Answering the most common questions about Lakeland life

Learn who’s in charge of city decisions, how to grow your business, and how to get involved.


You can become a Swan City expert in no time.

Photo by @emnoel_

Question: What’s the best city in the world? Answer: Lakeland, of course. In case you’ve got more questions on your mind about life in Lakeland, we’re answering a few of the most common queries our readers send our way.

Q: Who makes decisions about local policies?
A: The Lakeland City Commission. The mayor and commissioners are elected to create policies, maintain city budgets, and hear from Lakelanders at their public meetings.

Q: Who can help me learn to start and grow my business?
A: The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce. This not-for-profit organization supports local businesses through education and community engagement.

Q: Who’s in charge of community revitalization projects?
A: The Lakeland Community Redevelopment Agency. The CRA works with businesses and developers on improvement projects using redistributed property taxes. It currently covers three districts: Downtown, Midtown, and Dixieland.

Downtown Lakeland filled with vendors and shoppers at the farmers market

You can thank the LDDA for downtown events like First Friday and the Farmers Market.

Photo by LALtoday

Q: Who maintains downtown Lakeland’s charm?
A: The Lakeland Downtown Development Authority. This special taxing district uses funds for physical improvements according to the area’s design guidelines. The LDDA also organizes events like the Downtown Farmers Curb Market.

Q: I’m new to Lakeland. What do I need to know?
A: Check out our Lakelander 101 guide. It’s full of need-to-know information on voter registration, school enrollment, utilities, and more. Welcome to the neighborhood.

Q: How can I get involved in local changes and decisions?
A: There are many ways to make your voice heard. Join City Commission hearings, LDDA meetings, public forums, and local boards to be a part of the conversation.

What other questions do you have about living in Lakeland? Drop them to us in this survey and we’ll do our best to answer them in the future.