May - June 2013 Voter

In This Issue

1 Calendar
2 Presidents Message
3 Treasurer Report
4 Jail Tour
Picture Gallery
Florida Forever
7 Contacts

Hot Topic:  All About
Charter Schools in Polk

When:     Wednesday, June 19, 11:30 am

Where:     Fresco's Bistro
               132 S Kentucky Ave, Lakeland 

Who:  Carolyn Bridges, Director for Magnet,
                  Choice & Charter Schools

LWV Polk, in preparation for the state league study on charter schools, is lucky enough to have an expert on the subject as our speaker!  Carolyn Bridges is Senior Director for Magnet, Choice & Charter Schools for Polk County Schools.  She will give us an update on what new legislation was passed on charter schools this year, explain the different types of charters and their governance as well as answer our other questions.  This is a great opportunity for us to get information from someone who has a ton of experience!
Fresco’s would like an approximate count by Monday, June 17th.  If there are more than 20 people coming, they will limit the menu to the following:  Reuben, Philly Cheese Steak, Tropical Chicken Salad Croissant, Mixer, Fresco Salad, Cobb, Asian Chicken Wrap, or Fresco’s Signature Burger.  For full menu, see .
RSVP to Connie Prince at or if you do not have email, leave a message at 646-7101.
Our Website
Email Us


May 27, Monday
Memorial Day

 * * *

June 12, Wed, 12:30 pm
 LWV Board Meeting
One Lake Morton Dr
Lakeland (bag lunch) 

June 19, Wed, 11:30 am
Hot Topic: Polk Charter Schools, Fresco's Bistro, 132 S. Kentucky Ave, Lakeland

* * *
July 4, Thursday
Independance Day


Picture of Sue Schultz

Sue Schultz, President

President's Message

 As the newly elected president of the League of Women Voters of Polk County, I would like to welcome all of our new members and say hello to everyone else.  I am excited about the coming year and all the programs we already have planned.  Our emphasis this year will be on education, transportation, health care, natural resources, and government .
Our first Hot Topics event of the year on June 19 will kick off a study of choice and charter schools in Polk County.  Nancy Simmons is heading that committee and has already done lots of background studying on the subject.
You will find a list of all the hot topics for the year listed in this Voter.  Please try to join us for as many as possible.
The trip to the Polk County Jail was eye opening for all who attended and I would like to thank you for your participation.  I think we all learned a great deal.
If anyone has suggestions as how the League can become even more meaningful, please let me know.


Thanks, Sue

LWV Members Go To Jail       Jailbird


The League of Women Voters had the opportunity to visit the Polk County Juvenile Detention Center for a tour of the facilities.  Sheriff Grady Judd, Major Michael Allen, and Captain Kimberley Marcum gave us an overview of the processes and the need in Polk County for this type of facility. 

When Polk County took over the care of Pre Adjudicated Juveniles in 2011, some of the positive changes included moving from a smaller state facility to a larger Polk County facility, from an older state facility to a newer county facility, and a Polk County staff with specialized training for juvenile behavior.  Polk County has seen savings of $1.7M since taking over the responsibility of the Pre Adjudicated Juvenile Detention Center from the state. 

The Polk County Juvenile Detention Center meets or exceeds standards set by Florida State Statutes.  Deputies working in the Juvenile Detention Center are state certified correctional officers and have over 800 hours of additional training including focusing on juvenile behaviors.  In addition, 40 hours of annual training is required.

Polk County provides healthcare to the juveniles.  A nurse is available 7x24 in case the juveniles require medical attention.  In addition, a physician and a psychiatrist who specializes in pediatrics are available for consultation and treatment.

The average stay for a Pre Adjudicated youth is 14 days.  The Polk County Sheriff’s Department provides education programs operated in cooperation with the Polk County School Board.  Student’s academic needs are met but due to the limited length of stay, course credits and GEDs are not awarded.  The students are separated by age, size and other factors.

The Juvenile Detention Center is inspected annually by the state and has 9 accreditations.

The State Department of Juvenile Justice shut down the juvenile facility in Polk County.

