Comm. Dean Trantalis Wants Ban On Renters Reversed





Renters who have been excluded from a key Fort Lauderdale group planning the future of the city may still get a chance to serve.

The requirement that only property owners be members of the Infrastructure Task Force should be changed to allow renters, said City Commissioner Dean Trantalis.

Trantalis will propose the change at Tuesday’s meeting.


Dean Trantalis


The Infrastructure Task Force is not just any city advisory board.

The group will examine the condition of Fort Lauderdale’s roads, sidewalks, airports, seawalls, water and sewer pipes, treatment plants, well fields, parks and all other facilities. Members will then recommend how to pay for needed repairs or replacement.

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler earlier this month railroaded through a prohibition against renters serving on the task force. The mayor claimed only people who pay property taxes for infrastructure should be members.  He ignored the fact that renters pay through their rent.

Trantalis acted after a post on outlined how Seiler’s plan discriminates against 50 percent of the city’s residents. The piece is linked here.

“It was an absurd position for the mayor to take. If you feel people are transients, don’t pick them for the board,” Trantalis said.

(Seiler was a renter when he ran for first ran for mayor, according to Brittany Wallman’s Sun-Sentinel story of April 22, 2008. Her story was headlined, “Legislator’s Residency Questioned.”

The story states, “Meanwhile, Seiler rented a house in Fort Lauderdale that’s not far from the two homes he owns in Wilton Manors. One of his law partners owns the Fort Lauderdale house, he confirmed.

That gave him the Fort Lauderdale address he needed in order to change his voter registration and be called Rep. Jack Seiler, D-Fort Lauderdale, instead of D-Wilton Manors.”


He was a renter then. Today he’s a hypocrite.)

Trantalis questioned Seiler on his membership restriction during the debate on the task force. He voted in favor of it so that he could bring it up again, he said.

Parliamentary rules state that in most cases, only those who voted to approve a measure can ask that it be reconsidered.

Trantalis would need a majority of the five-member commission – Seiler and four commissioners — to agree with him. He seemed to be resigned that a reversal of the other three commissioners is problematic.

“(The commissioners) are Tweedledum and Tweedledee,” Trantalis said. “They go along with the mayor.”

The reference is from Louis Carroll’s Through The Looking Glass. That’s soooo appropriate for Fort Lauderdale City Hall, where residents often feel like they fell down a rabbit hole when they try get anything accomplished.


19 Responses to “Comm. Dean Trantalis Wants Ban On Renters Reversed”

  1. Talks like a politician says:

    Good for Dean Trantalis. The idea of renters being excluded from boards is ludicrous. Renters pay the property taxes of the owners! That alone gives them the “skin in the game” to have a say in what happens in the town in which they live.

  2. Charles King says:

    Well bully for Dean! Hopefully the now alerted public, 50% of which are renters, get a chance to fill “Crooked” Jack Seiler and his two stooges on the dais ears with just how wrong and hypocritical “Jack” Seiler’s position is especially since he was elected mayor of Fort Lauderdale as a renter himself. Whoever is running against that buffoon for state attorney General on the Democrat side should bash him and the people who told him to do this at the country club he grew up in back into the last century or the one before that. Who knows, maybe people at the club will actually shun him when they hear he isn’t a Republican, just an elitist Democrat with no sense of right or wrong.

  3. What about Bruce Roberts says:

    How did Bruce vote?

    Who cares about Seiler, he is gone in a year. Roberts should be the focus since he wants to be the next Mayor…

    Dean should be running for Mayor

  4. Sober as a Judge says:

    If Fort Lauderdale governs itself by Roberts Rules, a review of motions to rescind and reconsider sound in order.

  5. Track record says:

    @#3 Roberts supported and voted with Mayor Jack P Seiler. Name a single time since ’09 when Commissioner Roberts voted against the Mayor or a Stern project and that would be BREAKING NEWS.


    Ha ha ha ha.

  6. John Henry says:

    We’re fooled into arguing over something trivial like owners vs. renters while the real problem is being ignored and that is the same old “connected” and “well to do” people will be appointed to this task force.

    Don’t let Dean’s grandstanding fool you. In the end he’ll do the same thing as the rest.

