As outlined in the Polk County Charter, the Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) is the governing body of Polk County. Each commissioner is elected by a countywide vote for a four-year term, with a term limitation of eight consecutive years. Each of the five commissioners must reside in his/her district. Commissioners from Districts One, Three, and Five are elected in Presidential election years; Districts Two and Four are elected in the intervening years.
Elected county officials are subject to recall according to provisions of state law. The state Legislature is the only governing body with the power to create, abolish, or consolidate counties.
Each November, a Chairman and Vice Chairman are elected by the members of the county commission. The Chairman selects the various Board committee chairmen who, in turn, work with the County Manager and the staff in developing and establishing Board policies.
District 1 Commissioner - George Lindsey
District 2 Commissioner - Melony M. Bell, Chairman
District 3 Commissioner - Edwin V. Smith
District 4 Commissioner - R. Todd Dantzler, Vice Chairman
District 5 Commissioner - John Hall
Duties and Powers
The duties and powers of the County Commission are contained within the County Charter, the Florida Constitution and Chapter 125 of the Florida Statutes. Some examples of the duties and powers of the County Commission include:
- levying taxes and fees for county purposes,
- provide and maintain county buildings,
- provide fire protection and ambulance services,
- provide health and welfare programs,
- provide parks, preserves, playgrounds, recreation areas, libraries, museums, historical commissions, and other recreation and cultural facilities and programs,
- prepare and enforce comprehensive plans for the development in the county,
- establish, coordinate, and enforce zoning and such business regulations as are necessary for the protection of the public,
- adopt and enforce building, housing and related technical codes and regulations,
- establish and administer programs of housing, slum clearance, community redevelopment, conservation, flood control, air pollution control,
- provide and regulate waste and sewage collection and disposal, water supply and conservation programs,
- provide and operate public transportation systems, roads, bridges and related facilities.
The County Commission adopts an annual budget which includes appropriations for services provided by county government and other county offices including the Sheriff, Property Appraiser, Tax Collector and Supervisor of Elections. This budget also includes appropriations in support of the Circuit and County Courts, State Attorney, Public Defender and Clerk of the Court.
The County Commission meets twice a month on Tuesdays in the boardroom of the County Administration Building in Bartow. Other meetings are listed in the "Announcements" portion of the Commission agenda. Florida’s "Government in the Sunshine" law requires that all county government business takes place in public meetings and that the public be given adequate notice of such meetings.
All regularly-scheduled meetings and public hearings of the Board of County Commissioners are videotaped for later rebroadcast. Check with your local cable provider for dates and times.
Board Agendas, Minutes and Online Video
To access Board meeting agendas and minutes please visit the Agendas and Minutes page.
To watch live and/or archived Board meetings please visit the Board of County Commissioners PGTV Programming page.