November 22, 2016
In This Issue
Parks & Recreation Director Auburn Taylor

Love & Respect Youth Festival

Love & Respect Youth Festival will be held today, November 22nd at Lake Eva (555 Ledwith Avenue, Haines City). "Keep It 100 Panel Discussion" starts at 2 PM at the Lake Eva Event Center, followed by Hope for the City Concert with Sevyn Streeter at 4 PM and the finale with The Walls Group & Kirk Franklin at 6 PM. Free admission with a toy or canned good donation!
For more information visit or call (863) 521-9540.

Glitter Glisten & Snow
J oin us on Saturday, December 3rd at 5 PM for our 2nd annual lighting of Lake Eva Park with thousands of Christmas lights and displays. We will have snow slides, local children's entertainment, arts & craft vendors, food vendors, and more! 

Admission to this family-friendly event is FREE! For more information contact Haines City Parks & Recreation at (863) 421-3700 or visit the  Facebook Event Page .
Glitter Glisten & Snow Vendor Information & Application:  Vendor Form  Glitter Glisten & Snow Sponsor Information:  Glitter Glisten Snow - Sponsorship Levels

Christmas Light & Display Sponsorship Information:  Light up the Park - Sponsorship Levels

  1. Home Alone | Friday, December 9th | 7 PM
  2. Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas | Friday, December 16th | 7 PM - Facebook Event Page
  3. The Polar Express | Thursday, December 22nd 7 PM | Sponsored by Oak Ridge Funeral Care - Facebook Event Page
Breakfast with Santa

Breakfast with Santa will be Saturday, December 10th from 9 AM - 12 Noon. Come with the family to eat breakfast and meet Santa & Mrs. Claus. This year's event will be held at Beef 'O' Brady's in Haines City (902 Old Polk City Rd, Haines City, FL 33844)
For more information contact Haines City Parks & Recreation at (863) 421-3700 or visit the  Facebook Event Page.
To view all our special events on our website, please visit

Download(s) / Link(s):
Parks & Recreation Director Auburn Taylor

A Virtual Walk through McKay Gardens & Lakeside Preserve
Join interpretive guide Steve Franklin on Wednesday, December 7th at 1 PM at the Library for an armchair version of his poetry-laced walk through the colorful gardens and surrounding preserve of this historic Lake Alfred showplace. Learn about the cultural and natural history of the area and reconnect with some of nature's wonders found there!
Sensational Sensory Hour
We are adding a NEW children's program starting in December. Tuesdays at 10:30 AM will be Sensational Sensory Hour in the Children's Room. An interactive program for ages 5 and under (must be accompanied by an adult). It is an opportunity for children to develop and learn through the use of their senses. Drop in and explore a variety of sensory activities that will stimulate your child's mind. Dress for a mess!
Scrabble Club
Our NEW adult program beginning in December is Scrabble Club. We will meet weekly on Wednesdays 10 AM - 12 PM in the Community Room. Scrabble games will be provided by the library. Come join us and wake up your brain!
Don't forget! The Library shows a Family Friendly movie monthly - once in English and once en Español. Check out the calendar for this month's dates and movie title.

Acting City Manager Richard H. Sloan

The Haines City NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet
The Haines City National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) held their annual Freedom Fund Banquet on Saturday, November 12, 2016.  The guest speakers (pictured below), were former major league baseball player Thomas "Flash" Gordon and Anthony Gordon of Jarrett Gordon Ford. During the event, the community service plaques were awarded. P.C. Holiday Partner Award Winner - Josephine Howard, C E Holmes, Sr. Community Service Award - Elder Dan Pugh, Myers & Wiley Humanitarian Award - Brad Tarver, Community Contribution Award - Janet J. Smith and Drum Major for Justice Award - Rev. Dr. Jimmie Downing.

Assistant Human Resources Director LaTerra Gray

Below is a listing of positions open to receive applications. All interested applicants are required to submit an employment application, unless otherwise instructed on the City's website position announcement, along with any appropriate documentation deemed necessary to show interest in and qualifications for the position to which they are applying. Employment Applications and copies of complete position announcements are located on the City of Haines City's website at (When completing the on-line application please save it to your computer and attach it via an e-mail to
The list below does not contain complete position announcements, and may have one or more vacancy available. To see the entire position announcements, please visit  employment opportunities and click on the position title. Positions are considered "Open Until Filled," unless otherwise denoted. Corresponding pay grade ranges are included to represent earning potential and shall not be an assumption of potential starting wage, which will most likely be at the minimum rate of pay. If a conditional offer of employment is made, please note that everything included during the application process will be verified.

