Payback For Bruce Roberts: Votes For Bahia Mar, Then Gets Developers Election Support







The developer for the $100s million Bahia Mar project are working franticly to save Bruce Roberts’ candidacy for mayor.

It’s payback time!

Payback for Roberts’ vote this week in favor of the horrendously huge Bahia Mar rebuild on Fort Lauderdale beach this week.

Read this email forwarded to me today, that appears to be written by the developer of Bahia Mar.  It speaks for itself:



From: James Tate <>
Date: December 7, 2017 at 2:56:17 PM EST
To: James Tate <>
Cc: Kenny Tate <>
Subject: Support Bruce Roberts for mayor 


 Thank you again for all of your support as we successfully obtained our site plan approval earlier this week from the City of Fort Lauderdale.

 As you all are aware, My partners and I have been working very closely with the City of Fort Lauderdale over the past 3.5 years and during this time I have learned a lot, the good , the board , what works well and what is broken.

 I have seen City Hall in action and I can attest to certain facts as to what works well and what is broken. 

 It is my professional opinion as well as my partners that Fort Lauderdale is trying to be more progressive and more responsible as they diligently work towards a better future so the next generations will be able to enjoy the same incredible city amenities many of you have enjoyed for years. 

In order to successfully move forward, be progressive, be smart and be responsible in your decisions, it takes a certain person. A person who has been around the City and successfully brought forth positive change for everyones benefit . A person who has fought hard to improve on the inefficiencies as they became aware of same. A person along with Jack Seiler who was instrumental in helping us execute a fair and equitable long term Boat Show Lease so FLIBS will be with us for many years( basically saving Fort Lauderdale from losing the Boat Show ) . A person who generally cares about the entire city’s well being not just his own. 

For all of these reasons and many more, I would like you to support Bruce Roberts in his campaign for Mayor . 

You can support him financially but equally important you can support him by allowing his sign to be placed in your front yard. He needs exposure beyond walking the streets and shaking hands. 

If you would be so kind to allow Bruce’s campaign sign to be placed in your yard , your businesses yard and or your neighbors yards, please send me your home address and or business address if your business is on a main roadway. 

Thank you in advance for your support of Bruce and asking sure that Fort Lauderdale is left in good hands after Jack Seiler’s successful departure as our Mayor. 


Jimmy Tate, 

Tate Capital


Roberts voted for the massive beachfront project at the urging of his campaign manager – lobbyist Judith “Judy” Stern, who represented the Bahia Mar developers.

He is running for mayor against two candidates who pledge to manage growth better – Charlotte Rodstrom and Dean Trantalis.

Recent polls show Roberts sliding badly. (This caveat: This is an unusual January election with an expected a light turnout. In such elections, the results are very hard to predict.)

Bahia Mar approved this week is just the latest outrage by Roberts and his colleagues.

Mayor Jack Seiler and Commissioner Romney Roberts voted for it.  They are term limited in March.

Commissioner Robert McKenzie voted for it.  He is expected to be reelected easily.

And Roberts voted for the massive development.

Trantalis voted “No.”

The vote came after 3 a.m., a time when most residents were in bed.  That timing alone is an insult to the public.

Many residents feared that the seven new high-rises and a new high-rise hotel at Bahia Mar would increase gridlock on Fort Lauderdale beach and further tax the failing water and sewer system.

Don’t worry. Don’t worry, Roberts told the sparse group still awake the predawn hours.

Bahia Mar will create more “positive traffic,” Roberts told the incredulous audience. See this video:



Roberts meant the current traffic is “positive” compared to the negative traffic created by Spring Break two decades ago. So Bahia Mar will just be more “positive” traffic.

Of course, Spring Break was confined to a few weeks and came long before most condos were built on the beach.

Bahia Mar traffic will be…well, forever.

Roberts has spent almost nine years on the commission in the pocket of developers. He drank the Kool Aid long ago.

Now styling himself the infrastructure candidate, he did nothing during his years in office as the sewer system failed.

“Fort Lauderdale’s downtown sewer system was already straining two years ago, but the city kept approvals flowing for thousands of new condos, hotel rooms and stores,” Brittany Wallman wrote last weekend in the Sun-Sentinel in a stinging indictment of Fort Lauderdale City Commission, where Roberts hung his hat for over nine years.


