City Manager's Report

Jonathan E. Evans, MPA

CITY COMMISSION
EXEMPT EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH
 
Tery Skipper and Mayor Don Mason
The exempt  Employee of the Month for the month of February is Teri Skipper.  Ms. Skipper began working in the Leisure Services Department in December of 2012, since moving back to Florida, she quickly become one of the most valuable members of our team. She has been a perfect fit for our work family. She is extremely hard working and maintains a positive attitude day in and day out. The Leisure Services Department has so many different components to it and we were nervous when our long time secretary announced her retirement. Ms. Skipper has made the transition painless. She is willing to learn everything that is necessary to become more proficient in her job. We would probably describe her attitude on the job as being motivated. We are constantly busy, and multitasking is a must with all of the divisions that she is involved with. Ms. Skipper is working on streamlining many areas of our workflow and is helping to create systems that will allow the department not simply to work more efficiently, but more accurately. We are very lucky to have her as a part of our team and we are very proud to announce Teri Skipper as the Employee of the Month.
NON EXEMPT EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH

 

Mayor Don Mason and Mary Ellin Barrett

Mary Ellin Barrett is an active member of our leadership team. She regularly takes times to interact with the patrons as to what they would like to see in the library. She is actively involved with the Polk County Library Co-Op Program and serves on multiple boards in her field. She joined our team in a very exciting yet stressful time. Ms. Barrett came to Haines City just as we were finishing up the new Library and preparing for the move. She came in with an open mind and an excitement level that became infectious to all of the Library staff. We have had some challenging moments, as is expected when opening a new facility, but she has handled them all with a positive attitude.   We had expected to see growth with the opening of the new facility but what we didn't expect was the continuation of this growth month after month. I am very impressed with continuing increase in numbers month after month. Mary Ellin has done an excellent job providing a work environment that is accepting to new trends and new ideas. The library staff continues to develop new programs and relationships day in and day out and I think it is a reflection of the leadership that she provides to her team. We look forward to all of the new and exciting things that will come from our Library. We are proud to nominate Mary Ellin Barrett for February's Employee of the Month.

OFFICE OF THE CITY MANAGER

HAINES CITY'S MISSION, VISION, FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES & GOALS  

 

On March 20, 2014, the City Commission officially approved Resolution 14-1091, adopting the following Mission Statement, Vision Statement,  Core Values and Organizational Goals:

 

Our Mission

"Our team of professionals will provide our residents and business community with the highest quality services in a fiscally responsible manner through cooperation, strong ethical leadership with a lifelong commitment to enriching lives."

 

Our Vision

"We are a community that celebrates our heritage and diversity while cultivating civic P.R.I.D.E.; we found our heartbeat in the 'Heart of Florida'...come find yours."

 

P.R.I.D.E.

The City's core fundamental principles P.R.I.D.E., stands for Professionalism, Responsiveness, Integrity, Diversity and Ethics. These fundamental principles are the fabric of our organization and will be paramount in everything we do.

 

These two policy statements will have a profound impact on the organization and more importantly the community as we embrace the change. The goals that were identified as priorities are overarching in nature but will have an immediate impact as we make sure that everything we do supports both our Mission and Vision, as well as our overarching goals.

 

Organizational Goals:

  • Encourage public and private partnerships.

  • Maintain infrastructure improvements in response to growth.

  • Develop and maintain fiscal policies based on program and performance measures while engaging community involvement.

  • Utilize technology to enhance public services.

  • Create an environment that enhances the quality of life and benefits the community culturally, recreationally and economically.

  • Foster and environment that attracts economic opportunity and sustains economic viability.

  • Provide responsive public services that protects the health, welfare and safety of the community. 

 

The introduction of these fundamental changes to employees will occur within the next 60 days. All marketing collateral and signage will reflect either the City's Mission or Vision Statement, or the fundamental core principles of P.R.I.D.E.

 

The City Manager pledges that this cultural shift will not be left on a shelf to collect dust, but rather become a way in which the City of Haines City conducts business and live our daily lives.