  1. Deputy City Clerk - $18.30 to $27.45 (DOQ)
  2. Part Time - Receptionist - $8.85 to $13.28 (DOQ) 
  1. Building Inspector I - $17.71 to $26.57 (DOQ)
  2. Building Inspector II - $19.48 to $29.23 (DOQ)
  3. Planner - $20.13 to $30.19 (DOQ)
  4. Secretary - Development Services - $12.01 to $18.15 (DOQ)
  1. Assistant Finance Director - $61,306.64 to $91,959.96 (DOQ)

  1. Part Time - HR Specialist - $8.85 to $10.00 (DOQ)
  1. Assistant Parks and Recreation Director - $61,306.64 to $91,959.96 (DOQ)
  2. Events Coordinator - $14.64 to $21.96
  3. Grounds Maintenance Worker - $11.00 to $16.50 (DOQ) - Several Positions Available
  4. Recreation Supervisor - $18.30 to $27.45 (DOQ)
  1. Police Officer - $15.38 to $23.07 - Trainee (DOQ) $18.61 to $27.92 - Grade 3 (DOQ)
  2. Records Clerk - $11.00 to $16.50 (DOQ)
  1. Building Maintenance Technician - $13.31 to $19.96 (DOQ)
  2. Building Maintenance Worker - $10.00 to $15.00
  3. Secretary - $12.01 to $18.15 (DOQ)
  4. Transportation Maintenance Worker - $11.00 to $16.50 (DOQ)
  1. Lead Wastewater Operator - $19.48 to $29.23 (DOQ)
  2. Wastewater Operator B - $16.10 to $24.15 Class B (DOQ) - Several Positions Available
  3. Wastewater Operator C - $14.64 to $24.96 Class C (DOQ) - Several Positions Available
  4. Wastewater Operator Trainee - $11.00 (DOQ) - Several Positions Available
  5. Wastewater Superintendent - $41,873.26 to $62,809.89 (DOQ)

Fire Chief Stuart McCutcheon

Where There is Love, There are Smoke Alarms
Smoke alarms save lives. But sometimes they make sounds at the wrong time.
They can beep when you burn food in the kitchen, or chirp if the battery is low. If you remove the batteries, you put your loved ones at risk. But it doesn't have to be that way!
Here is what you can do to keep everyone you love safe:

Alarm is chirping.
How to fix it:
Replace the battery.
Alarm sounds when you are cooking.
How to fix it:
Stop the noise. Push the alarm button that says "hush" or "silence." Fan the smoke away from the alarm. Move the alarm. It should be at least 10 feet away from the kitchen or cooking area. 

Billy Abernathy, FPEM
Polk County Emergency Management

Wildfire Season
The State of Florida is unique  because it has a twelve-month wildfire season. On average, the most active part of the year coincides with dry season (December to June). Wildfire activity often peaks during the months of March, April and May due to the occurrence of lightning with dry thunderstorms that are common during that time of year.  As our wildfire season approaches, Polk County Emergency Management EOC will be monitoring fire weather for Polk County. This is to enlighten all as to the terminology and existing conditions throughout Polk County. 

Now that Florida is preparing to enter the transitional months before winter, less rainfall will be expected throughout the state based on climatological data. Normally for this time of year, rainfall totals begin to take on a downward trend compared to the summer months due to the presence of drier, more stable conditions that approach from the north. Currently, NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) is forecasting equal chances for below-average, average, and above-average throughout the entire state of Florida for the month of October. Additionally, the CPC is forecasting a 40% or greater chance for the entire state to see above-average temperatures, indicating a possible delay in cooler frontal passages for the beginning of autumn. For the three month outlook, the CPC is currently forecasting a 40% or greater chance for below-average rainfall for north Florida, a 33% - 40% chance for below-average rainfall for central Florida, and equal chances for below-average, average, and above-average rainfall totals in far southern Florida. This indicates that a drying trend will likely present itself in the months of November and December as autumn begins to transition into winter. 

The CPC is also forecasting equal chances for below-average, average, and above-average temperatures for the entire state of Florida. This drying trend could be a response to the conditions that are expected out in the equatorial Pacific. Currently ENSO-neutral conditions are present, meaning that the SST anomalies in the equatorial Pacific are right in between El Nino/La Nina conditions. Although La Nina conditions currently are not favored for the next three months, El Niño-neutral conditions will be favored which will keep the equatorial Pacific from being warmer-than-average which usually increases rainfall chances in Florida. The CPC is currently forecasting a 55% - 60% chance for ENSO-neutral conditions to continue through the upcoming fall and winter of 2016 - 2017. 

