Residency Dispute Halts City Commission Business in Fort Lauderdale – NBC 6 South Florida
The City of Fort Lauderdale is hoping to seat a full city commission, and soon.
On Tuesday, the city’s website showed the only current elected officials as Mayor Dean Trantalis and Commissioner Steven Glassman.
Former City Auditor, John Herbst, handily won the Commission District One seat on November 8th. He was set to be sworn in soon after the election, then his political opponents challenged his residency requirements.
The mayor does too.
“Are we opening the door to say someone who may live in New York, who has an apartment here, can run for City Commission in Fort Lauderdale?” said Trantalis. “It’s a very dicey situation.”
Herbst said he moved into the district about eight months ago in order to run for office. He owns a home near Lake Placid and that’s where he claims his homestead exemption.
He’s been a longtime Fort Lauderdale resident, serving as the City Auditor for 16 years.
Earlier this year, commissioners voted to fire him after Herbst launched an independent investigation into the city police chief’s side gig as a college basketball referee.
Larry Scirotto was eventually fired from his job because of questionable hiring practices.
The last Fort Lauderdale City Commission meeting had to be canceled because there were not enough commissioners to participate.
“They should have and could have moved forward with the swearing in last Tuesday but they made a determination not to, which I think is very unfortunate,” said Herbst. “They proposed to do the swearing in in December which is almost one month after the election.”
Two other newly elected city commissioners are expected to be sworn in at the next commission meeting on December 6th.
Herbst is expecting to assume his commission seat that day too.