Dean Trantalis Interview

     With the elections just ending, it's hard to grasp that in just two months, residents in District II in Fort Lauderdale will go to the polls to elect a new Commissioner - well maybe - let me explain!

     You see, of the three candidates that have already announced a run for the  District II open seat, (primary on January 15th) two of them have already been the District II Commissioner before.


     The three candidates are newcomer Chuck Black, and repeats Charlotte Rodstrom and Dean Trantalis.

                                 
                     
Black on right                             Rodstrom


     The seat is open due to the resignation of Rodstrom, who stepped down to run for the County Commission, but lost. She is now trying to return to her seat on the City Commission.




     Trantalis sat down with me yesterday for an interview.


    Trantalis lives in Poinsettia Heights in Fort Lauderdale. He is a 59 year old lawyer, with a law office in Wilton Manors.

     He is one of the most well known gay rights activist in the State, and served one term on the Fort Lauderdale City Commission - 2003-2006.


  Trantalis decided not to run for re-election to his District II seat in 2006. He said at the time that the job had stressed his law practice, strained his family relations, and that his father was quite ill and he wanted to spend time with him.

     Trantalis said that was then and this is now. He says his "life has changed". He says his father has passed, his law firm is on solid footing ("with a great staff"), and he and his partner have split - I'm seeking a marriage with my community", he smiled and added.

     When Trantalis first ran in 2003, he beat Rodstrom and four other candidates to win the open seat .

    The seat was an open seat, because I had decided, after serving 2 terms as the District II Commissioner, that I would voluntarily give up the seat and run for Mayor.



     Trantalis won the open District II seat, ( I lost the Mayor's race to incumbent Jim Naugle), and when Trantalis decided not to run for re-election in 2006, he endorsed Rodstrom to fill the District II seat, which she won.
 
     A few years later, his relationship soured with Rodstrom. It stemmed from the verbal beatings Rodstrom was constantly giving to City Manager George Gretsas, a close ally to Trantalis.

      Trantalis said their relationship is better now, even though they are competitors for the District II seat again, but confided that Rodstrom did tell him they couldn't "kiss each other" anymore when they meet in public.

     Trantalis says he thinks the City is troubled. He says the financial picture is "tenuous at best". He says union pensions are "much too generous".

     He says many of the neighborhoods are in trouble. He cites the high rate of crime in the "western" neighborhoods. Says the Police Department is not taking it serious enough. Says he wants a more proactive police plan - adds that reduction in crime is his "number one priority".

     
Trantalis also says he will work hard to bring redevelopment to the inland parts of District II. Trantalis was known as a very "slow growth" Commissioner, and some say he did little to redevelop the underdeveloped parts of the District when he was a Commissioner. He says he sees it differently now, and has already met with some developers to encourage them to come into the 13th Street corridor area of the District.

     But when it comes to building at the beach, don't count on much support for any tall buildings there from Trantalis.

      Trantalis says he has "concerns" with City Manager Feldman, but plans on giving him "the benefit of the doubt in the first year".

     He gives Mayor Seiler much higher ratings than his predecessor - Naugle-  "without a doubt", but is critical of Seiler for being a "mediator, not an initiator".


      Trantalis thinks he can win the seat, but is ready for battle. He says he hopes the campaign focuses on issues, and is positive. 

     But when asked if he'll fight fire with fire if the going gets hot, he says it depends on "how hot the fire gets"!. 




 

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Comments

  • 11/14/2012 11:08 PM just wondering wrote:
    John Rodstrom should file to run for district 2. His financial acumen is what is lacking on the dais. Not to mention common sense lacking for years. Charlotte can run for Mayor in March 2015, or sooner if the politically "ambitious" on dais run for something else in Nov. 2014.
    No more wannabees seeking a supposedly 'high profile' position to grow their law practice (2 already on dais).
    John Rodstrom would do it for the good of the city.
    Reply to this
  • 11/15/2012 10:03 AM read the tea leaves wrote:
    Charlotte Rodstrom's fiercest past supporters have abandoned her in every neighborhood in District 2 (except maybe the Isles). Why just tonight, her 2 appointments on the Beach Redevelopment Advisory Board are hosting a fundraiser for Dean Trantalis.
    Reply to this
  • 11/15/2012 10:13 AM Lester Zalewski wrote:
    Tim
    Nice reporting. Now what about Mr. Black and Ms. Rodstrom.