Most ensemble models support this forecast and show a warming trend in the SST's by late winter/early spring of next year. Overall, Florida will begin to see a downward trend of rainfall amounts over the next three months, which is common for this time of year over the state. Forecasts from the CPC show that the northern half of the state is expected to see the largest deficit of rainfall. The far southern portion of Florida may have a chance of seeing average to above-average rainfall amounts due to its proximity from approaching cold fronts from the north. These cold fronts will bring drier, more-stable conditions that will primarily affect the northern half of the state. Although the upcoming cold frontal passages will trigger rainfall events, most of these events will be of relatively short duration with drier conditions behind the cold front boundaries. Forecasts from the CPC also show that neither El Niño nor La Niña conditions will be present over the next three months; however, they are forecasting a warming SST trend near the end of the winter which could give some relief for the upcoming wildfire season next year.

Wildfire Basics
To start and sustain a fire you must have HEAT, FUEL and OXYGEN. If one of these is removed, the fire will go out. Most people are familiar with using water to put out a fire. Structure fire departments fight fire with water to remove the heat that sustains the fire. However, the Florida Forest Service's main firefighting piece of equipment is a bulldozer with a fire plow attached to the rear. The bulldozer removes the fuel source (vegetation) extinguishing the fire because there is nothing more for it to consume.

Wildfire Weather
Changes in weather can lead to unexpected wildfire behavior and result in danger to life and property. Weather that can affect wildfire behavior includes: temperature, atmospheric stability, wind, relative humidity, cloudiness, and precipitation.

Wildfire Indicators - Fire Danger Index Report
Daily Rating: Low, Moderate, High, Very High, Extreme
The Wildland Fire Danger Index (FDI) is a continuous reference scale for estimating the potential for a wildfire to start and require suppression action on any given day. The forecast FDI is based on the National Weather Service's forecast for that particular area; the actual/observed FDI is based on observations taken at 1:00 pm each day.

Keetch-Byram Drought Index
Scale 0 (wet) to 800 (desert-like conditions)
The Keetch-Bryam Drought Index (KBDI) is a continuous reference scale for estimating the dryness of the soil and duff layers. The index increases each day without rain and decreases when it rains. The range of the index is determined by assuming that there are eight inches of moisture in saturated soil that is readily available to the vegetation.

National Weather Service - Red Flag Warning
The Red Flag Warning system is designed to provide land management agencies warning of potentially hazardous weather conditions. The National Weather Service does NOT make any management decisions as a result of a Watch or Warning. Specific actions are determined by user agencies. A Red Flag Warning Program is initiated because it is based on the occurrence of the following weather conditions:
  • Very low relative humidity, dry vegetation, windy conditions
  • Very low relative humidity for a long duration and very dry vegetation
Red Flag Fire Alert
FFS Red Flag Alert is designed to alert fire services, or other emergency response personnel and land managers that a serious wildfire potential exists based on weather conditions, moisture levels of vegetative fuels and availability of fire suppression resources. The Florida Forest Service is the ONLY agency to initiate a Red Flag Fire Alert. This is only initiated when weather conditions along with the Florida Forest Service's knowledge of local and state fire conditions indicate a strong potential for hazardous wildfire conditions. It is likely that when a Red Flag Alert is issued by the FFS, a Red Flag Warning may also be in effect .

Wildfire Danger Levels
The FFS uses wildfire danger levels to determine wildfire readiness staffing and activities that may be required on a given day. These levels are calculated with inputs from the 2 PM NWS weather forecast and the potential for a wildfire to build and spread due to the weather conditions.

EXTREME Wildfires start quickly, burn intensely and rapidly spread. Wildfire behavior is erratic and extremely dangerous. No outdoor burning is allowed under these conditions and fire restrictions apply.
VERY HIGH : Wildfires start easily from all causes immediately after ignition and rapidly grow and spread. Burning firebrands blown by the wind start new wildfires off the main wildfire. Fire whirlwinds may develop under these conditions. Significant emergency response and suppression efforts are required for extended periods of time. Outdoor burning is not recommended and fire restrictions may be in effect.
HIGH:   Fine, dead fuels readily ignite. Wildfires start easily from most causes. Unattended fires may escape. Firebrands may be blown short distances and start new wildfires. Suppression becomes challenging unless the wildfires are quickly located. Outdoor burning is restricted in the early morning and evening.
MODERATE : Wildfires start from accidental causes, but the number of incidents is low. Lightning is a frequent cause. Wildfires do not become serious. Control is straight-forward and requires few resources. Controlled burns are allowed.
LOW : Vegetation does not readily ignite. Lightning may cause wildfires. Weather and moisture in vegetation may prevent wildfire spread. Controlled burns are allowed and may be done relatively safely.

Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI)
The Keetch-Byram drought index (KBDI) is a continuous reference scale for estimating the dryness of the soil and duff layers. The index increases for each day without rain (the amount of increase depends on the daily high temperature) and decreases when it rains. The scale ranges from 0 (no moisture deficit) to 800. The range of the index is determined by assuming that there is 8 inches of moisture in a saturated soil that is readily available to the vegetation. 