Polk County Juvenile Detention Center does house some juveniles (ages 8-21) that are convicted post trial if the judge or the State Department of Juvenile Justice feels they are not prepared for an adult detention facility.

We want to thank Sheriff Grady Judd, Major Michael Allen, and Captain Kimberley Marcum for the tour and the time they took from their day to help us understand the issues facing these children. 

This was an emotional day for many who attended.  It is difficult to see children and young adults in need of so much help.  However, we all felt that the Polk County staff was professional and cared about each child in their care even for this limited amount of time.

Trudy Block & Gail Funk


Pictures of Juvenile Detention Center Tour

From the Treasurer

Membership Renewals are Due!

Renew Your Dues Today for 2013-14!

Thanks to the members that have already paid their dues for 2013-14.  Our fiscal year starts April 1 and our dues run with our fiscal year. Individual membership dues are $60 annually.  This amount includes League membership in the Local ($15), State ($15) and National ($30).

 We also offer the Susan B. Anthony Membership level of $100 which helps support more local activities. One change this year is we have added the Katie Catt Chapman Membership level...of $250.


Individual Member         $60
Additional Household
               Member          $30
Susan B. Anthony
            Membership     $100
Katie Catt Chapman
             Membership     $250

 If you have not renewed your membership yet, please submit a check to “LWV of Polk County” and mail the check to:

   LWV of Polk County
   PO Box 934
   Lakeland, FL   33802
   Attention: Janet Stevens

Thank you
 Janet Stevens, Treasurer

Welcome New Members!

We have several new members.

Dr. R.  Bruce Anderson
Dr. James Michael Denham
Mark Sessums, PA
Lisa Jones (student)
Eileen Swiler


Picture Gallery

Membership Growth Certificates
awarded to LWV Polk at the Florida Convention in April.

Pictures from Annual Meeting

Photos from Polk TPO Transportation School

The Polk Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) is the lead transportation planning agency for Polk County.  Polk TPO sponsored the Transportation School, a series of educational seminars attended by several members of LWV Polk including Wanda Howard, Mary Jo Jarrett, Sue Schultz, Micah Jarrett, Trudy Block and Gail Funk.

LWVF Backs Campaign to Save Florida Forever

The League of Women Voters of Florida (LWVF) has endorsed a proposed amendment to Florida's constitution that would protect hundreds of thousands of acres of land needed to ensure the state's clean water supply and wildlife habitat for generations to come.

At least 683,000 petitions signed and verified by the supervisors of elections are needed to get the Water and Land Legacy proposal on the 2014 ballot.

"We fully endorse this citizen-sponsored amendment, and encourage registered voters to sign a petition to place the amendment on the ballot," said Deirdre Macnab, LWVF President. "We are talking about Florida Forever -- not just Florida today or yesterday, but preserving our state for our grandchildren and their grandchildren."

The amendment would dedicate one-third of the existing documentary stamp tax, which is paid when real estate is sold, to restore the Everglades, protect drinking water sources, and revive the state's historic commitment to protecting natural lands and wildlife through the Florida Forever Program.  The amendment would provide more than $5 billion for water and land conservation in Florida over the next 10 years without any tax increase. It would take effect in 2015 and expire in 2035.

In 1968, Florida voters ratified a new constitution ordering the state to "conserve and protect its natural resources and scenic beauty."  The LWVF has a long history of backing conservation efforts. Florida Forever was approved by the Legislature in 1999 as a $300 million-a-year conservation land acquisition program. That funding ended in 2008 and since then the Legislature has reduced funding by an estimated 97.5 percent.

Sue Schultz, President

Nancy Simmons, Vice President

Paula Mims, VP Programs

Judy Walker, Secretary

Janet Stevens, Treasurer

Wanda Howard

Mary Jo Jarrett

Connie Prince

Sue Schultz, Voter Service


Off-Board Specialists:

Mary Jo Jarrett, Membership

Judy Walker, Voter Service

Fundraising & Government
Paula McKay Mims

Library, Barbara Stampfl

Speakers Bureau, Janet Stevens

Voter Editor / Webmaster
Jerry Weeks

LWV Websites:



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