The Palm Beach County Voters Coalition, an organization that I once was a member of has according to the Palm Beach Post endorsed a proposal to start referring to the Chair of the County Commission as “Mayor.”
Voters Coalition Chair Bob Newmark remarked, “Newmark said the title change “would more clearly define the communications route to and from the commission.” It would not change the duties, responsibilities or length of term of the commission’s chair, he added.”
Broward adopted a proposal for a Commission based Mayor after rejecting a ballot initiative in 2000 proposing a strong Mayor form of Government. What Broward’s rotating Mayor/Commissioner system accomplishes is that the Mayor at a time is identified as such for everything from TV news reports, to tourism & development initiatives, to foreign commercial delegations.
While it may appear to be merely semantics the change has helped Broward County residents and businesses identify a point person each year on matters of importance to the county. Palm Beach would be well advised to follow this model in some form, even if the Commission Chair in PBC does not assume all of the power the Broward County Mayor does.
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