Residents Will Pay!


Every voter in Fort Lauderdale will pay for the development of the last decade. Hundreds of millions – perhaps over a billion – will be needed to fix the infrastructure to handle the impact of the construction.

Roberts was not alone in this fiscal folly.  I’m writing about him because Roberts is running for mayor as the infrastructure candidate.  And you thought Fake News only came from Washington! His pro-development voters are a major reason why the city needs an infrastructure fix.

I have covered government longer than I care to remember.  I covered the runaway growth of West Broward, Weston and much of the rest of Broward.

I can assure readers that I have never seen a City Hall as reckless about the future as the current Fort Lauderdale Commission. I have never seen a government as uncaring about the eventual financial impact on City Hall as the current crop of commissioners.

That includes Dean Trantalis in many cases, but compared to Roberts he is an angel.

And Dean Trantalis doesn’t have a developers’ lobbyist managing his campaign like Roberts.

Lobbyist Judith “Judy” Stern on the phone at Fort Lauderdale City Hall during the all-night meeting to approve the development of Bahia Mar, her client. 

37 Responses to “Payback For Bruce Roberts: Votes For Bahia Mar, Then Gets Developers Election Support”

  1. Shameful says:

    Bruce Roberts should have recused himself.
    How can he possibly say with a straight face that his Campaign manager Judy Stern didn’t influence him when operating as the Bahia lobbyist?

    Jack Seiler should be ashamed of himself for the way this process was conducted by his Commission and the City from day 1. Lies, deceit, obfuscation, circumvention.


  2. Infrastructure lies says:

    Roberts voted us into this infrastructure debacle for 9 years. His infrastructure lies on the campaign trail will be exposed. You are what your record is Bruce. Your vote on Bahia Mar was a joke.

  3. Too Bad for Fort Lauderdale says:

    Put Judy out of business and take Fort Lauderdale back from her contemptible reign.
    Don’t vote for Bruce Roberts or Ben Sorrenson.

  4. Charles King says:

    “Bought & Paid For” Bruce Roberts has been selling out the community so hard recently, often reading off the most intelligence insulting and incredulous Judy Stern talking points from the dais that it makes me wonder if old man river even wants the job. I’m beginning to be convinced he just wanted to run for mayor and is more than willing at age 70 to take his “thirty pieces of silver” and ride off into the generous retirement sunset we have provided him both directly and indirectly. I can already see Bruce now driving a golf cart mocked up to look like a police car with a “COPOUT” vanity plate up in The Villages.

  5. Charlotte Rodstrom says:

    “Positive traffic” soon Bruce will be calling our ballooning debt “positive debt.” The spin is unbelievable.

    Here is a list of a few achievements that this Commission, Bruce and Dean included, share:
    • Approved more development than any other Commission in Fort Lauderdale history.
    • Borrowed more money than any other Commission in our city’s history.
    • Diverted the most money from our water & sewer infrastructure fund, forcing our City into a State of Emergency. Six months and counting!
    • The most boil water notices (17 just this year).
    • The highest water bill increases, except you cannot even drink the water.
    • The all but prestigious “Least Safe City in the Country” ranking.

    Every day I am appalled more and more by the actions of this Commission. We need new leadership and I am ready to get us back on track.

    In response to Mr. Tate, I have signs too.

  6. Saynoto99 says:

    During the 1926 storm, the waves went from the ocean across the land into the intercoastal waterway. We know that the mouth of the New river was located where Bahia Mar is today. It makes no sense to put 650 apartments at that location, but the good news is, it will only be for 47 years as that is when the lease expires and the property will come back to the city.

    The biggest sin would be for this or the next commission to extend the lease to 99 years. This would allow the developer to sell off our land as condominiums and can you imagine the mess of sorting out the ownership after the storm comes through and makes some or all the units uninhabitable?

    Make sure your candidate for the commission and Mayor says no new lease for Bahia Mar.

  7. Jean Churcherilla says:

    Vote for anyone but Bruce. Is it true the Tate’s are running robo calls against Dean? People don’t let them buy our city!!!

  8. MATTY BOY says:

    For the above mentioned reasons, I have been waiting for a candidate to get into the race the wasn’t Bruce Roberts nor John Rodstrum’s wife!! So, Dean wouldn’t have been my first choice, but he is a standup guy. He has been nothing but professional and kind in all of my dealings with him.

