Ten days after he cast the sole vote against the project, a YouTube video from the May 2016 Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors Mayor’s Breakfast shows Commissioner Dean Trantalis praising the Bahia Mar project as a “stellar example”of Fort Lauderdale development. Like too many city commission meetings, the May 10, 2016 Bahia Mar discussion lasted into the wee hours of the morning. Before voting against the project, Dean Trantalis said, “I don’t want to see Manhattan on Fort Lauderdale Beach … This is a fragile ecosystem that we have on the barrier island.”
When he attended the May 20th Mayors Breakfast and Municipal Expo in Plantation, Dean Trantalis did not talk about “fragile” ecosystems. Trantalis said the current Bahia Mar site is “languishing there as a huge asphalt wasteland with a third-rate hotel.” He praised the proposed development of two 29 story towers, “as well as a refurbished hotel and many other amenities.” Trantalis never mentioned he had just voted against the two towers and refurbished hotel.
There was no mention of barrier islands and ecosystems when Dean Trantalis praised beachfront projects like the Four Seasons Hotel, The Paramount and the Conrad. He described all four projects as “stellar examples” of Fort Lauderdale’s “rapid pace program…to encourage investment in the city.”
With his campaign for Mayor facing a January 16th primary, Dean Trantalis has suddenly done an about face on development. At last night’s Sun Sentinel mayoral debate, Trantalis said he was open to a moratorium on new development in the city.
Can voters trust a guy who praises a project he denounced and voted against less than two weeks earlier?
Did he tailor his message to a roomful of realtors who make a living selling beachfront condos?
Is Dean Trantalis willing to say or do anything to win votes?
REDBROWARD asked Dean Trantalis for comment. We will update story if he responds.
Fort Lauderdale voters deserve answers.