Broward Politics: Veltri Family’s Unprecedented Political Reign Ending?




In 1968, Lyndon Johnson announced he wasn’t running for president again.

That same year Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated and Richard Nixon won the presidency.

And in 1968, a Veltri was first elected to office in Plantation.

That first Veltri was Frank Veltri, father of the current Plantation Mayor Diane Veltri Bendekovic.

Frank Veltri


I can’t think of any Broward city that has been dominated for so long by one family.

With the exception of two years, there has been a Veltri in office since 1968— either Frank (1968-1999) and daughter (2001-today).

The unprecedented reign of the Velti family may be ending.

The mayor faces a reelection campaign in November 2018 that could turn into a real battle.

Someone is already gunning for her. Her opponents appear to be well funded. At least they have enough money to conduct an early poll using more expensive actual humans to ask the questions rather than a much cheaper computerized survey.

The poll tested the mayor’s weaknesses.

One question in the telephone survey involved Bendekovic’s paying more than $450,000 in tax money to stop a Christmas display in Plantation Acres held by her political opponent. The costly legal effort failed and then Bendekovic blocked any City Commission review of the legal fees.

Another question gauged residents’ opinion of how well Bendekovic handled the hurricane debris removal. did some digging and found the political consultant who was behind the poll. This consultant discussed the poll and the upcoming election for mayor in return for confidentiality.

Veltri Bendekovic can be beaten, the consultant opined.


Diane Veltri Bendekovic  



It was noted that the mayor squeaked through her reelection in March 2015 by just 251 votes out of 7,465.

The 2018 city election is different. It will be the first time Veltri Bendekovic is on the ballot in November.

A November election will draw less involved voters, who will turn out for the Governor and U. S. Senate races and know nothing about the mayor. Less involved voters can be swayed easier using advertising and grass roots campaigning.

The consultant believes that if only one candidate runs against the mayor, she is toast.

The consultant added one caveat: This single candidate can not be a recycled Plantation City Hall veteran, but a fresh face.

Is there a candidate already gearing up to take on the mayor and end the Veltri family’s control of Plantation? Someone is paying for that poll and they are obviously not a friend of the mayor.

Stay tuned.


9 Responses to “Broward Politics: Veltri Family’s Unprecedented Political Reign Ending?”

  1. Adriana Alcalde says:

    It is an outrage that the Mayor refused a free audit by the Florida bar. I have not been politically involved in my city and I regret it. I am glad that Plantation residents are becoming more involved and aware of what is going on in our city. Let’s not forget the commissioner that also voted against the free audit. I would like to hear what the reasoning for that was. Also- why is there no evaluation on the city attorney? I’m looking forward to seeing who comes forward to help lead our great city.

  2. Nuff Said says:

    To harken to my last comment on the subject … Don Lunny should have jumped … and I mean JUMPED, at the opportunity to have his bill audited. No service professional should ever send their client a bill that they are not completely willing to stand behind. Agreeing to an audit would have demonstrated Don Lunny’s and the City’s transparency rather than making it look like they had something to hide. The worst that would have happened to Mr. Lunny is that he would have had to eat part of his bill. Big deal. He could have preserved his longstandng relationship with his client and maybe, more importantly, prevented Dianne Veltri Bendekovic from getting thrown in front of a bus over her misplaced loyalty to Mr. Lunny over this mess.

  3. Run Adriana Run says:

    Alcalde for Mayor!!!!!

  4. Rick Strunck says:

    All I can say is keep an open mind. Thus far the opponent for the position of Mayor is unknown – I don’t believe the “anyone is better than her” mentality. Plantation is at a crossroads – traffic congestion, build-out, infrastructure, revenue sourcing, etc. Remember, sometimes the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know. We will have to wait and see who challenges the mayor and what experience and visions they have before making a decision. It should be an interesting year ahead for plantation.

  5. Carl Buehler says:

    It IS an outrage that City Councilman Mark Hyatt arrogantly refused to reign in a commercially sponsored “special event” that he foisted off as a charitable “holiday display”. I had not been politically involved in city politics until I became aware of this unethical exploitation of city and public resources by an elected official who was supposed to serve the community, not rip it off. I hope that Plantation residents are becoming MORE INVOLVED AND AWARE of what is going on in our city. Let’s not forget that it was the self-promoting ego and political manipulation by Councilman Mark Hyatt who CHOSE to COERCE the city into litigation.
    Litigation records prove that an irresponsible Mark Hyatt repeatable REFUSED to negotiate a settlement and employed a slew of lawyers over SIX years intentionally dragging the case out in a malicious strategy known as FRIVOLOUS discovery costing the city hundreds of thousands of dollars. I would like to hear what the reasoning for that was?
    Also- why is there NO EVALUATION on the why the city, using OUR tax dollars,PAID $50,000 to $78,000 every year to provide overtime policing and public works employees for a private citizen’s holiday carnival on his residential property? City records show that for six years Hyatt REFUSED to pay for police details or cleanup of debris from the thousands of visitors who had strewn garbage and urinated on neighbor’s lawns. Taxpayers, AUDIT that! A half million dollars of city services provided to Hyatt at taxpayer expense. No other Plantation citizen or business gets that break….

    I’m looking forward to seeing WHO COMES FORWARD TO HELP LEAD our great city, and STOP a white collar criminal city councilman from extending his personal exploitation of our tax dollars for his political gain. Taxpayers deserve better. The Veltris may no longer be with us, but God forbid that a legitimate candidate, decent and with proven integrity, doesn’t step forward.


    This begs the question, if the legal expenses were legitimate then why did Mayor Veltri Bendekovic block reviewing the bills? Why did a member of the Florida Bar state during the debate over the bills that the case would have cost the city much, much less?

  6. Skippy says:

    Armstrong? 1999-2011.


    The current mayor was on the City Commission from 2001. The post states that from 1999 to 2001 was the only period in 49 years that there was no member of the Velri family in office.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Plantation needs a younger leader with city involvement and an understanding of municipal law. Someone with campaign experience and a desire to do public service. Hollywood just elected someone similar in Josh Levy. Louis Reinstein, I’m looking at you!!

  8. Plantation Native says:

    As a native of Plantation, it’s very disappointing to me that our city is antiquated in so many ways. We are growing by leaps and bounds, but services are not keeping up and moving forward to join the 21st Century.

    The city budgets annually for legal fees and services, one million dollars. It’s appalling that nearly half of that was spent on one case. The city was never able to produce one witness willing to testify publicly as to the negative impact the display had or has on the neighbor’s and surrounding area. And the city as well as Mr. Lunny, should have welcomed the free audit offered by The Florida Bar rather than choose to spend more of our tax dollars highering an outside auditor.

    While it’s everyone’s dream to preserve the quality of life and hometown feel we are afforded in Plantation, we have bigger fish to fry such as being better prepared for the next hurricane cleanup, the next flooding rain so residents in the Acres aren’t forced to maurver by rowboat for days, traffic congestion on the main thoroughfares.

  9. Wanda Stewart says:

    Rae Carole Armstrong was Mayor of Plantation 1999 to 2011.

    Mark Hyatt was only elected as a City Councilman in the last election.