    If the race was between Bruce Roberts and John Rodstrums wife (I call her that, because that’s how she always introduces herself – I know pathetic) I would’ve held my nose and voted for Bruce.

    I will be and encourage anyone who reads this to VOTE FOR DEAN TRANTILIS!

  9. Chaz Stevens says:

    I long for Summers On The Beach.

  10. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    #5.Finally Charlotte.Dump move Bruce Roberts.Blame who?Judy Stern…

  11. Eligibility says:

    Robert McKinzie “won” his District 3 Election 1,033 days ago. McKinzie is under investigation for misconduct related to that Election.
    McKinzie is a candidate for the next Election in 39 days.

    Now that the Bahia vote has taken place look for an announcement. Coincidence….you be the judge. Paging Mike Satz.

  12. Reality check says:

    Speaking of “bought and paid for”, check out the campaign contributors to Walter Duke, a candidate for the District !V seat. Developers, lobbyists, bankers, and attorneys have coughed up over $80,000 for his campaign.

    Why? Duke already had a commission seat in Dania Beach. He abandoned that seat, moved to Fort Lauderdale, and began the process of running for a commission seat in that city.

    He packed his favorite motto: “I live, work, and play in (various cities) in his bag. Now he applies the motto to Fort Lauderdale. Who are the real players here? The big money donors or the voters who pay through tax money to support the city?

    A Bruce Roberts rerun?

  13. Nick Sakhnovsky says:

    This naked payback is foolish, incredible and unacceptable. Shameful. I urge voters to think carefully about what kind of city they want when casting their vote next month.

  14. Nick Sakhnovsky says:

    And yes, #6 is absolutely correct. Any lease extension would be a terrible mistake.

  15. Judy Stern pure evil says:

    Bruce really has become a disappointment , any man the let’s an evil piece of crap like Stern push him around is not a man .

    He knows right from wrong and proved he would not be a good Mayor with Bahia Mar vote. Judy made that happen watched the whole thing texting Bruce and McKenzee then they voted yes.

    Any one with connection to Stern should be disqualified to run .

  16. Warning For Fort Lauderdale Voters says:

    Roberts is using some of his developers money on a push poll that is telephoning Fort Lauderdale voters this weekend. Don’t believe the BS they are peddling. It is an attempt to disguise Roberts’ poor record on infrastructure and development.

  17. Charles King says:

    I would love to see “Bought & Paid For” Bruce Roberts not even make the run off. It would be just renunciation of the “Crooked” Jack Seiler regime that it deserves. Besides voting yourself of course, this is the election to badger your friends, family and neighbors into finally performing their civic duty. Watching City Manager “Little” Lee Feldman get fired after the election is going to be sweet.

  18. Bahia position says:

    #12 while i appreciate your passion i think your position is ridiculous and poorly informed.

    Walter Duke has taken an openly public position against the WAVE and against Bahia Mar. He did it at the Fort Lauderdale forum no less.

    As residents there is no one better to have on our side when it comes to negotiating the Bahia Mar lease. Romney and Jack will be gone, Dean was pathetic, McKinzie and Roberts are well….McKinzie and Roberts.

    No candidate is perfect but Walter Duke is the best on the slate.

  19. No show duke says:

    #12. Don’t forget the “I have a particular skill set to be able to negotiate with (insert name of any group)”. Residents certainly could have used his “skill set” at the Bahia Mar meeting!

  20. Not tonight says:

    When are the commissionesr going to be required to turn off the phones while in the meetings and please request the text messages and other communications while sitting there.

  21. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Some people sell shoes,others cut hair.Judy Stern is a paid lobbyist and political consultant.She gets paid.Bahia Mar big wigs love her she pulled through.She gets paid.Comm.Bruce Roberts used.If he loses its her fault.Collateral damage…

  22. Pot Calling Kettle says:

    Stern, lest we forget, was also Charlotte Rodstrom’s campaign manager until they had a fallling out. Charlotte also cost the city $200,000 back in 2013 for a special election.. those $$ could have helped with infrastructure costs!!!