    Lester Zalewski
    lesterz.com
    Reply to this
    1. 11/15/2012 11:40 AM Tim wrote:
      thanks Lester....can you get Rodstrom to meet me for an interview? ...
      Reply to this
      1. 11/15/2012 7:11 PM Lester Zalewski wrote:
        LOL
        Reply to this
        1. 11/15/2012 8:35 PM another voter wrote:
          Lester should run for district 2.
          A run-off is coming because no one candidate will get 51%
          Reply to this
          1. 11/16/2012 6:45 AM no way wrote:
            Lester would be a disaster - he was kicked out of his own neighborhood association. And pay attention, Lester - Tim already did a candidate's profile on Chuck Black (another one whose own neighborhood wants nothing to do with him).
            Reply to this
            1. 11/16/2012 2:07 PM Lester Zalewski wrote:
              Dear Voters of District
              II go to central beach blog for the full story. The four directors left are cheer leaders for any incumbents and I wanted accountability from my government. All the good director and liaisons walked away from that mass. I hope one day some good people will lead that group. Go to
              YouTube see for yourself some of my past efforts for our community.
              Reply to this
  • 11/15/2012 3:36 PM Marge wrote:
    No mention of how much this "extra" election is costing us??? And why?
    Reply to this
    1. 11/16/2012 10:59 AM MPR wrote:
      That is a interesting fact? If we were to look back again as to why this election is coming about; I am sure our minds would be clearer as to who we should vote for.
      I am also glad Tim uncovered the rumor that Dean quit his first run at commissioner. Dean didn't quit he just didn't run again. Big difference is a cost of an election, right?
      Reply to this
      1. 11/16/2012 4:30 PM tax payer wrote:
        http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2012-10-16/news/fl-lauderdale-special-election-20121016_1_new-election-county-commissioner-election-schedule

        the latest costs bandied about are $225,000.0+/- for the january 2013 primary, and the march 2013 election, UNLESS one candidate gets 50% plus one of the votes in january primary - all this for a 30k a year + job

        SOE sets cost of election, not city. will the usual 10%-12% turn out to vote. but compare that with 3 charter amendments added to ft ldle ballot on november 6 and BOTH were defeated. we did pay for that and maybe just $30k-$50k but still its tax dollars cc wastes.
        Reply to this
  • 11/15/2012 5:22 PM City Activist Robert Walsh wrote:
    Well aren't you gay Dean- I never got a kiss from Charlotte...
    Reply to this
  • 11/15/2012 7:24 PM Steve wrote:
    Did Dean answer why he endorsed the recent appointment for the President of Broward House even though the guy had to give up his foster care kids because of abuse allegations? Dean does sit on the board of Broward House and they now stand to loose backers because of the guy Dean appointed
    Reply to this
  • 11/15/2012 7:42 PM Robert L wrote:
    Why is the downtown establishment backing Mr. Black Tim? Does he also have support in the neighborhoods? Looks like he might just win if Rodstrom and Dean split the beach vote?
    Reply to this
  • 11/15/2012 8:22 PM City Activist Robert Walsh wrote:
    To " Robert L" -your observations would be correct-
    Reply to this
    1. 11/17/2012 8:15 AM quitter wrote:
      Walsh - if you are such a fighter, how come the powers that be got you out of this race so fast and you went with a whimper? What happened tough guy?
      Reply to this
  • 11/17/2012 2:32 PM Sto wrote:
    Tim:

    When are you going to resume the tours?
    Reply to this
  • 11/17/2012 6:58 PM City Activist Robert Walsh wrote:
    Just you and me Tim. I got to tell you Charlie King is sooo upset you banned him from your blog. I told him, start your own. Also he is so interested in Comm.Bruce Roberts pension. I again tried toexplain to him that he was in the Police Dept. for well over 30 years. Charlie thinks that he got money like John Rodstrom 600thou-coming to Johnny-don't spend it all @ the track, or from what the residents are telling me Grey -Gooose is it(joking). So Charlie wants Comm.Roberts pension. He should talk King -World(booo-koo money). Although Tim, Charlie did apologize to me via email if he hurt my feelings by posting Larry Braszeski scathing artickle on me. Really Larry?. So keep it up Tim its burning Charlie' ass. As far as Dean Trantalis you have to distant yourself from these didlers. I mean Broward House which you are a Board Memebr-be careful of some of your friends-your worst enemy(tip). Dean also keep away from any deragatory comments in regard s to Mayor Seiler(mediator-inishator)-taboo. I wish you all luck, while the poor convicted felon watches from the sidelines. Run Charlie Christ run for Gov. So I can join the club already in progress.
    Reply to this
  • 11/18/2012 8:19 PM made stemptem wrote:
    I am compelled to respond to "Quiter" and why I left w/out a whiper-Whiper huh. First of all you hit a sore spot(very good) . You are somewhat correct in your anaylsis. I did walk away from this or put my head in th e sand. I know- unlike me. Being in the situation I am in I am on a very short leash, because of the obvious. I have a very sick family member w/ a deadly disease, w/ no cure. So fighting death, this is taking everything out of me. Its funny when everything was just peachy never heard from any of them will just say, but when shit hits the fan(Alzheimers) who do they all turn to. Story of my life. So this is why I went away w/out a whimper etc. My no mistake I will take care of these issues, and never count me out, because right when you think you got me I get right up and come right back to bite you in the ass(you would like that huh?). And pay back is a bitch.. Besides why don't you run ,since you seem to have all the answers?????.P.S. Judy Stern find out who this"Quiter" is and destroy them....
    Reply to this
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