Home Board Members Missing In Action: The Lakeland Planning Commission

Missing In Action: The Lakeland Planning Commission

Mayor Mike Cunningham at the MPC meeting last Thursday. The meeting was cancelled for the 2nd month in a row due to a lack of quorum.

By Carl Helton

For the second month in a row, the MPC (Municipal Planning Commission) monthly meeting was cancelled last Thursday, May 20, 2021 due to no quorum. A quorum is the minimum number of members of the board which must be present to make the proceedings of that meeting valid. At 5:30 when the meeting was to begin, there were only (3) of the (7) members present, Mayor Cunningham, BOC Liaison Jim Atkinson and Jeff Adams.  


Exacerbating the problem, City Hall was full of citizens, city staff, developers as well as the city attorney, all whom planned to attend the scheduled meeting and speak about very sensitive Lakeland developments on the agenda. When it became obvious not enough board members would be coming to the important meeting, the Mayor spoke up and announced that the Chair and Vice Chair were not present, so he would speak. He announced there were not enough members present for a quorum and the meeting would not happen. He then stated that since so many were in attendance, he would allow citizens to speak, but there would not be any vote or discussion on the items. 


Commission Atkinson asked if he could speak first. He stated “I don’t think I have been as embarrassed as a public official to have a room full of people and not have a quorum. That is two months in a row we have not had a quorum with this board.“

The MPC/DRC is the only Lakeland board that the Mayor has full authority to appoint anyone he sees fit to serve. He appointed all the current members on the MPC board in 2019. Mayor Cunningham followed up saying he too was embarrassed and stated, “This is my board and is a reflection of me as your mayor and I will assure you that I will make the changes necessary that we won’t have this happen again.” 


At this time the Mayor encouraged those who came to address the board to come to podium and speak as he was interested in what they wanted to say about items on the agenda. 


There has been a special call MPC/DRC meeting this Thursday, May 27. Two of the original May agenda items will not be included on the this agenda.


Watch The Video From Last Week’s Meeting Here