Commission wants to wait on park carousel

Sara-Megan Walsh

The Ledger


April 17, 2019  -  The Lakeland Downtown Development Authority is more than welcome to take the wheel and steer future conversations about Munn Park, as city commissioners have no desire to be in the driver’s seat.

Lakeland commissioners adamantly agreed not to make any decision on potential changes to the park for at least a year during their strategic planning retreat Wednesday. Julie Townsend, the LDDA’s executive director, had proposed the city install a custom Lakeland-themed carousel.

“We’ve gotten a lot of responses on social media so far for the carousel,” Commissioner Bill Read said. “We just removed the statue. I’d like to see it die down and let the water settle before we do something. Let things lay for about a year.”


in search of Munn Park
‘it’ factor

Sara-Megan Walsh

The Ledger


April 29, 2019  -  Most agree Munn Park needs something to become the vibrant heart of the city. There just isn’t much agreement on what that something is.

A steady stream of residents stopped by the Lakeland Downtown Development Authority’s community forum on the future of Munn Park.

“This is going to take a dialogue, not a monologue,” said Julie Townsend, the LDDA’s executive director. “One of the issues is that people don’t use the park, but people think the park is being used.”

“I like the carousel idea, it’s a really family-oriented type of thing,” said Loretta Freeman, a Lakeland native. 

Freeman said she feels there’s a certain nostalgia to Munn Park. Her family has purchased several of the engraved pavers that once surrounded the 109-year-old Confederate statue before it was relocated to Veterans Park in late March. She said she wouldn’t want that piece of local history dismantled or disturbed.


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