Home Elected Officials BOC Meeting: Marketing Video Ready, Muni Court Possible

BOC Meeting: Marketing Video Ready, Muni Court Possible

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New promotional video for the City of Lakeland.

“Come Discover Lakeland” is the title of a new two-minute promotional video promoting the City to encourage people to move to Lakeland.

During the Board of Commissioners (BOC) work session tonight (11.2.117) Commissioner Matt Wright outlined the 15 hours of footage which took four days to create but was edited to two minutes. Mr. Wright oversaw the project.

“This is an exciting project,” he said.  Mr. Wright explained the campaign using the video should start in two or three weeks and was produced by Running Pony.  It was funded through a grant and “Has been in the works for a while.”

The URL for the video is not live yet, according to Mr. Wright, but will be comediscoverlakeland.com.  The video will be targeted to Shelby and Fayette Counties.  Mr. Wright said social media ads will be used as well as direct campaigns to real estate agencies and perhaps some print ads.

He praised those who helped with the video including Vice Mayor Josh Roman, Lakeland School System Superintendent Dr. Ted Horrell, Lakeland Chamber of Commerce President Wil Ashworth and City Manager Jim Atkinson.

There was a first reading on an ordinance amending Lakeland’s code to implement a City municipal court with much discussion by commissioners. It is possible the court could be up and running by the first of the year, but many questions remain.

Mr. Atkinson explained that the current process to deal with code violations in the City starts with a courtesy citation and can go all the way to Shelby County Environmental Court. “We had problems this summer with long grass, several cases this summer,” said Mr. Atkinson. “And the code enforcement process can be very long.

“Most citizens take care of the issues but 10 to 15 percent don’t go so smoothly.  It takes time to get on Judge (Larry) Potter’s docket and then the case can be continued.

“With our own municipal court, it would speed up the timetable.”  He said there is already a Lakeland ordinance to establish a municipal court which could be amended.

Mayor Wyatt Bunker questioned how a judge to run the court would take office: be selected by the BOC or elected?  He said he is in favor of an election over the long haul, but perhaps selection would work initially.

City Attorney Chris Patterson said a judge hired for a Lakeland municipal court would likely work less than part-time and would typically be a practicing attorney.

Among the issues he raised:

  • The current ordinance says the judge must be a citizen of Lakeland but perhaps the language should say citizen of Shelby County.
  • What will the costs be for compensation and court?
  • How do you want the court to operate? Hire a prosecutor or let City staff present the complaints?

Commissioner Clark Plunk noted that once word is out that the City has its own court, he expects citizens will pay closer attention to citations. Vice Mayor Roman wants costs and estimates on revenue generated by the court.

Mr. Atkinson is to return to the BOC next week (Nov. 9 – regular meeting) with operations,  costs and other details.

Sgt. Nathan Cockman with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office gave the monthly crime report and said there were 17 thefts from motor vehicles for October.  “We are still seeing vehicles unlocked or unknown if the car was locked,” he said.  “It just takes a few more seconds to make sure cars are locked,” he added.

Sgt. Nathan Cockman

When asked, he said the pattern of the thefts are in the area of Canada Road, Davies Plantation and Fletcher Trace Parkway.  He said the SCSO is working with agencies in Memphis and Bartlett and there is suspicion that the perpetrators are coming from other areas into Lakeland.

Mr. Atkinson announced that the newly opened McDonald’s on U.S. Highway 64 will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 5 p.m. Monday (11.6.1).

He also said the Stonebridge Advisory Group is in progress and hopes that neighbors will become active in their areas and bring concerns to the City, like cleanups.

Five citizens applied for volunteer City Boards: Jim Bomprezzi for the Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) or Economic Development Commission (EDC); Shawn Brannen, EDC; Drew Kelly, EDC; Tim Joyce, Board of Appeals/Stormwater; and Justin Ladd, EDC and Parks and Recreation.   New appointments will be made as there are vacancies on the various Boards.

Jim Bomprezzi
Shawn Brannen
Drew Kelly
Justin Ladd
Tim Joyce

There was a resolution to approve a concept sanitary sewer plan for the Estates of Chambers Chapel. This is Bank of Bartlett property and with approval of their sewer system, Mr. Atkinson said the developers are on the fast track to get this going.  It will be 70 single family homes.

Commissioner Matt Wright noted this new subdivision is between two other new areas: Oakwood Grove and Chapel Woods. Vice Mayor Roman mentioned the road plans for these new areas and Mayor Bunker said the future road plans should go to the MPC and come back to the December BOC meeting.

Mr. Atkinson said those questions could be discussed at the next Lakeland Vision 2020 meeting for infrastructure which could be set in November.

There were two first readings on ordinances dealing with “code conflicts.”  Commissioners decided they need more vetting and answers before the November meeting on these ordinances.

Same for a first reading on giving the City Manager authority to amend certain fees.  Mayor Bunker said he would like the ordinance to be amended to say if there are any fee changes the City Manager should present them to the BOC a month before they take effect.

Link to tonight’s agenda: http://tn-lakeland.civicplus.com/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/710

… Photos by Jim Willis, Lakeland Currents.