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Government

City Commission

2020 City of Winter Haven Commissioners

Winter Haven has five City Commissioners, which includes an appointed Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem. Commission meetings are generally held the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 6:00 p.m. in the John Fuller Auditorium in City Hall, but are hosting meetings via the ZOOM virtual platform and in-person at John H. Fuller Auditorium in City Hall.  Agenda Review Session Meetings to review the Regular City Commission Meeting agenda are typically held the Wednesday prior to the Regular City Commission Meetings. For more information on ways to attend the meeting or provide comments, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at 863-291-5600.

  • City Commissioners must live within the Winter Haven city limits.
  • Commissioners are elected at-large, via a non-partisan election and serve a 4-year term.
  • The Mayor presides at City Commission Meetings.
  • The Mayor Pro Tem presides in the Mayor’s absence.

Commissioners

Mayor Bradley T. Dantzler

bdantzler@mywinterhaven.com; (863) 289-9947

Mayor Bradley T. Dantzler was elected to Seat #4 in a special election in spring 2013 and re-elected in 2013, 2017, and 2021. Brad served as Mayor in 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020, and will be serving now in 2021. A Winter Haven native, Brad is a third generation Winter Haven City Commissioner. He graduated Winter Haven High School in 1980, University of Florida in 1985 and earned a Master of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University in 1991. He has been a Senior Vice President and Financial Advisor at Raymond James & Associates for 26 years. He and his wife, Susan, have two grown sons, and two granddaughters.

Brad is a board member of the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) Board and serves as the Commission liaison to:

  • Cultural Arts Advisory Committee (CAAC)
  • Multimodal Transportation Advisory Committee (MTAC)
  • Tourist Development Council (TDC)
  • Tourist Development Council – Arts, Culture and Heritage          (TDC-ACH)
  • Winter Haven Housing Authority (WHHA)

Mayor Pro Tem Nathaniel J. Birdsong, Jr.

nbirdsong@mywinterhaven.com; (863) 289-9813

Mayor Pro Tem Nathaniel J. Birdsong, Jr., was elected to Seat #2 in 2002 and re-elected in 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019. He served as Mayor in 2006, 2007, 2014 and 2015. He served as Mayor Pro Tem in 2004, 2005, 2011, 2013, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and will be serving now in 2021. A Winter Haven native, Nat holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Florida A&M University and an MBA from Nova Southeastern University. He is Executive Director of the Florence Villa Community Development Corporation. Nat and his wife, Elizabeth “Ann”, have two sons and four grandchildren.

Nat is a board member of the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) Board and serves as the Commission liaison to:

  • Central Florida Regional Planning Council (CFRPC)
  • General Employees’ Pension Board
  • Lakes Advisory Committee (LAC)
  • Polk Regional Water Cooperative (PRWC)
  • Polk County Transportation Planning Organization (TPO)
  • Winter Haven Economic Development Council (WHEDC)

He also serves on the:

  • Florida Metropolitan Planning Organization Advisory Council (MPOAC)
  • Florida Regional Councils Association (FRCA)
  • Transportation Disadvantage Local Coordinating Board (TD-LCB) (Chairman)

Commissioner L. Tracy Mercer

tmercer@mywinterhaven.com; (863) 289-2944

Commissioner Lucretia Tracy Mercer, was elected to Seat #1 in 2019. Prior to being elected to the City Commission, Tracy was a Commissioner for the Lake Region Lakes Management District.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Operations from Warner University and an MBA from Webster University in Business Administration. She is a member and past President of the Kiwanis Club of Winter Haven. She is a past president of Keep Winter Haven Clean and Beautiful and a former member of the Garden Club.  Tracy has one grown son, one granddaughter and one great-grandson.

Tracy is a board member of the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) Board and serves as the Commission liaison to:

  • Affordable Housing Advisory Committee (AHAC)
  • Firefighters’ Pensions Board
  • Police Officers’ Pension Board
  • Risk Management Committee
  • Smart Cities Advisory Committee (SCAC)
  • Library Board
  • Urban Forestry Advisory Board (UFAB)

Commissioner Brian Yates

byates@mywinterhaven.com; (863) 662-9131

Commissioner William Brian Yates was elected to Seat #3 in 2019. A Winter Haven native and 7th generation Floridian, Brian graduated from Winter Haven High School, attended Polk State College and graduated from the Florida School of Banking. Brian is a Senior Vice President and the Director of Small Business Lending at Citizens Bank and Trust. He is a member and past President of the Rotary Club of Winter Haven and  past member of the Florence Villa Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) Advisory Committee. Brian and his wife Samantha have two sons.

Brian is a board member of the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) Board and serves as the Commission liaison to:

  • Main Street Winter Haven (MSWH)
  • Planning Commission
  • Polk Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) (Seat #2)
  • Ridge League of Cities (RLC) (alternate)
  • Ritz Theatre

Commissioner James H. “J.P.” Powell

jppowell@mywinterhaven.com; (863) 308-2464

Commissioner James H. “J.P.” Powell has served on the Winter Haven City Commission from 2007 to January 2016, re-elected to Seat #5 in November 2017 and then in November 2021. Commissioner Powell served as Mayor 2011, 2012 and 2013. He also served as Mayor Pro Tem in 2009 and 2010.  An Ohio native, J.P. attended Malone College in Canton, Ohio, and the University of Akron, Ohio. He is employed as a Manager at Ott-Laughlin Funeral Home and Glen Abbey Memorial Gardens. J.P. is also a past member and former chair of the Winter Haven Planning Commission, Code Enforcement Board and the Florence Villa CRA Advisory Committee. He is a member and Past President of the Rotary Club of Winter Haven and the Winter Haven Optimist Club. Members of First Presbyterian Church, JP and his wife, Kim Traviss Powell, have one grown son Traviss.

J.P. is a board member of the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) Board and serves as the Commission liaison to:

  • Airport Advisory Committee (AAC)
  • Polk Transit Authority (PTA)
  • Polk Transportation Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) (alternate)
  • Transportation Disadvantage Local Coordinating Board (TD-LCB)
  • Ridge League of Cities (RLC)
Locations
City Hall
451 Third Street NWWinter Haven, Florida 33881
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