priorities are." - Scott Franklin

Final budget hearing video is "must see" for citizens

Barry Friedman


  • Commissioners unanimously approved a $612 million 2019 budget as recommended by their staff.

According to lkldNOW, the highlights included:​

  • A small reduction in the property tax rate.

  • No funding for a proposed $195,000 initiative to reduce homelessness.

  • Supplementing the city general fund with a $300,000 “infusion” from a reserve of about $2.5 million collected through red light camera fines.

Commissioner Troller voted against the tax cut after pushing for a larger reduction, calling the .1 level “ceremonial and a slap in the face to taxpayers.”


Complete, unedited original city video lasts for less than an hour-and-a-half, and provides insight into how governing gets done. For more on the how the money comes and goes, see the blog.

Review the size and cost of the city's workforce here

Finance Director and

City Manager offer insight on employee population


From: Michael Maguire 

Sent: Friday, June 22, 2018 8:25 AM

To: Brossart, Michael 




Good morning!


I have a hypothetical for you.


Inasmuch as the state requires cities to produce and publish balanced budgets, I was wondering what would be the consequences of reducing personnel costs through productivity gains. If such an effort resulted in significantly fewer employees, and assuming a typical increase in revenue, where would the "surplus" most likely be put to use?




From: Brossart, Michael 
Sent: Friday, June 22, 2018 10:20 AM
To: Michael Maguire, Tony Delgado


Good morning Michael.  As Tony mentions during his talks around the community, the City’s employees take great pride in finding ways to reduce costs wherever possible.  We manage process improvement projects throughout each year, resulting in ways to reduce costs and improve productivity.  The most significant effect is realized as we reduce positions.  We also limit expense growth.  This year’s budget only allowed controllable expenses to grow by 1.25%.  I would put that up against every public or private organization – especially one as diverse and large as ours.


As far as your question regarding the use of surplus, the Commission decides how much surplus to maintain in each fund.  As municipal General Funds are not-for-profit service providers, it is just a matter of time before expenses grow faster than its limited revenue sources.  The City is very unusual when compared to its peers because it has developed other sources of revenues for the General Fund which allows us to be much less reliant upon property tax revenues.  Ours is the 3rd lowest millage rate in the County with the best combination of amenities for its citizens.  


I have copied Tony as he may want to add his thoughts to this missive.


Have a great weekend…  MIKE

On June 22, 2018 at 11:33 AM Tony Delgado wrote: 



I would also believe that the Commission would ask to entertain options to review the current millage rates as Commissioner Franklin did during our Business Planning retreat. Mike Brossart is correct that we continue to look for efficiencies and try to maintain the millage rate at a very favorable level along with maintaining a fair dividend from our major enterprise funds … The Utilities.


New project expenditures or additional rant programs, while reasonable and inviting in some respects, come with long term maintenance and operational funding requirements and the possibility for economic changes that would require the Commission to evaluate the continued opportunity of funding.


Thanks, Tony

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To begin with ...

The City's budget information pages show financial data and detail for FY 2019 and the previous four years. Explore the OpenGov portal to learn more about where the money comes from and goes.

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The critical features of the city's annual budget are chiseled out in the spring during two multi-day retreats that bring the commissioners and staff together to look back, measure the present, and plan the future. Review the 2018 retreat presentations here - Business Planning and Strategic Planning

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Review and explore the entire city budget 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 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