Update: Commissioner Chip LaMarca’s Idiotic Idea



In the department of  “Let’s See How We Can Piss Away the Taxpayer’s Money” Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca deserves the 2012 award.

LaMarca is ready to open discussions that we spend millions to change the county name from “Broward” to “Fort Lauderdale”.

The “Chip-Off-the-Old-Blockhead” says “we need a more recognizable name.”

After the Sun-Sentinel published his comments, he quickly backed away.  Using Facebook, LaMarca said:

Good afternoon all. There was a recent story in the Sun-Sentinel about the name of our county. This was in response to a Tower Forum organized to debate this issue. Although I am not a speaker at the event, I did give my opinion on the issue. I am in support of “talking about the issue” and “seeing what the people think” and doing whatever we can to make our brand the best it can be.

Why discuss it ?

Because some unnamed county, just south of us, did it?

That kind of thinking might be okay for Dade commissioners who get paid $6000 a year.  For the $92,000 a year we pay LarMarca we are entitled to a lot better.

There’s not a scintilla of evidence that the name Dade County had cost a dime of economic development or tourist dollars.  Concomitantly there is even less evidence that spending millions to change the name to Miami-Dade County brought in any development or tourist dollars.

Supporting his boss, Greg Stuart, Executive Director of Broward’s Metropolitan Planning Organization claims “most people I ever talk to, they have no idea where Broward County is.”

My first thought is that Stuart needs to get a better class of friends.   On second thought, this low level of confusion filters out the morons from coming here.

Are there cruise ship captains that can’t find Port Everglades because they were told it was in some unfamiliar place called Broward? How about tourists that can’t figure out where to get off on I-95?

What is clear is that it costs millions to change names. Not only would every sign, letterhead, brochure, vehicle and pay stub have to be changed.  Agencies like Broward Sheriff’s Office and maybe even Broward College would have to convert, too.

Plus, what about the other 30 cities in Broward County?  Why would they want everything to be known as Fort Lauderdale County since Fort Lauderdale competes with them for tourists dollars, government grants and economic development?

I’ve got an idea. Maybe we can follow the Miami Dolphin model for their stadium and sell off the naming rights.

How does “Landshark-Fort Lauderdale-Broward County” sound?

31 Responses to “Update: Commissioner Chip LaMarca’s Idiotic Idea”

  1. Real Deal says:

    First, it wouldn’t hurt if we all adopted a more respectful tone. It might improve the level of discussion on any topic.

    Second, either there is or isn’t value in the name change. This should be studied. In some cases it has had public relations and economic value. In other cases not. Government consolidations may be the better answer and is ripe for more study.

    Third, the MPO chief is not an employee of the county much less of any commissioner. He works for a committee that helps make funding decisions for road and transit projects. His input into this question is curious since he has nothing to do with the subject.

    Serious subjects deserve serious discussion based on facts and objective analysis, rather than name calling and prejudgment which always falls short of the mark.


    Respectful Sam Fields is an oxymoron.

  2. Brec member says:

    Agree with you 100% Sam. LaMarca should ask why doesn’t Suffolk county in New York change it’s name to Hamptons County. Oh wait, because that’s a stupid idea. Watch LaMarca backtrack now that there’s an article in Broward Beat.


    He already is starting to backtrack after an earlier article in the Sun-Sentinel, which prompted Sam Fields’ comments above. I updated the post to reflect LaMarca’s latest position.

  3. Lamberti is garbage says:

    How about Lamberti County….that way people will remember me.

  4. Brec member says:

    Thanks for the update. Let the backtracking begin!

  5. steve says:

    Considering the county commission has no members from Ft. Lauderdale, maybe they are the ones who need to be reminded!


  6. Weston Resident says:

    Fort Lauderdale always had an inflated view of its importance. Never go there and don’t care about it. I for one would like it to be Weston County.

  7. Lynne says:

    Where did LaMarca mention spending any money at all? And anyway, since when does spending public money offend a Democrat hack like Fields?

  8. Independent says:

    Sam, you are wrong. The idea is not idiotic, and everything LaMarca said is true.

    Other then the chad’s, no one knows Broward County. I will bet that most of us that refer to where we live from outside the area reference either Ft. Lauderdale or Miami. Even organizations of Broward County used to promote Broward County no longer say Broward but “Greater Ft. Lauderdale.”

    Take a look at how businesses promote themselves. For those trying to attract outside clients do they say “Broward” or “Lauderdale?”

    Think of Orlando. Do we know Orlando or Orange County? Same for Tampa, Pensacola, Key West, Tallahassee and Jacksonville. Does many people down here know the County they are in?

    You know what, isn’t this the people’s government and shouldn’t we get a vote on it. Let the voters decide.

    PS LaMarca is not Stuart’s boss, and if Field’s knew as much as he claims he does, he should know that.

  9. Brec member says:

    Independent – you just defeated your own argument. You wrote “Think of Orlando. Do we know Orlando or Orange County? Same for Tampa, Pensacola, Key West, Tallahassee and Jacksonville. Does many people down here know the County they are in?”