  23. Charlie King says:

    Not likely #22, those dollars are a pittance compared to what “Crooked” Jack Seiler’s crew has gone through of our money in the last 9 years of government giveaways, parties and non negotiated union contracts. Not only did they spend on all the frivolous BS things “Jack” needed to propel his pathetic political career in the Democrat party, they looted the vital water and sewer fund of $106 million dollars, raised our water rates through the roof, polluted our rivers with sewage and left us under a pricey state consent order. The best part is now they want to borrow $200 million on their way out the door to return what they have stolen with fresh borrowing. “Bought & Paid For” Bruce Roberts deserves a resounding loss January 16th and “Little” Lee Feldman the city’s no integrity order taking City Manager deserves a pink slip.

  24. Boat show in a parking garage? says:

    Bruce Roberts “saved” the boat show? Instead of beautiful tents and sunshine and tropical economic sustainability, the show’s new “home” will be a parking garage.

    A boat show in a parking garage. Nice work, Bruce! And Judy, you just sold your candidate down the river. Really nice.

  25. Reality check says:

    @ 18

    Campaign contribution information:

  26. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    #22.That cost asc.with that special election Charlotte had nothing to do with that figure.That was the election super Dr.Snipes that gave Ft.Lau that price.Pay back for Charlotte husband being rude to Snipes(yes).Oh Dr.Snipes for a district election had it staffed like the whole city election.Thats where the 200g charge came from.STAY IN TODAY PEOPLE….

  27. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Charlie king come on.What you state has merit.However,the name calling is very inappropriate.Charlie,you comw from a good family this again name calling is unsettling.Your better than that.Say what you need to say but say it nicely…I learned that over the years.Its much better to use honey than sour vinegar(try drinkinf it twice a day)when catching flys..

  28. Maxine K. Streeter says:

    District 4 — Warren Sturman is the only candidate from District 4 to oppose the Bahia Mar project on the record during the hearing. He also has taken a written position opposing the WAVE. If a politician doesn’t stand up for us as a candidate what do you think he or she will do if elected?

    All residents of Harbor Beach; Beverly Heights; Croissant Park; Rio Vista; Tarpon River; Edgewood; Downtown; Lauderdale Isles; Riverland Village; River Run; Chula Vista; Riverland Manors; Riverland Woods; River Landings; Flamingo Park; Oak River; Shady Banks; Riverside Park; River Oaks; Colee Hammock; Lauderdale Harbors; Harbordale; Harbor Isles; Harbor Inlet; Breakwater and Poinciana Park — You have choices. Please consider Warren Sturman.

  29. Handicapper says:

    Northeast Fort Lauderdale will go for Roberts. Rio Vista and the beach and fancy homes off Las Olas will go for Charlotte with Dean picking up some votes. Southwest and the black community that will decide the election. Roberts wins the black community and Southwest going into the general election. Dean and Charlotte won’t get 10 percent of the vote apiece in the black community.

  30. The Silent Majority says:

    Roberts wins the black vote? You’re kidding. After all of the FLPD incidents in the district 3 and city over the last 10 years? Doubtful. Trantalis will regret not taking another term as District 2 Commissioner. It was his to loose. Voters with a knowledge of the past 5 years ++ of mismanagement and misplaced priorities (since recession bottom) will not vote for Roberts in any district, even his own, although they won’t admit. Call it the Trump phenomena where few yard signs were out for Trump in FL yet he won primary and election. Residents in District 1 will not speak up against him but will send a decisive message in January.

  31. Stern screw up says:

    Heather getting a pass will cut voter turnout in District 1. If she had a challenger, that would have brought out many voters that would have been pro Roberts who now stay home.

  32. Head Crackers says:

    Ask any person if color in the NW section of Ftl if they have fond memories of the Raiders Anti Crime task force while Roberts was Chief? The support of Chris, Adderley Perry, Bobby and Mckenzie can’t wipe away those memories.

  33. Art Seitz says:

    IGiven the damage they have done to Fort Lauderdale it will be a cold day down below before, I vote for or support Dean Trantalis, Bruce Roberts or Timmy Smith!

