Dean Trantalis and Bruce Roberts, who served as city commissioners, will face each other in a runoff election for Fort Lauderdale mayor.
Trantalis secured 46.28 percent of the vote while Roberts had 31.25 percent of the vote. The runoff will occur March 13.
Tuesday marked election day in Fort Lauderdale as the city prepared to vote for a new mayor, with Jack Seiler wrapping up a nine-year run as the city’s top politician.
Development, smart growth and dealing with flooding have been the top issues facing city leaders as the primary approached.
Former commissioner Charlotte Rodstrom ran for mayor, taking on the two current city commissioners, whom she blames for the city’s problems.
Rodstrom received 22.47 percent of the vote on Tuesday.
"There doesn’t seem to be a very good plan on how to go forward with the growth in Fort Lauderdale and that is evident by what you see, the traffic, the lack of infrastructure, the debt that the city has incurred over the last seven years is phenomenal, it’s awful," Rodstrom said.
Congestion and traffic are real issues for Fort Lauderdale’s commuters, with some streets becoming narrow while population expands.
Roberts is taking issue with his critics and taking credit for recent infrastructure improvements.
"I actually put our city manager and our city attorney on a six-month probation period because our staff had identified in March of this year 11 or 13, I do not recall, priority projects as it relates to water and sewer to be funded and maintained and redone. They were not getting it done," Roberts said.
Trantalis is an 8-year commissioner who sees no substance in his opponents, and admits Fort Lauderdale's growing pains got worse with him on the commission.
"Let’s talk about the flooding, let’s talk about rising sea levels. I know, I see where we spend money sending all of our staff all over the world to attend conferences and so forth, we’ve done absolutely nothing except study it, think about it, talk about it, we have no plan whatsoever," he said. "You can change that as mayor, as mayor I can set the agenda."
Voters in Districts 2, 3 and 4 will also be electing a new city commissioner with three people running for each seat.