MAYOR DEAN TRANTALIS DODGES QUESTIONS… SPOKESPERSON PROVIDES BIZARRE STATEMENT.
IN A WHEELCHAIR? NEED A RAMP? CITY OFFICIALS DO NOT CARE. VIOLATING ADA?
BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher | Host, South Florida’s First News on NewsRadio 610 WIOD
BROWARD COUNTY, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2023 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — The City of Fort Lauderdale is refusing to answer questions about a private event Saturday in a public park where the City’s only ADA-accessible bathrooms in the western part of the Riverwalk area were blocked to the handicapped, elderly, and infirm.
The organizers of the “Vegetarian Block Party” claim that their permit gave them permission to prohibit public use of the tax-payer funded bathrooms — bathrooms that include ramps and handicapped-accessible facilities. While the Vegan event organizers are not accused of wrongdoing, they did demand anyone wanting to use the bathroom to pay a $10 entrance fee. The City of Fort Lauderdale placed the barriers that blocked public access.
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis, who has twice canceled scheduled, on-air interviews with South Florida’s First News on NewsRadio 610 WIOD, refused to comment on this matter. City of Fort Lauderdale Spokesperson Ashley Doussard — a recently former Dallas TV news producer — issued this statement:
“The City of Fort Lauderdale complies with all ADA requirements. This past Saturday, Riverwalk hosted a private, ticketed event at Esplanade Park. The event went through the permitting and approval process. This allowed them private use of the park and its bathroom facilities.”
Doussard refused to offer additional comment about the permitting process, what alternative facilities were made available to the handicapped, and what advanced messaging was made to City of Fort Lauderdale tourists and residents who expected the handicapped-accessible bathrooms to be available. The bathrooms are in the highly popular area that includes the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and the Science Center.
Doussard, Mayor Trantalis, Trantalis’ Chief of Staff Scott Wyman, and City Manager Greg Chavarria refused to answer questions both in print and on “South Florida’s First News with Andrew Colton on NewsRadio 610 WIOD.” Multiple organizations focused on helping mobility-impaired individuals, however, say the City may have violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by blocking access. Even if there was no ADA violation, advocates say that officials “violated the trust that the mobility impaired have in the City of Fort Lauderdale.”
Listen to the latest between 6-10 a.m. Tuesday on NewsRadio 610 WIOD, simulcast on 105.9HD2, on all smart speakers, in the iHeart Radio app.
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