City of Fort Lauderdale ready to elect a new mayor

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Fort Lauderdale is ready to fill a seat as the current mayor is expected to complete nine years as the city’s top-elected official.

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler’s seat will be open at a time when the city faces many issues, from maintaining failing water and sewer pipes to handling a wave of dense developments.

Residents in Fort Lauderdale will be able to choose three current and former city commissioners as Seiler’s replacement.

Sixty-nine-year-old Bruce Roberts has been a city commissioner since 2009 and worked with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department for 35 years. He said he wants to build on the successes of the past.

“Back then in the ’80s, the city forefathers had the foresight create — and we see it starting up — downtown, so we’ve come a long long way,” said Roberts. “We’ve had some issues. We’ll deal with those issues, we’ll talk about those tonight, but we’re going to continue to have positive momentum, and that’s why I’m interested in running for mayor of the City of Fort Lauderdale. I want to keep that positive momentum going.”

Charlotte Rodstrom, 64, served in the city commission from 2006 until 2012 and now manages rental properties. In an interview, she touted her deep connection to the area.

“Like many of you, my roots are deep in the neighborhood,” said Rodstrom. “As a longtime board member and president of my homeowner’s association, I have worked on many issues to improve the quality of life in our city.”

The third candidate is 64-year-old Dean Trantalis, who has been a city commissioner since 2013 and served another term between 2003 to 2006. He says he wants to focus on the future.

“Sustainability is going to be so important,” said Trantalis. “How do we make sure that we continue to be a city of the future? We have to make sure our infrastructure is intact, and we don’t ignore it. We have to make sure we have affordable housing for our youth because otherwise they’ll go away to school and never come back because they can’t afford to live here.”

Among the issues voters will be considering when they go to the polls are the city’s management of the downtown sewer system, which was a hot topic at the mayoral debate.

When asked if they would support putting a hold on new developments downtown until the sewer system is running at capacity, all three candidates agreed that they would.

The primary will take place Tuesday, Jan. 16. Polls will open at 7 a.m.

If any of the three candidates gets more than 50 percent of the votes, that person will win outright. However, if that does not happen, the two will face-off in the general election on March 13.

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