Palm Beach is the epicenter of Palm Beach County. Miami's the engine of Miami-Dade. But there's been no label of love for Fort Lauderdale, the hub of a county still named for an obscure former governor with only a shameful link to its lands.
Is it time for "Fort Lauderdale County?"
Though this isn't the first time Broward residents have discussed a name change, the movement seems to be gaining traction. Business execs at Tower Forum are bringing together City of Hollywood Commissioner Hon. Patty Asseff, Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization executive director Greg Stuart, and others on January 10 to discuss whether or not Florida's second-most populous county should be trading on its sunniest city's reputation.
Fort Lauderdale is where the boys are. Broward is where they have problems counting presidential ballots.
Fort Lauderdale conjures up images of a vacation wonderland. Broward elicits blank stares from people not sure where it is.
So why not change the county's name to Lauderdale County or Fort Lauderdale County and capitalize on that city's brand?
And really, does former Governor Napoleon Bonaparte Broward even deserve the honor? As WLRN observes, he wasn't exactly cautious about Florida's most precious resource:
...Broward was the name of a turn-of-the-century Florida governor whose major "accomplishment" was an act that would have gotten him indicted today: draining the Florida Everglades for development purposes.
State legislators were set to name the place Everglades County but there was an insurgency that led to choosing Broward for a name after the governor's death.
(It can certainly be argued William Lauderdale wasn't perfect, either.)
But already, organizations have dropped the "B" word. The county's major tourism agency is named the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, and several years ago the Broward Alliance economic development partnership changed its name to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance.
"If they keep the name of the county, we're still selling greater Fort Lauderdale," Nicki Grossman, president of the GFLCVB, told the Sun Sentinel.
What do you think, readers?