Mayors representing every Polk County municipality gathered Thursday at Polk State College for the second annual Polk Vision Mayors Roundtable, an event designed to strengthen connections and communication between local government agencies.
Before an audience of about 50 area business and government leaders assembled inside the Winter Haven Student Center building, the mayors discussed an array of topics.
Among the points of discussion was whether communication between the municipalities has changed since last year’s event — the prevailing opinion was that communication is better than it was a year ago — and how cooperation amongst cities and towns in Polk will bolster economic development.
The Mayors Roundtable is one of three events planned for Polk Vision’s 2012 “Polk County Leadership Exchange,” intended to strengthen relationships between the various town, cities and government agencies in the county. A Legislative Breakfast and a State of the County address will follow Thursday’s event, in November and early 2013 respectively.
Thursday’s event was a who’s-who of the county’s government and business leaders, with a roundtable including Polk State alumnus Lakeland Mayor Gow Fields, Winter Haven Mayor J.P. Powell, Haines City Mayor Joanna Wilkinson, Lake Wales Mayor Michael Carter, and mayors from all points between. The audience, likewise, was a cross-county collection of government and business leaders.
Polk State President Eileen Holden, also board chair of Polk Vision, said it made perfect sense for the College to host such an event.
“This event was a gather of representatives from every corner of Polk County, who came together to discuss opportunities and obstacles and how we can all work together to build a brighter future for Polk County — a future that binds us all together, whether we live in Lakeland or Lake Wales, Haines City or Mulberry.
“In many ways, that’s what happens every day at Polk State. We serve students from Polk’s biggest cities to its farthest reaches and everything the College does is about helping those students build better lives for themselves. Given the parallels goals of Polk State and Polk Vision, Polk State was a natural, and fitting, host site for this important event.”
Polk Vision is a broad, community-led partnership oforganizations, businesses, government and individuals acting collectively to make Polk County a premiere place to live, learn, work and play.