The mayor of Lakeland had his feelings bruised recently when Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton didn’t give him the same advance warning as the other town mayors about another push for consolidation.

Based on comments in The Commercial Appeal by Mayor Scott Carmichael, his city definitely suffers from a lack of respect. He speculated that the Lakeland identity crisis stems from reasons as varied as not having its own section in the phone book to its location to confusion about its borders.

However, there just might be another reason Lakeland wasn’t called until after every one else. Maybe, Mayor Wharton was only calling the mayors of real cities.

After all, Lakeland still depends on county government for its fire protection and law enforcement, all while bragging that it doesn’t have a property tax. If the town is looking to get some respect, it might find it if it matured to the point that it paid its own way and didn’t act as if the sales tax revenue from the Belz factory outlet mall is the only possible source of revenues for its meager city services.