Sometimes I have to laugh when I think there is an issue unique to Jacksonville, only to read about something similar — and familiar — in another location.
Take Tampa, for example.
Recently the Tampa Bay Times reported that some of Tampa's leaders were bragging how Tampa has lured a couple of Jacksonville's top professionals. They made it sound like former JaxPort CEO Paul Anderson and Shands Jacksonville President Jim Burkhart fled town for a more progressive and stable Tampa.
One of those crowing, ironically, was former Jacksonville resident Marty Lanahan, who was very active in Jacksonville civic and business affairs until Regions Bank sent her to Tampa in mid-2012.
"We have to have some kind of get together as a group. It just seems natural," Lanahan joked.
Besides Lanahan, Anderson and Burkhart, that get-together would include Marlene Spalten who left Jacksonville to become CEO of the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay.
But, lo and behold, terrific Tampa — where every Bucs game except two has been blacked out on television for two years — is in an internal squabble about keeping its Tampa International Airport CEO before he's successfully recruited by the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, which has started its search for a new chief executive.
Dallas hasn't offered Joey Lopano the job yet, but the Hillsborough Aviation Authority has voted to renegotiate Lopano's contract for the third time in 14 months and may offer him more money to stay in Tampa. He received two contract extensions and two raises last year.
Sound familiar? Doesn't all of this, both in Tampa and in Jacksonville, make you wish you'd grown up to be CEO of a public agency?
Anyhow, Tampa's Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who is on the authority, said the idea to pay Lopano more to stay is "ridiculous." The mayor has slammed his fist on the table.
(By the way, did I mention that the Bucs have had all but two of their games blacked out the last two years while the Jaguars have gone three consecutive years without a blackout?)
Speaking of Tampa, we think we're alone in wondering who we are, but we aren't.
Like Jacksonville, Tampa is also a city in search of its identity.
In the past we've been Cowford, the Bold New City of the South, River City by the Sea, Florida's First Coast and now we enjoy the moniker of Where Florida Begins.
Turns out that Tampa Bay & Co., the Tampa/Hillsborough tourism marketing organization like our own Visit Jacksonville, is paying a firm to come up with a brand to differentiate Tampa from other Florida and Sunbelt cities.
So far, the Times reports that the firm has come up with a positioning statement, Seize Life Daily.
It makes you wonder why we do these kinds of things.
Anyhow, I guess the Times was so uninspired by Seize Life Daily, it ran a contest and asked its readers to suggest a new slogan for Tampa Bay.
As Oscar Wilde said, be careful what you ask for. Some of the submissions included:
* Tampa Bay: Where imagination tramples common sense
* Walk the plank, dive into fun
* Tampa Bay: Too weird for words
* Tampa Bay: Where swashbuckling, plank-walking, water-lovin', sun-seeking, business-savvy folks seize the day to work and play by the bay!
Now, here are two of my favorites:
* Sunny with a chance of never leaving
* Tampa Bay: Where life works
But, the very best of all:
* Sun, Fun and Guns
* Put your business where the sun shines
* Come for a lap dance. Stay for the real fun
(By the way, did I tell you that besides lacking an identity, Tampa Bay's NFL team has had all but two of its games blacked out the last two years while the Jaguars have gone three consecutive years without a blackout?)
In my business as a newspaper publisher, you see a lot of what goes on in other cities through local newspapers.