Your City. Your Budget.
As the Lakeland City Commissioners were working their way through the current city budget a year ago, they asked for citizen input on the decisions they were making. This year, citizens will have a new way to “weigh in” on their city’s budget.
In preparation for the 2012 budget discussions, Lakeland Vision has collaborated with the City of Lakeland to create an online tool at www.LakelandBudget.com to collect that input, beginning March 21, 2011.
Bruce Lyon, Lakeland Vision board member, explained that the site features a two-part survey. The first part highlights a number of long-range goals identified in the Lakeland community’s Vision of its future. Participants will be asked to identify how important those goals are to them. The second part of the survey includes a section of the City of Lakeland’s budget broken down into six service areas. Each section of the budget indicates the relative amount of money the city invests in that category.
Citizens are then able to use the site to adjust investment levels to reflect how s/he believes dollars should be allocated.
Lyon also noted that, “for those who want to dig a little deeper,” the site features links to provide citizens with a better understanding of programs working to address the community’s long term goals, as well as the city budget and specific programs affected by shifts in allocations. In announcing the site launch, Shannon Lanier, executive director of Lakeland Vision, credited her Board’s commitment to facilitating dialogue between the City and its stakeholders.
Board chair, Weymon Snuggs, said that, “Lakeland is not immune to the economic challenges we hear about on a daily basis, so tough decisions may have to be made for the 2012 budget year. LakelandBudget.com will give the community an avenue to provide their opinions on the city’s future and its financial priorities.”
The deadline to provide input via LakelandBudget.com is March 31, 2011. Lakeland Vision will then take the feedback and deliver it to the city commission, who can use it as another tool to help them make the decisions they were elected to make. Lakeland Vision is a not-for-profit agency focused in community development. Lakeland Vision works to implement the strategies laid out in a publicly generated Vision for Lakeland’s future. For more information, please contact Shannon Lanier at (863)
682-9660 or SLanier@LakelandVision.org.
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Florida Regional Economic Symposium, April 8/strong>
Supported by the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce, Florida Southern College will present its first Florida Regional Economic Symposium on April 8. Expert panelists representing the University of Tampa, Florida Southern College, and Jacksonville University will present, discuss, and analyze economic indicators that will impact local businesses, job seekers, and residents in coming months. Attendees will have the opportunity to present questions to the panelists, ensuring
that they leave the Symposium with a better understanding of the economy in Central and Northeast Florida. This information will help attendees understand how economic data is collected and measured, and will give them a valuable new perspective when making personal and professional financial decisions.
This is a must attend event for anyone who wants to better understand the local economy, its driving forces, and the direction it is taking. RSVP today »