  7. Charles King says:

    “Crooked” Jack Seiler and his hand picked successor Bruce “the pension pirate” Roberts are one in the same because they serve the same masters, the police union and developers’ lobbyists that installed them in office 8 years ago to plunder the city at the expanse of infrastructure vital to city residents lives.

  8. got one says:

    For the longest time Bruce was against Gay marriage but decided (rumored Judy whispered in his ear) to break at the last minute to break with the Mayor and voted for the gay marriage ordinance. As many say, they moment everyone knew Bruce would say or do anything to become Mayor. Goes along with Bruce’s recent part affiliation where he is no longer a Republican.


    The “Judy” referred to in the letter is apparently Judith “Judy” Stern, a lobbyist who is rumored to have great influence over Commissioner Bruce Roberts.

  9. inquiring mind says:

    Does anyone know how this went last night? I can’t find anything in the Sun Sentinel or on Twitter.

    FROM BUDDY: It was 3-2 to reconsider the prohibition against renters at the next meeting. Mayor Jack Seiler and Commissioner Romney Rogers voted “no.”

  10. Ron Mills says:

    got one says: it was a letter of support and not a gay marriage ordinance. And those who voted against it were hiding behind their faith

  11. Brooke Weed says:

    Let’s remember many of the renters were home owners and lived here all their lives, but under many misfortunes they lost their home ownership and now are forced to rent. One never knows what tomorrow will bring Mr. Seiler!

  12. Long time homeowner says:

    I don’t have a problem w/Seiler’s position. Renters are transient. If you want to have a say in the future of the City, become a stakeholder and buy a property. Renters may pay taxes thru a landlord, but when taxes get too high because of infrastructure costs, guess who can move on at the end of their lease? I agree w/very little that this Commission does, and agree 100% Roberts will say and do anything to appease angry residents now that he is running for Mayor, but Seiler is right on this.

  13. inquiring mind says:

    Did it ever occur to #12 that not everyone is well-resourced enough to just “buy a property”? Wow. Guess we should just shut up and pay the rent and bow and scrape before our property-owning betters.

    And for the record, I have rented in Fort Lauderdale for 3+ years, and I joined a city advisory board within 9 months of moving–and I still serve. How much civic service do you give to the city, #12?

  14. #12 says:

    I don’t care whether you’re well resourced or not. If you want to sit on a board that is going to make financial decisions for the future of the city, be a stakeholder. If not, be a renter.

    Not that your personal attack deserves a response but I am a former city commissioner and mayor from another city, then moved to Ft. Laud and have served on 2 boards and spent countless hours coaching youth leagues at Holiday Park. Is that enough civic service for you?

    What happens when you decide to rent in another city after your rent goes up due to infrastructure costs? Will you still help your landlord shoulder the costs you voted for?

  15. BUDDY says:

    Here is an interesting story from Bloomberg. It indicates that Fort Lauderdale’s discrimination against renters run counter to the national trend towards people renting rather than buying:

  16. Ha Ha Ha says:

    @14 – What happens when a homeowner decides to start the process of selling a house, which only takes 30 to 45 days and typically results in a YUUUGE pile of cash for the seller? Will that homeowner still help the city shoulder future costs?

    BTW, a homeowner can very easily put up a “For Sale” sign and leave a city immediately – no need to wait for a lease to expire!

  17. just saying says:

    @#12 says-
    ex-Oakland Park mayor is a buddy-buddy with jack P seiler.
    lets see what Fort lauderdale owners clamor for appointments to the infrastructure board to recommend the $1,000,000,000.00 (One Billion Dollars) sewer pipe bond inflicted on the 90k properties in the city. Shades of Birmingham, Jefferson County Alabama and bankruptcy.

  18. City activist robert walsh says:

    I say get rid of all advisory board apps.across the board. Complete waste of time. Cost the clerks off. enormous about of staff,time to organize all these boards. Probably over 100 at this point. Enough..

  19. inquiring mind says:

    #12, you realize by your insulting logic that you just argued that no renter should be allowed to run for city commission? Glad to know where you stand. And disappointed I never had an opportunity to vote against you.