May 19, 2014
In This Issue


 At the May 15, 2014, City Commission Meeting, the following employees were honored as Employees of the Month for the month of April 2014:


James Coker, Exempt Employee of the Month

Mr. Coker began employment with Haines City on February 13, 2001, with the Water Utility Division in the Public Works Department and is currently the Water Utility Foreman, responsible for the repair maintenance and construction of all water and sewer lines within Haines City.  Over the last several months, Mr. Coker assisted in projects from the water plants, wastewater plants and streets division, while overseeing numerous water line breaks associated with construction and weather-related expansion and contraction.


Mr. Coker is also credited with the procedures for "boil-water" notices, which are recognized by the Department of Health as "the best in the region."  He is always willing to go the extra mile, providing an excellent example to his co-workers and diligently works to create an atmosphere of cooperation among the divisions of Public Works.  


Left to Right: Mr. James Coker, Mayor Roy Tyler

Michelle Escribano, Non-Exempt Employee of the Month

Mrs. Michelle Escribano began working with Haines City as a part-time employee in March 2013 and went full-time in October 2013.  As the first dedicated clerical staff for Community Development in over five years, Michelle has organized the department and development project files, thereby assisting Staff and prospective developers in researching projects. She has also been instrumental in the City's successful transition of its Land Development Regulations to Municode.  She has also been very successful in streamlining several review processes that benefit both citizens and City Staff.


In addition to her duties as the Clerk for the Code Enforcement Magistrate, Mrs. Escribano is serving as the Clerk for the Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment and as the Clerk for the Red-Light Camera Program.  By her assuming these additional responsibilities she has improved work-processes that have resulted in quicker turn-around-time for permitting and provided additional assistance to the Police Department for Red-Light violations.


Mrs. Escribano is hard-working, always willing to do whatever is needed, pleasant to work alongside and has exceeded all of our expectations. 

Left to Right: Mrs. Michelle Escribano, Mayor Roy Tyler


Employment Opportunities 
The City is currently recruiting for the following positions:
  • Customer Service Supervisor - Finance Department
  • 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


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

WOW (Watched Outstanding Work!)

The City recently purchased the property at 130 South 5th Street, a vacant home that needed to be demolished.


John Brewer, employee with the Public Works Department's Stormwater Division, was behind the wheel of the front-end loader and it did not take long for this wood frame house to come down. Before John could begin the demolition, Duke Energy came to the home on Monday morning and cut the power to the house, while James Coker and crew member John Jackson (from Water Utilities) disconnected the water and sewer. There are future plans for this area that will include additional Stormwater Management Facilities.


John Brewer, Ed Trail, James Coker and John Jackson, the City of Haines City thanks you all for all your hard work and team effort, as you exemplify what Haines City is all about. We also thank Duke Energy for their quick response in disconnecting the power in order to proceed with the demolition.

The City of Haines City would like to thank all of our excellent, dedicated employees and volunteers who help make the City a great place to work, live and play. If you have "Watched Outstanding Work" within the City, please let us know at
Police Chief / Interim Fire Chief Rick Sloan
Robbery Prevention Tips for Businesses: Every business owner, manager and employee plays a part in making businesses safe. Here are some things you can do to help prevent a robbery: 
  • Have at least two employees open and close the business. 
  • Place a surveillance camera behind the cash register facing the front counter to record all activity.
  • Vary times and routes of travel for bank deposits.
  • Place excess money in a safe, or deposit it as soon as possible.
  • If you see something suspicious, call the police. Never try to handle that yourself, as it could cost your life.
  • Make sure that the sales counter can be seen clearly. Don't put up advertisements, flyers, displays, posters or other items on windows or doors that might obstruct the view of the register from the inside or outside of the business. The police cruising by the business need to see in. 
  • If a robbery occurs, cooperate with the robber for your own safety and the safety of others. Comply with a robber's demands. Remain calm and try to think clearly. Make mental notes of the robber's physical description, clothing description and other observations that are important to law enforcement, such as a vehicle description, if a weapon was used, or distinguishing marks or tattoos of the robber.  
Police Chief / Interim Fire Chief Rick Sloan

Chief Sloan reports that Officer Ray Weber and Officer Sean Mulderrig represented the Haines City Police Department at the 27th Annual Polk County Law Enforcement Memorial Service.


