Voters head to polls to cast ballots for Fort Lauderdale mayor

It was a slow but smooth start Tuesday morning at the Coral Ridge Mall, the polling place with the largest number of registered voters in Fort Lauderdale.

Voters had been coming in since 7 a.m. to cast their ballot for mayor.

The candidates vying to replace longtime Mayor Jack Seiler are Bruce Roberts, Charlotte Rodstrom and Dean Trantalis.

All three candidates are either current or former city commissioners.

On Sunday, two of the candidates, Rodstrom and Trantalis, appeared on "This Week in South Florida" to give their pitch to voters.

Roberts declined to appear on the program.

Trantalis, who's openly gay, casts himself as a change agent.

He's been serving on the city commission since 2009 and is a longtime champion of equal rights.
Meanwhile, Rodstrom is trying for a comeback.

She's a former Fort Lauderdale police chief, who became commissioner in 2009. Since leaving office, Rodstrom has been a community activist.

The next mayor will take the reins as the city struggles to properly maintain failing water and sewer pipes, control heavy traffic, deal with persistent homelessness and handle a wave of dense development.

Trantalis and Rodstrom said they're concerned with how the city handles taxpayer money.

"The report that came out last spring talked about how over 10 years, from 2007 to 2017, the city government has drained money out of the infrastructure funds and put it in other places, usually in pensions and in places where it shouldn't have gone," Trantalis said. 

"What you're going to need to do is, you're going to need to find out when you get to City Hall as your mayor, you need to go ahead and take a very close look at all the expenses the city has," Rodstrom said. "Where's the waste? Where's the money? And how can we find it to fix it?"

Polls close at 7 p.m. or whenever the last voter casts his or her ballot.

Whichever candidate gets 50 percent of the vote wins the election outright.

If that doesn't happen, the top two candidates will head to a runoff election on March 13.

This BBSNews article was syndicated from News | WPLG, and written by News | WPLG. Read the original article here.

This BBSNews article originally appeared on News | WPLG.