Former commissioner Dean Trantalis was greeted with a standing ovation at his first city commission meeting as Mayor, held inside of an almost-full Fort Lauderdale city hall on Tuesday night.
Trantalis and three new city commissioners were sworn into office earlier in the day.
Among the actions the new commissioners took was the approval of more than $10 million in grant money for the redevelopment of the Las Olas Marina.
Yet, it was after the agenda items were completed that commissioners voted 3-2 to terminate City Attorney Cynthia Everett.
Trantalis said he has not been confident in her abilities to serve Fort Lauderdale for a long time.
“I didn’t personally believe that she had the qualifications to take on the types of responsibilities that affect a city of this size,” he said. “I often question her ability to continue to manage the office of the city attorney.”
Everett responded to the doubts on the dais by asserting she felt she had done her best for the city.
“I’m proud of my abilities, my professional reputation, and I’m more than competent to handle this job. I have been handling it very well,” Everett said.
New commissioner Ben Sorensen made the motion to terminate Everett, citing high turnover in the office of the city attorney.
Commissioners Steve Glassman, Sorensen, and Mayor Trantalis voted yes to place Everett on immediate paid administrative leave for 60 days leading to her termination. It was commissioners Robert Mckenzie and Heather Moraitis who voted no.
Sorensen also brought up the controversial Wave streetcar project, saying the commission is looking for ways to quote, “reverse course.”
“I would like to ask the city auditor to conduct a - as thorough as possible - financial analysis of Wave spending,” Sorensen said.
Trantalis and new commissioners pledged before the election to hold a vote to stop the Wave streetcar project in its current form.
There is a tentative workshop to discuss if the city can get out of its financial commitments to the project, on April 30.