As members of the Haines City Police Department and as a part of the Polk County Law Enforcement Family, we are committed to ensuring that our fallen brothers and sisters are properly honored and memorialized; and will always be remembered by future generations for their public service and supreme sacrifice.  


Officer Weber and Officer Mulderrig demonstrated the highest level of professionalism and proudly represented Haines City during this event.

Left to Right: Officer Ray Weber, Officer Sean Mulderrig



New home construction continues to steadily improve.  The Building Division reports that 24 new homes were permitted for construction in April of 2014 by Haines City.



The new home permits are represented by month in the above table since June of 2013. The Community Development Department has also seen an increase in activity for new residential project development including multi-family and single family construction.


Keeping the Development Flywheel Motion 

The City has prepared fact sheets for 19 different inactive residential land development projects (sometimes called Zombie Subdivisions). These projects were started prior to the Great Recession of 2008, and are in various stages of development approval.  Because these projects are already in the development review process, their final approvals can be obtained much quicker; thereby, allowing for site work and building permitting to begin.


To make the transition from zombie (inactive) to living (active) projects, the Community Development Department is sending an invitation to area and regional developers and builders for exploration. The invitation and spreadsheet are attached below. A direct link to the individual projects is also posted on the Haines City's website at:


Additionally, you may contact Planning Manager Mark Bennett or Planner II Clint Eliason at (863) 419-3230 (e-mail or for further information. 



Letter to Developers

Development Project Spreadsheet



Aquatic Center

The Aquatic Center is now currently open on weekends. June 9, 2014, will mark the first day of the Aquatic Center opening seven (7) days a week. The hours of operation are 12PM - 6PM and admission is $5 per person. We also have individual and family aquatic center passes available for purchase. Please see the flyer below for more details.


Dance Class

Amanda's Academy of Dance at the Lake Eva Community Center:

On Saturday, May 24, 2014, Amanda's Academy of Dance will present their 2014 spring dance recital: Evolution of Dance. This event will be held at 3 PM at the Ritz Theater in downtown Winter Haven. Tickets are $10.00 each and can be purchased at the Community Center (555 Ledwith Ave.) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 4PM - 8PM. For more information about the recital or to inquire about dance classes, please contact Amanda Ferreira at (407) 460-5012 or you may send an email to


Parks Department

The City of Haines City would like to recognize the employees in our Parks Department who have recently gone through a Florida Green Industries Best Management Practices Training Program. 


What exactly is Florida Green Industries? Their training program enhances the knowledge and judgment of turf grass and landscape workers. These employees have been properly trained to make a difference in the City of Haines City's green space and have successfully met all requirements necessary to be fully trained to handle fertilization of green space and plants. Congratulations to the following employees: David King, Joseph Jackson, David Williams, and Joshua Sasnett. 


Again, thank you, through your determination and dedication, your consistency in achieving ways that enhance our City truly makes it an enjoyable place to live and play.


Library Update

The Haines City Public Library is excited to announce our Summer 2014 Children's and Teen programs! The staff is looking forward to hosting our regular programs as well as some new events for you this year. Please see the flyers below for more information, or give us a call to get full details. We can't wait to see you this summer!! 


Memorial Day Celebration

On Monday, May 26, 2014, a Memorial Day Celebration will be held at Railroad Park, 620 East Main Street in downtown Haines City. This event, which begins at 9 AM, is Haines City's way of saying "Thank You" to all those who have fought for our freedom. This celebration reminds us about the great men and woman who help protect this country.


If you are a Veteran and are planning to attend the Memorial Day Celebration, you may park your vehicle at the Aquatic Center parking area and ride an escorted bus to the event. Please contact us at (863) 421-3700 to reserve your seat.


We will honor and recognize all branches of the military at the Military Court of Honor. Please mark your calendars and join us as we salute these heroes.


Haines City Military Court of Honor Est. 2012



Mark Your Calendar 

  • Thunder on the Ridge - July 4th at Lake Eva Park - Begins at 3 PM featuring National Recording Artist, Michael Ray and the BEST fireworks in the County!
  • Latino Festival - September 27, 2014 at Lake Eva Park

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."
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