    Would changing orange to Orlando county mean more people would visit? How about Hillsborough to Tampa? Or Monroe county to “Keys” county. The answer is no. People still visit those counties and it wouldn’t make an iota of difference to their local economies if they changed their names. The whole idea is foolish and wasting time on it is foolish.

    I wonder what Jeff Atwater would think about removing his Great-Grandfather’s name from the county that Atwater used to represent a portion of?

  10. lets get real says:

    lamarca is in the pocket of the ft ldle comm so he is their guy on the BCCpushing their PR agenda. he thinks that will get him re-elected in 2014. fat chance, with his newly carved district and antics during his first term (and if he still lives/owns his LHP house in 2014). look at the names of the other 66 counties in FL. only one has a name of a city in the county in the “name of the county”. Miami Dade. all others have names for other reasons than a city. guess with this holiday break (since December 11) these busybody BCC electeds can’t stand being out of limelight.
    a new crop of BCC candidates will crop up soon as jacobs and gunzburger are term limited, and lamarca challengers will be too.

    Thanks Buddy and Sam for the discourse on this county name change silliness.

  11. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    I think its a great idea to change Broward county to Ft.Lau County(as long as we get our cut-naturally). Whats all this shitting on Comm.Larmarca? I think he is showing good judgement. And Miami Heralds own gay gossip columnist Jose Lambpert(whatever) whats your hard on for Comm.Lamarca’ finances. Over and over again. Then this Jose bitches that Sun-sentinel did not run the piece as well. Why? Chip from my understanding sir(Jose) doesn’t even know you. What gives? Tell you one thing I’m on to this Jose and he took a file photo of me and Channing Tatum in front of Twist night club -New years eve going into 2000. Try selling it Jose(photo). I would love to see “certain people” cut your balls off……

  12. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    Funding Idea #13

    Chip can borrow his old bosses “credit card.”

    LaMarca’s got experience with that now, doesn’t he?

  13. Information says:

    Just a point of information – LaMarca is one of Stuart’s bosses. LaMarca is an MPO Board member and Stuart’s salary is set by the MPO Board.

  14. Chaz is a geniusr says:

    Chaz is spot on. LaMarca is a joke. Steals from his boss. House in foreclosure. Now suggests renaming Broward? God, this guy is a joke. I would be shocked if he doesn’t get a Republican opponent in 2014.

  15. Back Off says:

    Back off.

    Unlike the majority of the Commission, Chip does not have a real job or paying profession to take up his time while the CC is on Winter break. Chip can you give us 5 jobs LaMarca Construction has done work on this year?

    Seriously, Chip is a very active Commissioner, I may be wrong, I think he has appeared in Society East 47 or 52 weeks this years. That could be a record.

    I give Chips props, for someone who lacks any formal education above high school, he has done the as much as one could expect. It must be hard every meeting to have to read every word you say from prepared notes. How intimidating it must be to serve with people who can speak extemporaneously (sorry for use of big word).

    He is a great example of what the Republicans in Broward have to offer. Rico and BREC must be so proud.

  16. Steve Smit says:

    Alachua is both a city and a county
    so is Wakulla
    as is Madison
    as is St. Lucie
    as is Palm Beach
    as is Flagler

    I’m sure there are others, but that’s off the top of my head.


    I’m not taking position on Sam’s post, but the counties you named are not exactly the hub of Florida. BTW, the main city in Alachua is Gainesville so by the proponent’s thinking it should be Gainesville County.

    Many major counties in the state with big tourist and business development efforts — the exception of Miami-Dade and Palm Beach — have different names from their major city: Pinellas (St. Petersburg and Clearwater), Hillsboro (Tampa); Duval (Jacksonville), Orange (Orlando), Lee (Fort Myers), Escambia (Pensacola), Bay (Panama City), Collier (Naples) and Brevard (Cocoa). It doesn’t appear to hurt their efforts.

    The idea that the county’s name should be changed to Fort Lauderdale, the home to less than 10 percent of the population and not by any means the only business or tourist center in the county, is controversial to say the least. This is a county which couldn’t even agree to put the Fort Lauderdale name on the airport (Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Dania). Why would Hollywood, with a well developed tourist trade and the largest hotel in the county (Diplomat), agree to the change? Why would Sunrise, with a very successful business development effort? I could go on.

  17. voter says:

    relevant points from
    back off.
    couple of other points –
    he went to college in boston – maybe didn’t graduate (?). says from dais he is in “construction biz/contractor” yet I find no license on DBPR web site. maybe a ‘county’ license (?).
    he showed ‘promise’ when he ran in 2010 but sadly not a lot of substance, and enanamoured of other ‘electeds’ (a la ft ll crew) who he has allegiance to. likely will not have sterling record justifying his re-election’ in 2014.
    guess thats why he wanted that ‘lobbying’ gig last summer for extra cash. the $92K a year plus expenses just isn’t enough.

