For the last two months, non-essential Fort Lauderdale businesses have been shuttered. Residents have been ordered to shelter in place unless buying food or seeking medical help. Fort Lauderdale schools and parks are deserted. Yet, it appears “government lobbyists” are an essential business in the eyes of Mayor Dean Trantalis.
According to official meeting logs, Trantalis welcomed three lobbyists to City Hall in April. The visitor log for April 27, 2020 shows lobbyists for AECOM met “in person” with Mayor Trantalis. The lobbyists were Matthew Sacco, John Milledge and Eric Johnson.
Surely the lobbyists were there to discuss emergency COVID-19 related issues with Mayor Trantalis, right?
According to the log, Trantalis and the lobbyists discussed “downtown projects.”
In February, REDBROWARD revealed AECOM lobbyist Eric Johnson is a key campaign adviser to Mayor Dean Trantalis and Commissioner Ben Sorensen. In addition to a new police headquarters building, AECOM wants built a privatized government center to be shared by the City of Fort Lauderdale and Broward County.
REDBROWARD also exposed Johnson’s role, alongside fellow Trantalis adviser Blake MacDiarmid (R-Lobbyist), with companies seeking to privatize Fort Lauderdale’s water service.
Are these essential services? Did the lobbyists wear facemasks? Did the foursome maintain six feet of separation? Why do lobbyists get to work during quarantine while local restaurant owners get harangued by health inspectors and police officers?
Did Trantalis and Johnson discuss his re-election campaign?
Didn’t Mayor Dean Trantalis have better things to do during a pandemic?