New Commission Candidate Could Shake-Up Field

     His name is George Trodella.

     Yesterday, he filed to run for the Fort Lauderdale District IV Commission seat. The City’s primary is in February 2009, and if no one wins 50% of the vote then, the top two vote getters will advance to the General Election in March 2009.  The District IV seat is currently held by Commissioner Cindi Hutchinson. Hutchinson is term limited and was running for Mayor until she dropped her bid a few months ago.

     Trodella is a Rio Vista resident and lives about half way between Mayor Jim Naugle and another District IV Commission candidate, Romney Rogers. The other candidates in the race so far are Coleman Prewitt and Jim Lewis.

     His entry into the fray is deemed significant by most insiders, who suspect that he might take votes from neighbor Romney, who many thought was pulling ahead in the District IV race. Trodella says his other neighbor Mayor Naugle was “initially supportive” of him running when he spoke to him in January, but that was “before Romney got into the race”. His doesn’t know who Naugle will back now, but Trodella says he will “take votes where he can find them”.

     Trodella is a 62 year old businessman (owner of Positive ID USA, an ID Card company on Miami Road), and has been a resident  for about 40 years. He also owned the Fort Lauderdale Hotel on the 17th Street Causeway, until he tore it down some years back.

     He has an extensive resume of service in the community. He was first appointed to the Beach Advisory Board by Mayor Rob Dressler, who served as Mayor before Mayor Bob Cox, who served as Mayor before Naugle. Since then, he has served on the Housing Authority, the Planning and Zoning Board, and currently serves on the Citizens Police Review Board, appointed by Naugle, but will step down to run.

     He says he reached out to the District’s Homeowners groups by letter earlier this year to see what they felt were the main problems in the City. He says they talked mostly about Code issues, slow Police Response Times, and the [proverbial] potholes issues.  He thinks the City “needs direction”, and says he understands the substantial challenge he is asking to take on.

     As for his chances to win, he seems to like them fine. He says the candidate field now consists of a perennial candidate (Lewis), a candidate that moved into the District to run (Prewitt), and a candidate that touts his “native born status” (Rogers). He says that while he can appreciate that, the status doesn’t provide Rogers “a birthright” to the City Commission.

     It’s a bit late for an entry into the political battle, but if he gets aggressive with his candidacy, Trodella  could have a big effect on the outcome.