This is part of our Voices series with City of Lakeland Mayor Bill Mutz, where he breaks down his thoughts about what’s going on in the City – in just one minute. Want to join the conversation? We invite you to write for us. Learn how to share your voice here.
We live in an era of rapid change.
As I drove to City Hall this morning, I recalled what the drive looked like (at least in my memory) 25 years ago and considered some of the differences in the way things looked then versus today. It is good to reflect. Some of you can do this far longer than me as you’ve lived your entire life in the greater Lakeland area.
Sure, change is inevitable. When discussing change, we can be annoyed by the quick reflex for others to quote the adage: “Nothing is constant, but change.” We know! There is a reason that phrase can bother us. Deep inside, most of us desire a reliable normal. We are victims of habit, and change continually disrupts some of our life routines and expectations. I get it!
As a commission, I can assure you…we share these emotions. Yet, you have charged us to remain keenly aware of our inevitable future growth (particularly in Central Florida) and anticipate needs.
Your commission cannot anticipate the future perfectly. It can, however, respond to the most anticipatable predictors of future needs: water, housing, data requirements, infrastructure loads, recreational needs, transportation, seamless community inclusion, job growth, etc.
These challenges are to be thoughtfully addressed while remaining prudent with the existing sources of funding. I can assure you that your City Staff and Commission consistently strive to do just that — Every day.
As you drive and reflect on today’s changes from the past, I encourage you to project how we meet this future growth as wisely as possible. Please share your thoughts with the commission and staff by providing your creative thinking — it is appreciated and considered. This input is how Lakeland can most responsibly grow as we wisely work to do it together.