The View 38002 February 2015

**************ECRWSS**** LOCAL POSTAL CUSTOMER PRSRT STD ECRWSS U.S. POSTAGE PAID EDDM RETAIL inform. educate. connect. Arlington & Lakeland’s Community Newspaper Lakeland Commissioners Fire Thomas as City Manager theview theview February 2015 LET’S GO TO THE HOP By Terry Louderback On January 20, the Lakeland Board of Commissioners voted 3-2 to Former Lakeland City Manager Chris Thomas ter minate the employment of City Manager Chris Thomas. The motion to terminate Thomas was sponsored by Commissioner Clark Plunk, who declined to comment upon his decision when contacted by this paper before the m e e t i n g . Commissioner Sherri Gallick seconded the motion. Before voting, Gallick said that she had thought long & hard about her decision, but ultimately felt that Thomas lacked the necessary skills to perform the City Manager’s duties. “This is not about the past. It is about moving forward & taking Lakeland forward,” Gallick added. “We need to invest in someone with background and experience” to take our city forward. Lakeland Mayor Wyatt Bunker, who served with Thomas on the Shelby C o u n t y Commission, opposed the resolution, saying “I do know Chris and think he's done a fine job as City Manager.” Voting for termination were Commissioners Clark Plunk, Sherri Gallick, and Gene Torrey. Voting against were Commissioner Randy Nicholson and Mayor Wyatt Bunker. Director of Planning Jim Photo Courtesy of Lakeland Elementary In January, kindergarten students at Lakeland Elementary celebrated the letter F with a Fifties Sock Hop. Find more school news starting on page 7. Interim Lakeland City Manager Jim Atkinson Atkinson was named acting City Manager. Lakeland Mayor Bunker anticipates that new city manager could be an i n t e r n a l appointment, most likely Atkinson. “I think our acting city manager [Atkinson] has the experience,” Bunker commented after the meeting. “I have complete confidence in him; I think he is very capable of taking [Lakeland] to the next level. Not only does he have a lot of the institutional knowledge that we need as a city manager, he's got a good vision and will m e e t t h e expectations of this board.” Atkinson has been Lakeland’s Director of Planning and Administration since February 2014 and previously served as interim City Manager after the departure of Robert Wherry in November 2013. Atkinson joined the City of Lakeland in 2005 and initially served as Director of Planning. Arlington Community Schools Present Five-Year Facilities Plan By Terry Louderback A Five-Year Facilities Plan for Arlington Community Schools was presented to the School Board at a Special Called Work Session on January 22. ACS Superintendent Tammy Mason described the plan as a “fluid” document that is based on the as- sumption that the Lakeland School System (LSS) will open “Lakeland Prep,” a joint middle/high school facility for the 2017- 18 school year. However, Mason added that Arlington Community Schools are under capacity, and the current agreement with LSS could be extended to as long as 15 years. In that case, Mason proposed that Arlington and DonelContinued on Page 5 Inside this edition... Happenings — p 2 Arlington Plans Community Garden — p 2 Arlington Town News — p 5 School News — starts on p 7 Views from 38002 Photo Page — p 12 Area students (and teachers) joined in the fun of dressing up in celebration of the 100th day of school. Find more pictures on the back cover.