  18. Independent says:

    Brec Member,

    Your answer is whether or not you believe part of the county’s responsibility is promotion. If not, you don’t change the name, and the name really doesn’t make any difference. It is just then a reference point and is total lost on most.

    If you do, then you could change the name. You want the area to be recognizable to everyone. As an example, do we call it Broward County Airport, or Ft. Lauderdale Airport? How about the Greater Ft. Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Greater Ft. Lauderdale Alliance? They no longer promote Broward since it is a loser to do.

    Even the term “Everglades” is promoting the area more. Such as we are adjacent to the Everglades, and Port Everglades.

    Other then the Broward County Convention Center, which probably should be called the Lauderdale Convention Center, what else is the term Broward used to promote the region?

    Miami is used to reference Miami-Dade County, and Palm Beach County already has the situation at hand. Broward should consider it.

  19. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    Another thing named Broward?

    How about then Black Broward Elected Officials.

    Fitzroy Salesman
    Joe Eggy
    Hazelle Rogers
    Lavoyd Williams


    Need I say more?

  20. SAM FIELDS says:

    Dear Independent,
    Legally you are correct. The four County Commissioners members of the MPO are only 4 out of 19.

    But if you think that the Executive Director of the MPO can keep his job without the support the Broward County Commissioners then I suggest you begin the New Year by going to your bank and withdraw all you money and buy a frickin’ clue.

  21. SAM FIELDS says:

    Dear Independent,
    Legally you are correct. The four County Commissioners members of the MPO are only 4 out of 19.

    But if you think that the Executive Director of the MPO can keep his job without the support the Broward County Commissioners then I suggest you begin the New Year by going to your bank and withdraw all you money and buy a frickin’ clue.

  22. Lauderdalegopboy says:

    From what I’ve heard and read, this guy has absolutely no clue. Good riddance.

  23. Tempest in a Teapot says:

    LaMarca just wanted to discuss an idea and it motivates Sam to write a disparaging column?
    Sam took time out of a holiday weekend to write an article about an issue that a commissioner wants to be “discussed”.
    Sam, you obviously missed the time that LaMarca scratched his scalp in public. You would have had a field day with that one.
    Maybe changing the name of the county is a good idea. Maybe it isn’t.
    Is it blasphemy to merely “discuss” it? According to Sam it is.

  24. Real Deal says:

    As indicated, a name change makes common sense only if it makes dollars and cents. No other reason would justify it.

    The question is strictly business and there should be no other consideration because none other is relevant.

    Study the proposal and make a proposal to the people if it makes sense. Let them think about the benefits and allow them decide in an election.

  25. Richard J Kaplan says:


    If you know anything about the MPO, the reason it broke off Broward County and their control was because the cities didn’t want to have this legally independent agency continued to be controlled by the County and its Commissioners (something the County fought).

    Not to say that the MPO doesn’t work closely with the County, it does. But is also now works just as closely with the cities and other stakeholders as a truly independent organization.

    We didn’t want County Commissioners and the County Administrator appointing the MPO Director and then controlling the Director by having them doing things the County wanted, but not necessarily what the Board wanted (which did happen before).

    I would say while the 4 County Commissioners have a say in who runs the MPO, major decisions really require the majority support of the 30 cities who are members (of which at least 14+ may be voting at any particular time).

    NOTE: The MPO has 4 County Commissioners, 1 School Board Member and 14 permanent city members. It also has 16 alternate city members. No more then 19 can vote at any one time.

    To prove it, we have had votes in the past that passed without County Commissioner support.

    So Sam I would completely disagree that even if the 4 County Commissioners wanted to remove the Director, on their own they couldn’t do it like they were able to do before. Which has led the MPO to have its own facilities, employees, budget, stability and is fiscally sound, and also is no longer housed in the Broward County Government Center.

  26. Liars says:

    Commissioner LaMarca went to Cardinal Gibbons, my kid goes there and he attends all the events they have. He went to FSU, anyone on his Facebook page knows this. Don’t you people have anything better to do than make this crap up about a good guy like Chip.

  27. Floridan says:

    I’m opposed to name-changing, especially for what could be transitory reasons. Once that begins, who knows where it will stop? Just look a bit south to Joe Robbie/Pro Player/Landshark/Dolphin/Sun Life stadium.

    By the way, there are currently Lauderdale counties in Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi. They were named for another Lauderdale — William’s father.

  28. Rebel says:

    Actually, Chip went to Northeast HS and did not attend FSU, he just is a fan…

  29. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:


    Actually, third grade was Chip’s senior year.

  30. Just saying says:

    Actually, he never got a college degree but claimed he had one in each of his campaigns….. Just saying…..

  31. Gibbonite says:

    The only reason Chip attends Gibbons events is because his wife is an alum….oh, and he is a publicity whore. He never went to Gibbons. He does not have a college degree. But hey, the Rs only care about the R after someone’s name, not any possible qualifications.