 

The simple intent of this Resolution is to remind each of us, the City Commission, City Staff and our Partner Organizations, that we exist in public office or employment, to serve the public interest and not to promote or serve individual interests, and doing so in a forthright, honest and candid manner.

HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT 
EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES  

 

The City is currently recruiting for the following positions:

 

  • Service Worker I - Public Works Water Utility
  • Recreation Supervisor -  Seasonal position Leisure Services
  • Recreation Leader I - Seasonal position Leisure Services
  • Recreation Leader I - Temporary Summer position Leisure Services
  • Bus Driver/Rec. Leader I - Temporary Summer position Leisure Services 
  • Recreation Leader III - Temporary Summer position Leisure Services
  • Lifeguard - Temporary Summer position Leisure Services
  • Recreation Leader III/Lifeguard - Temporary Summer position Leisure Services

 

For more information about these positions and application instructions, please visit the employment opportunities section of the City's website at  hainescity.com/employment.

OFFICE OF THE CITY CLERK

WEDNESDAY IS THE LAST DAY TO REQUEST MAIL BALLOT TO BE MAILED

 

Haines City voters who plan to vote by mail in the April 1st Municipal Election have through Wednesday, March 26, 2014, to submit a request for a ballot to be mailed. Requests for absentee ballots can be made by contacting the elections office at (863) 534-5888 or online at polkelections.com. Absentee ballots may be returned by mail or dropped off at Elections Headquarters until 7PM on Election Day.

THREE EASY WAYS TO VOTE

 

Citizens in Haines City planning to participate in the Municipal Elections have three easy ways to vote:

 

1. Vote the traditional way. Polling locations will be open from 7AM until 7PM on Election Day, April 1, 2014.

 

Precincts 402, 407 & 408 (Directions)

Bethune Neighborhood Center (Auditorium), 915 Avenue E, Haines City, FL 33844

 

Precincts 405, 409 & 410 (Directions)

Haines City Community Center, 555 Ledwith Avenue, Haines City, FL 33844

 

2. Vote by mail. Requests can be made by calling Election Headquarters at (863) 534-5888 or visiting polkelections.com. The last day voters can request a mail ballot to be mailed for the Municipal Elections is Wednesday, March 26, 2014. All mail ballots must be returned to Election Headquarters in Bartow by 7PM on Election Day.

 

3. Walk-In Voting. Beginning March 17, 2014, through March 28, 2014, Walk-in Voting will be available at Election Headquarters, 250 South Broadway Avenue, Bartow, Monday through Friday, from 8AM - 5PM.

 

Please visit the Election Information Center for candidate information, election records and the election schedule.

FIRE DEPARTMENT 
RELAY FOR LIFE EVENT   

 

Left to right: Lt. Jacob Jimenez, FF Joseph Warren-Kahles, Engineer Arnoldo Aponte, Life Net Crew

Firefighters were privileged to attend the March 21, 2014, Relay for Life event at Ridge Community High School. In addition to interacting with the students, firefighters were given the opportunity to train with the Life Net Helicopter crew. Firefighters secured a safe landing zone (LZ) on the football field, established radio contact with the pilot, communicated the location of the LZ and stood by during landing and take-off.   

 

POLICE DEPARTMENT 

CALEA ACCREDITATION

   

On March 22, 2014, the Haines City Police Department received accredited status from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) at its Garden Grove CALEA Conference in Garden Grove, California.

 

Being CALEA accredited can limit the department's exposure to liability risk because the accreditation demonstrates that a team of independent outside CALEA-trained assessors has verified that the department meets internationally recognized standards. CALEA Accreditation will also assist in the department's relentless pursuit of professional excellence and its commitment to providing the citizens of Haines City with the highest quality of public safety service.

 

In September of 2013, law enforcement executives from New Hampshire and North Carolina representing CALEA were sent to Haines City to do an assessment of the Police Department to determine if the department was meeting the standards set forth by CALEA, and more importantly, to determine if the department was providing quality service to the community it serves.

