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This Week:  Glenn Shelby - Update on State Courts




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The Lakeland Rotary

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- Chartered on April 1, 1918 -


October 15, 2013

By Crash Roberts

Pres. John opened the meeting and called on Jarvis Kendrick to lead the Invocation and the Flag salute.  Singing was lead by Mike Loudon who led us in singing #69, p. 100, ‘Smile’, in honor of our speaker today to remind us of the taxes we pay. Claire Orologas handled the introduction of Cheapest Driving Schools Lessons Coventry Guests who were:  Janice Jones brought her mom, Betty Tedder and her business partner, Mike Carter; Kathy Abels brought Bruce Abels, her husband; Marsha Leap brought Shane Glor who knew everyone instantly; Celeste Deardorf brought Nicole Travis; Phil Allen brought Ken Morris; Lori Garrard brought Tracey Tedder and Lori Martini brought Joanna Thompson.  Visiting Rotarians were Pat Patrick of Lakeland South Rotary and Doug and Tina McCall of Wallasey, England. 
Announcements:  Kim Brunson was NOT injured in a fender bender just before our meeting and, ‘Crash’ had nothing to do with it. Xuchitl Coso’s dad passed away this past Sunday and we all send our condolences to Xuchitl and her family.

Ken Farris lead Happy Bucks:  Tom Conger says he has no talent and no Speedo yet is running for Mr. Lakeland to support Central Florida Speech and Hearing. Kathy Abels raved about the Lake Morton sited motorcycle show this past weekend.  Donna McWilliams, the younger Vet. in the Club, told us about her fund raiser, ‘Yappy Hour’, from 5 – 7pm this Thursday, at her business location; Scott LaRonde a Texas A&M graduate said their mascot is a dog who holds the highest rank as Cadet General.  Tom Conger said his son graduated from Texas Tech and he understands why the Cadet General is a dog – badda bing!  Will Harrell thanked all for prayer support of his Grandmother.  Will also let us know that at age 27 is now engaged to Julia Cline of Alabama.  Pam Craven of LRC is collecting money for ‘lots of stuff’ they use in helping educate various groups.  Phil Allen told us that his daughter Megan Allen, the 2010 Teacher of the Year for Florida, and was a finalist for the National Teacher of the Year, is now lecturing as a Professor in Massachusetts.  I'm guessing that it is at the University of Massachusetts.  If I have guessed wrong, I probably deserve a free lecture from Phil -badda bang! 

New Member Induction


Cheapest Driving Schools Lessons Coventry Debbie Burdette, sponsored by Gay Ratliff, was inducted by Pres. John Griffin as a non-profit fund raiser and a member of a family of 10.  She grew up in Plant City and learned how to drive on a tractor!  Four dead cows later, she got her license.  Debbie has worked mainly in the phosphate industry and is now with United Way, Central Florida. 

Events:Real Compliance Press On Another Id Portland With Gets - Extension Herald Maine  Allen Harris, Fellowship Chair, announced a night of Fellowship with Ralph Allen at Wall Foss on 10/24.  He said there were only 8 tickets left to buy so, I hope you got yours. 

Minutarian Moment from DG George R-B, read by David Evans, who reported that ours is a geo-political area of great ‘hunger and deprivation’.  Our DG praised those Clubs who are working with the Lakeland Agape Food Bank and encourages more Clubs to participate in the February food drive.   He suggests we contact Lakeland North’s Al Dotson for details.

Program:  Joe Tedder, Polk County Tax Collector, was introduced by his sister, Janice Tedder Jones, who told us that his wife, Tracey is the granddaughter of former Sheriff Monroe Brannen, that Joe and Janice are 5th Generation Floridians and that they grew up with Grady!  Joe played drums at FSU and as a Florida Representative wrote the first legislation for Charter Schools.  Janice pointed out that Joe has always been short and Joe retorted that it is nice to be introduced by ones older sister whom he looks forward to caring for as she ages.

Joe Tedder told us that the Tax Collector’s Office is a wonderful organization that he is part of and told us he is glad we elected him!  He said he thinks when he was first elected, most thought they were voting for his dad but said he is happy he got elected anyway.  Joe brought a number of people from his office and lamented that one of them, Mary Gooding, was sitting next to Allen Sale.  Gooding has for 15 years been in charge of Specialty Assessments and Delinquent Tax Collections.  Joe pointed out Sherry Baker, Manager of the Service Center of 45 workers and Randy who has been with the Office for 24 years, and Tommy Griffen of Bartow Rotary who serves as a Client Specialist whom Joe acknowledged as ‘the finest, nicest person who will ever take money out of your pocket’. 

Joe told us that more than a billion bucks are processed through their office every year  He told us that he has a Vision to Change our perception of Government.  He wants people to have confidence in the workings of government.  He told us that you might get poor public service and he hopes you don’t, but realizes that his Office “is only as good as it was perceived to be by the customer just before you . . .”  Tax collectors have been required by the legislature to go into the business of issuing driver's licenses. He pointed out that providing drivers’ license services generates a net loss. 

Joe has been managing the The Lake Wales’ Drivers License Service Center for more than a year and will soon open the Lakeland service center.  He compared the new responsibility to having each Publix Stores include and manage a Dick’s Sporting Goods Store, Fishing poles to Cheese Cake???? 

The changes in Joe’s Office will include an increase in employees from 116 to 162; increase in phone calls from 100 to 500/day; increase in square footage of work space from 16,000 to 40,000; and will add another 15,000 hours of training for employees; and additional security issues and software skills for each employee. 

Joe acknowledges that a person who desires a Florida Driver’s License wants it right now.  Many are missing some part of the proof of eligibility required and many are upset coming in.  Joe told us of the history of the building for the new office in Lakeland on Massachusetts on the downtown side of Memorial Boulevard, not far from Walgreens and about a block from Parker Street Ministries.  He told us of the Art Deco design of the building is in keeping with its original design as an early Publix Store – it even has Publix green incorporated in the site.  He summed up Massachusetts Avenue as being the corridor for the Detroit Tigers, Watson Clinic, LRMC and, Ta Dah!, the Tax Collector’s Lakeland Service Center!  Joe said the building’s ‘re-furb’ is being developed  by Howe Whitman who re-designed First Baptist Church’s facilities a couple of years back, and that the construction is being done by John Rodda. 

Joe also said that the Ridge Service Center, North of I-4,  was built by Mike Folsom and developed by Ralston-Sanders. 

Weekly Quote:  “There is one difference between a tax collector and a taxidermist – the taxidermist leaves the hide.”-Mortimer Caplan. 

Next Week’s Program: Circuit Judge Glenn Shelby and member of Bartow Rotary but first of our Club – ‘Update on State Courts’.  To be introduced by Nate Dunham.  Pres. John then recognized each of our guests and visitors and invited them to return.

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