For different soil types, the depth of soil required to hold 8 inches of moisture varies (loam=30", clay=25" and sand=80"). A prolonged drought (high KBDI) influences fire intensity largely because more fuel is available for combustion (i.e. fuels have a lower moisture content). In addition, the drying of organic material in the soil can lead to increased difficulty in fire suppression. High values of the KBDI are an indication that conditions are favorable for the occurrence and spread of wildfires, but drought is not by itself a prerequisite for wildfires. Other weather factors, such as wind, temperature, relative humidity and atmospheric stability, play a major role in determining the actual fire danger.

Atmospheric Dispersion Index (ADI)
Atmospheric dispersion is the process by which the atmosphere mixes and transports particulates, such as smoke, away from their source. The Atmospheric Dispersion Index (ADI) was developed by the U.S. Forest Service to assess the impact of prescribed burning activity on atmospheric smoke concentrations and air quality. The same processes responsible for good smoke dispersion also contribute to erratic fire behavior and may present very hazardous conditions. 

Mixing Height
The depth of the atmospheric layer where turbulent mixing causes momentum, moisture, and other properties to be more or less uniform. High values indicate more rapid smoke dispersion and greater risk of gusty, turbulent winds.  They can also indicate a greater chance of wind and moisture conditions aloft coming to the ground, which can influence fire behavior.

Transport Winds
Transport wind is an average of the horizontal wind speed and direction from the surface to the mixing height.  This is the wind that moves smoke out of an area and helps to disperse it in the atmosphere. However, it will generally not reach the mixing height. High intensity wildfires might. The smoke will spread out both horizontally and vertically as it moves down wind. Wind speed usually increases with height. It is usually greatest in the afternoon. When transport winds are less than 9 mph, caution is indicated if smoke sensitive areas could be impacted.

Relative Humidity (RH)
Relative humidity (RH) is the ratio of the amount of moisture in the air to the amount of moisture necessary to saturate the air at the same temperature and pressure. Relative humidity is expressed in percent. RH is measured directly by automated weather stations or manually. Relative humidity is important because dead forest fuels and the air are always exchanging moisture. Low humidity takes moisture from the fuels, and fuels in turn, take moisture from the air when the humidity is high. Light fuels, such as grass and pine needles, gain and lose moisture quickly with changes in relative humidity. When the RH drops, fire behavior increases because these fine fuels become drier. Heavy fuels, on the other hand, respond to humidity changes more slowly. 

Acting City Manager Richard H. Sloan

Thanksgiving Hours
Administrative offices will be closed on Thursday, November 24th, and Friday, November 25th in observance of Thanksgiving. 

Police, Fire and 9-1-1 emergency services will be available.

Thanksgiving Holiday Garbage, Recycle, Yard Waste & Bulk Collection Schedule

If Your Regular Garbage Day Is:
It Will Be Collected On:
Monday, November 21st
Normal Schedule
Tuesday, November 22nd
Normal Schedule
Wednesday, November 23rd
Normal Schedule
Thursday, November 24th
Friday, November 25th
Friday, November 25th
Saturday, November 26th

For questions or more information, please call Public Works at (863) 421-3777.

CSX - How to Report a Railroad Emergency 
The City Manager's Office has received numerous phone calls concerning the City's Railroads. In order to report a Railroad emergency, please call 1-800-232-0144.

Any issue or incident that risks the safety of any person should be reported immediately. Be prepared to tell CSX your name, location and what you observed.

These are considered railroad emergencies:
  • Crossing Malfunction: Any gate or signal issues
  • Blocked Track: Car or object on the tracks
  • Crossing Accident: Auto or train/auto accident at a crossing
  • Environmental-Hazmat Emergency: Hazmat release
  • Theft/Vandalism: Report theft or vandalism on CSX property
  • Trespassing: Report trespassing on CSX property
  • Blocked Crossing: Currently Blocked: Train currently blocking a crossing
  • Unsafe Employee Driving: Report unsafe driving by CSX employee
To contact CSX for non-emergency issues, please call TellCSX at 1-877-835-5279. 


City Commission meetings are regularly scheduled every first and third Thursday of the month at 7 PM, and are held in the Commission Chambers at City Hall, 620 E. Main Street.

Please use this link to access City Commission Agendas and Meeting Minutes, or to listen LIVE during a City Commission Meeting:  
For questions or more information, please call the City Clerk at (863) 421-9921.
Next City Commission Meeting: Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 7 PM.

WOW (Watched Outstanding Work!)

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. Have you "Watched Outstanding Work" within the City lately? Let us know at