 

As quoted from the assessment report, "The Haines City Police Department does an outstanding job in providing police service to the citizens. It was clear to the assessors that the employees take pride in their job"

 

At the conference, City and department officials appeared before the commissioner's panel to discuss the content of the report and answer question concerning the agency's policies and procedures as it relates to Accreditation. At the completion of that hearing, the commission notified the department of its accreditation.

CHIEF'S TIPS: 

PROVIDED BY POLICE CHIEF / INTERIM FIRE CHIEF RICHARD SLOAN

 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT
NEW GAS PIPELINE IN EAST HAINES CITY

 

A meeting was held by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, with the purpose of seeking comments regarding the proposed pipeline.  SE Pipelines staff gave an overall presentation for the Haines City area. Representatives of the pipeline reported that construction will start in Spring of 2016 and be in service by May 2017.

 

Rae Dowling, Area Manager for Corporate  & External Affairs for FL Power and Light, and Bob Sharra, Director Business Development, Florida SE Connection have indicated that they are willing to work with the City and the Haines City EDC to extend new gas services to the Haines City area.

 

Detailed maps showing the pipeline locations are available on the project website at floridasoutheastpipelines.com.

HAINES RIDGE RESIDENTIAL SUBDIVISION EXPANSION

 

Haines Ridge Residential Subdivision, located on the north side of County Route 544 east of the Post Office, is preparing to begin submittal of site construction plans for Phase II of Haines Ridge.  Phase II has preliminary plat approval, and would need site construction plan approval and final plat approval prior to construction.   They are proposing to develop 60 lots for Phase II, as opposed to the 89 lots originally planned.

DR. KAHLON MEDICAL OFFICE PARK (PHASE 2)

 

Dr. Kahlon has submitted Phase (2) of his Medical Office Park. The medical office complex is located directly north of the Heart of Florida Hospital on the north side of Park Place Boulevard.

 

Phase (1) of construction has already started on the first 4 medical buildings. Phase (2) contains 4 additional buildings and Phase (3) will complete the project with 3 additional buildings. It is anticipated that the primary uses of the complex will be for the doctors practicing at the Heart of Florida Hospital. When completed the project will provide 65,150 sq. ft. of additional medical office space.

 

PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT
PROJECT DUMP TRUCK 

 

In an effort to continue being conservative at the Wastewater Treatment Facility, we recently began our newest project Dump Truck Initiative, and things seem promising.  Since we now are classified as a AA fertilizer, this means our bio solids can now be land applied as if you were to go to Lowe's and buy a bag of fertilizer. So instead of utilizing a different company to haul it away every time, we produce bio solids we can use the City owned dump truck and spread it on our own property. The chart and graphs represent a projected savings based on what we normally spend in hauling costs.

 

Month

Trailers Hauled

Reduced Trailer Number

Cost Per Month

Reduced Cost Per Month

Monthly Savings

Oct

11

7

$5,500

$3,500

$2,000

Nov

11

7

$5,500

$3,500

$2,000

Dec

14

10

$7,000

$5,000

$2,000

Jan

13

9

$6,500

$4,500

$2,000

Feb

12

8

$6,000

$4,000

$2,000

Mar

8

6

$4,000

$3,000

$1,000

Total

69

47

$34,500

$23,500

$11,000*

*Savings thus far
 

We are grateful for all our wonderful Citizens and the people who keep Haines City running smoothly.

HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE AND ELECTRONIC DISPOSAL EVENT   

 

On March 8, 2014, the City of Haines City held their annual Hazardous Waste and Electronic Disposal Event along with Polk County at the Haines City Public Works Facility. Michael Ferguson, the Polk County Waste & Recycling Division Lead Environmental Technician, brought in trucks and other equipment for our annual event. We received 187 visitors from Haines City and the surrounding areas that brought in household hazardous materials and electronics for disposal. Thanks, Polk County and Michael Ferguson, as well as, Clyde Foster and Duane Jahns, with the Public Works Department for assisting with this event. We had a great day!
 

If you missed this event, Household Hazardous Waste can be disposed of at the Polk County Landfill Waste & Recycling Division. For more information please contact the number listed below.

