Mayor Wyatt Bunker's words at the annual Partnership Lakeland meeting in February, 2014:
City Finances Outlined at Partnership Lakeland Meeting
During the annual Partnership Lakeland meeting Feb. 20, Mayor Wyatt Bunker shared three sheets of city financial data with attendees.
He explained that the recent terminations, dismissals and departures from Lakeland staff are not personal, but he feels it is important to hold the line on taxes. He hopes to create a $700,000 savings in the operating budget which would be 25 percent of the budget. He said the three-page handout would be posted on the Lakeland website.
He believes we can pay ourselves out of debt in one of two ways.
- We can reduce our property tax and take ourselves out of debt.
- We can live within our budget, have no tax increase, invest money, and move to the next level.
“This is a very historical time, not just because of schools but because we are at a crossroads. Not many cities are looking at these possibilities.”
He said he is elated about the possibility of Lakeland becoming the Brentwood or Franklin of West Tennessee.
Preceding the budget review, Wyatt said most moved to Lakeland for three reasons:
- low taxes
- low crime
- high performing schools
“I hate waste in government,” he said. “As mayor and commissioners we are focused on trying to maintain these ideals for Lakeland.” He noted that Lakeland is very solid financially.