Friday, February 17, 2017

The City of “Lake Worth Beach”? Was Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell a visionary, ahead of his time back in 2012?

Remember Post reporter Willy Howard? He sat down with Maxwell to talk about changing the name of our City and the reasons why back in 2012. Read more about that below.

Historic sign at the Lake Worth Auditorium, which is now City Hall. Tourists and visitors saw this sign back in the day when driving south on Dixie Hwy (U.S. 1).

The idea of changing the name of Lake Worth comes up from time to time. Interest seems to spike after a sensational news story “in Lake Worth” that isn’t in the City of Lake Worth. There’s the always-stuff-happening at the Palm Beach State College “Lake Worth” campus that isn’t in Lake Worth—the college is located in unincorporated Palm Beach County, or called, “suburban Lake Worth”. Garlic Fest wasn’t “in Lake Worth” either.

John Prince Park is not in Lake Worth. Neither is the South Florida National Cemetery, the Lake Worth Tax Office, or the Lake Worth Swap Shop. And, no, there is no such thing as “western Lake Worth” when referring to anything outside the City. That new, and false, geographic designation is one of the latest from our friends in the news media.

By the way, the city of Hollywood debated changing their name to something like “Hollywood by the Sea”, but more on that a little later.

Back in April of 2016 was part of a conversation/debate about changing the name of Lake Worth and learned there were other discussions, albeit quietly, about bringing this up again. Who was it that made the last major push to do this? It was none other than Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell. Below is an excerpt from a Willy Howard article in 2012:

     Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell is suggesting changing the city’s name to Lake Worth Beach to help distinguish Lake Worth from parts of unincorporated Palm Beach County that have Lake Worth mailing addresses. According to postal officials, places as far west as Wellington can use Lake Worth mailing addresses. [emphasis added]
     In a memo to the commission about the name change, Maxwell notes that crimes committed west of the city in unincorporated parts of Palm Beach County are sometimes reported by the media as happening in Lake Worth. Residents with Lake Worth mailing addresses who live west of the city mistakenly come to city hall seeking solutions to their problems.
     Maxwell said Lake Worth is distinctive, with its walkable downtown and beach, and that the new name would create an
instantly recognizable brand for the city.
     With the 100-year anniversary of the city next year and the opening of the renovated beach site and casino scheduled for this fall, he said, this is a good time to change the city
’s name.
‘The timing is just about right,’ Maxwell said. ‘It kind of gives us a renewed since of pride for the next 100 years.

Now to what the City of Hollywood debated as reported by the Sun Sentinel:

     “What if Hollywood ditched the name it’s had since 1925 and changed it to Hollywood By The Sea?
‘I think it’s catchier than just plain old Hollywood,’ said Commissioner Patty Asseff, who has already pitched the idea to the city’s marketing firm and plans to bring it up at a commission meeting in May.

More helpful information:

     “South Florida cities have a long, proud tradition of tacking bodies of water onto the end of their names so dim-witted [emphasis added, and please note, not my words] tourists will be reminded that, yes, there are beaches in South Florida. Some examples:
1939: Deerfield becomes Deerfield Beach
1941: Boynton becomes Boynton Beach
1947: Pompano becomes Pompano Beach
1998: Dania becomes Dania Beach
2005: Cutler Ridge becomes Cutler Bay


If the City of Lake Worth became “Lake Worth Beach” that would go a long way towards helping those in the media that can’t get their news reports accurate, would it not? And. . . what better way to let everyone know our City has a Beach?
Or do you have a different idea for our City’s name? Like “Jewel” or “Jewell” perhaps?

Another reason why changing the name of our City is a good idea, let’s talk about that big fire recently at a golf club that’s not ‘in Lake Worth’. . .