 

Downloads:

Household Hazardous Waste & Electronics Disposal Flier

 

Waste & Recycling Division Contact Information

10 Environmental Loop S. (SR540/Winter Lake Rd)

Winter Haven, FL 33880
Office Hours: Monday - Friday  8AM - 5PM

Contact No.: (863) 284-4319

LEISURE SERVICES DEPARTMENT

SPECIAL EVENTS

 

Run the Ridge 5K, Family Fitness Weekend

The Haines City Leisure Services Department is excited to present the 1st Annual Run the Ridge 5K. This event is open to the entire family. Run the Ridge 5K will also take place the same weekend as the IRONKIDS Central Florida Fun Run and the IRONMAN 70.3 Florida. We hope you will join us April 12-13, 2014, for a Family Fitness Weekend.

 

Lake Eva Tennis News

A full week of hosting NCAA College tennis matches at Lake Eva ended with an amazing day of action on Thursday March 13, 2014. The 8 AM women's match featured Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) out of Troy, NY defeating Bryn Mawr College out of Bryn Mawr, PA.  The 11:30 AM women's match featured Palm Beach Atlantic University out of Boca Raton defeating Seton Hill University out of Greensburg, PA.  The Haines City boys' team then defeated Fort Meade in their last match before the Polk County Championships.  The long day ended with a 6:30 PM match between Lake Eva Men's Team vs. Grasslands Country Club out of Lakeland.  Grasslands is the strongest team in the Polk County league and Lake Eva pulled an upset!

 

Summer Recreation

We are currently accepting registrations for the 2014 Summer Recreation program!  The registration fee is $575 for Haines City residents (must bring 2 proofs of your address within the City limits in addition to the information below) and $700 for non-resident. Registration includes daily indoor & outdoor activities, regular visits to the Aquatic Center, weekly field trips, a t-shirt, and breakfast and lunch.   Parents/Guardians must complete a registration form and provide official picture ID, the child's report card, and proof of insurance (or an additional $5 for coverage).  An initial payment of $200 for each participant must be made at the time of registration to hold the space and the full balance must be paid by May 9, 2014. Plans are coming together and this is shaping up to be an exciting summer. For more information, please contact Haines City Leisure Services at (863) 421-3700 or jlatimer@hainescity.com

 

Swim Lessons

Never learned to swim or feel uncomfortable in the water? No worries, we can help! Sign-ups for swim lessons will start April 1, 2014. Spaces go quickly, so make sure you come to the Lake Eva Community Center to save yourself a spot. It's very important to know how to swim when living in Florida, for yourself and your children. We will teach your children the basics on holding their breath underwater, climbing out of the pool, swimming above and below the water, and different strokes. Adults usually have a fear of going underwater. We will help you to trust yourself in the water, learn to hold your breath and float as well as teaching you to swim on your own! It is a huge accomplishment and relief when you learn. For more information see the attached flyer, or call the Community Center at (863) 421-3700!

 

Men's Basketball

Our Men's Adult basketball League will be starting on March 20, 2014. Games will be held on Thursday evenings at the Oakland Gym (915 Avenue E., Haines City, FL 33844). For more information, please contact the Bethune Neighborhood Center at (863) 421-3720.

LIBRARY

 

The Library was pleased to welcome landscape artist, Richard Powers to the library on March 10th and March 17th to instruct a class on landscape painting. Mr. Power's class was sponsored by the Arts Ensemble Education Foundation the class and all materials for the seven participants were provided by the Foundation. We would like to thank the artist Mr. Richard Powers and Jane Waters Thomas the Executive Director of the Foundation for offering this opportunity. 

IMPACT NOTICES 

 

Impact Notice for Run the Ridge 5K and Ironman 70.3 run will go out on March 21, 2014, and April 3, 2014, to City residents who will be impacted by both Saturday and Sunday events. We would like to thank all the departments for their help in the planning stages of these events. 

 

Downloads:

Run the Ridge 5K Impact Notice

Ironman 70.3 Impact Notice

Spanish Ironman 70.3 Impact Notice

UPCOMING EVENTS 

DOWNLOADS
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