  34. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    #29 Your take is right on the money.Also #31 you are correct as well.Judy Stern should have worked her magic and had a dummy canidate run against Moratis.Again Roberts district(many) will stay home because they have no reason to go to the polls.Also #32 you are right on target as well in reference to the police brutality while Roberts was chief.Stern again worked her magic in getting the Black vote when she came up with the first Black police chief that Roberts was behind.However,those in the know,know Roberts had nothing to do with Frank Adderely promotion.That was former city manager Grestas (who these above mentioned players hated-esp.Stern and Roberts).So who wins.Who goes home.We will know on the 16th.My take.The Black vote,Victoria Pk and the Downtowners will decide this.One thing for sure.This goes to March.None of them get 50%.Even though Judy Stern and i have different bets.She bets heavy its between Roberts and Trantalis.I bet heavy its Tranralis and Rodstrom.I say Roberts gets knocked out on the 16th.Stern will state your girly girl will get knocked out on the 16th.Will see.If im wrong and Rodstrom gets knocked out on the 16th,then Roberts prevails against Trantalis in March.Who wins.Stern or myself.Judy betting heavy because if Roberts loses,she loses her pawn(join the club).If i lose well Robbie,Bobbie,slobbie keeps on truckin(like the suckerboy he is).I.ll take my chances…

  35. SE Fort Lauderdale says:

    There is another fox who wants to guard the henhouse.

    Walter Duke, candidate for District 4 commission seat in Fort Lauderdale, has a youtube video where he talks about his ability to talk to developers. He mentions, as an example, the coming redevelopment on public property at Bahia Mar. Walter says he can talk to the developer as that project as a commissioner. How?? The developer, Tate, is listed as a client of Walter Duke + Partners. Isn’t that a conflict of interest?
    Residents, we deserve to have a commissioner who does not earn his living from developers.

  36. Black doesn’t mean dumb says:

    The problem with Stern and the black community is that she believes that everyone in Sistrunk follows Bobby, Perry, Mckenzie and Smith without question. In certain races that is true, not here. Stern will have the segments of the community that she thinks can be bought, problem is, many are on to the game. They will take the money and vote for whom they want. Judy thinks Adderley is a pied piper but he is not. when the shooting went with his wife down, he had been living in Plantation for a long time. They also know and resent the fact his wife got a slap on the wrist while anyone else of color would be in prison. Don’t think they don’t resent him for being a Raider either, They know Adderley pretends to live off Sistrunk. Bruce may take the black community but everyone will be surprised that it is a much smaller margin then anticipated. Also, despite the backing of Holmess, the black community will never vote for a gay candidate. Walsh is right, Rodstrom could pull this off.

  37. Art Seitz says:

    Opinion: Bahia Mar Deal Advocates — Stern, McKinzie & Brewton — who all have same “Screw the residents” mentality — in same photo

    Please Read Posts #11, #15 & #36 Read #5 Charlotte Rodstrom’s list twice and pass it on.

    In the above City Hall Lobby Photo with Lobbyist Judy Stern on her cell phone in the foreground — during a Commission Meeting break, if you look closely — you will see the back of Greg Brewton’s head –far right, wearing a tan suit, he’s the former Planning & Zoning Director…

    Sunshine?? Paid Bahia Mar Expert Witness Brewton is shown talking directly to Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Robert L. McKinzie, who seconded and voted for a key Bahia Mar motion — Politically wired McKinzie, is currently under Investigation for too numerous to list, Criminal & Campaign Violations by the very slowing moving Broward State Attorney — Use the index at the top of the page, to read Brittany Wallman and Buddy Nevins Coverage, or the seeming air tight – scalding Broward Inspector General Report.

    In response to your recent comment Mayor Seiler, that no one listens to me or Charlie King — I filed the McKenzie Complaint with the IG, the RDC, Inc/ISHOF/FTAC One Bid $76.2 Million Complaint and the Ethics Complaint against Cindi Hutchinson.

    In my opinion, Robert L. McKenzie is the city’s #1 Developers Tool and Bruce Roberts is a close #2…
    FYI, for starters given Mayor Candidate Charlotte Rodstrom’s list (Blog post #5) It will be a cold day down below before, I vote for Bruce Roberts, who will be another Jack Seiler — or useless lousy District 2 Commissioner Dean Trantalis or anyone that is backed and politically owned by Judy Stern.

    Thank you Charlie King for your dozens of spot on target posts and Brittany Wallman and Buddy Nevins for putting the SPOTLIGHT on our to often seemingly corrupt government. Its no wonder that our worst ever Mayor of Fort Lauderdale Bozo Mayor Seiler, says we have no creditability.

    40 year resident – Art Seitz