There may seem to always be a chance to vote, but as we well know, each one counts.
The November election for Lakeland mayor and three city commission seats is tomorrow, November 7th. Since the deadline for the candidate Q&A in our July issue, three additional people have filed paperwork to run. You can read their responses to the same questions, as well as review the other candidates’ here.
In addition to the offices that will be filled, Lakelanders will be deciding a critical ballot issue regarding the structure of our city government. Known as the Strong Mayor initiative, if passed, it will change the role of Lakeland’s mayor from someone who leads the city commission and is otherwise largely ceremonial, to someone who manages the day-to-day operations of the City of Lakeland. Currently, the day-to-day operations are handled by a city manager who is hired by and serves at the pleasure of the city commission. There are passionate debates on both sides — from the Committee for a Strong Lakeland, which introduced and supports the ballot initiative, to the No Boss Mayor group, which opposes the change. In addition to the groups’ websites and Facebook pages, there will be a number of opportunities to hear from both sides at forums and other events between now and election day.