LIGHTHOUSE POINT MAYOR GLENN TROAST REMEMBERED BY COLLEAGUES AND FRIENDS
BY MARIE PULEO | LIGHTHOUSE POINT NEWS REPORTER
On March 23, city officials announced the passing of Lighthouse Point Mayor Glenn Troast.
Troast, who had been battling cancer for several years, was serving his third term as mayor, which would have ended in March 2024.
“He will be greatly missed,” said City Commissioner Sandy Johnson. “All our sympathy goes to his wife Marjorie, his daughter Meaghan, his son Evan and his young grandchild.”
When asked to reflect on Troast’s legacy, all five Lighthouse Point city commissioners unanimously said it was the instrumental role he played in helping to get the city’s $16.5 million bond issue approved by voters in 2018, which provided the funding for the infrastructure projects currently underway in the city – a new fire station and emergency operations center, a new community center in Dan Witt Park, a new public works administration building, and the renovation of an existing public works building to be used for fleet maintenance. A first-floor expansion of the library is also planned.
“He helped orchestrate our vision for the Lighthouse Point of the future,” said Commission President Kyle Van Buskirk.
A key step in moving the new fire station forward was Troast’s behind-the-scenes work to secure the property for the new fire station, which was the site of a former gas station. The former gas station building had stood vacant on the site for about 12 years. For almost four years, Troast was in discussions with the owner of the property, Lighthouse Point resident Jay Lighter, and Lighter finally agreed to sell the land to the city.
Originally, it was proposed that the new fire station be built on the site where Dixon Ahl Hall now stands, but there were concerns there wouldn’t be enough room at that location.
“This is truly a breakthrough that we were waiting for,” said former Lighthouse Point Fire Chief Shawn Gilmartin after Troast announced the City’s intention to purchase the property. “We’ve been looking at this site; this is the place where it’s going to fit best.”
Gilmartin said that his predecessor, former Fire Chief David Donzella, had pushed for the site, “but we thought that option was going to be off the table.”
“The fact that the mayor was able to get this is incredible, and the work it took to get it,” said Gilmartin.
The property will be “a perfect gateway into our municipal campus,” and the new fire station will be “a beacon for the city,” said then Commissioner Earl Maucker at the time.
Last month, Troast was able to celebrate the projects he helped spearhead come to fruition at the dedication ceremony for the new fire station and community center.
ABOUT GLENN TROAST
Troast was elected to his first term as mayor in 2014. Before becoming mayor, Troast was elected to a seat on the City Commission in 2011. He also served four years on the Code Enforcement Board (2007-2011). He first ran for office when the City was coming out of its economic downturn. Troast said that as a certified public accountant, he felt his financial expertise would be of assistance to the city.
Troast was a resident of Lighthouse Point since 2002. However, his maternal grandparents moved to Lighthouse Point in the early 1960s, and Troast visited their home frequently while growing up.
Troast was from Clewiston, Florida – a small town on the south bank of Lake Okeechobee – where his parents owned and operated a campground. After graduating from Clewiston High School, Troast attended the University of Florida, where he earned a degree in accounting and became an avid Gators fan. He was a certified public accountant and certified valuation analyst, and was certified in financial forensics.
Troast, along with Lighthouse Point resident Jan Nouss, was a principal of TN Partners, Inc. – a successful business, tax and valuation services consulting firm. Prior to forming TN Partners 25 years ago, Troast was executive vice president and chief financial officer of OMNA Medical Partners, Inc., a physician practice management company. Preceding OMNA, he was the partner in charge of tax services in the Fort Lauderdale office of Coopers & Lybrand, LLP.
Troast served on the Board of the Fisher School of Accounting at the University of Florida and was a member of the Rotary Club. An Eagle Scout himself, Troast also served as the committee chairperson for Boy Scout Troop 238 and Cub Scout Pack 238 in Lighthouse Point.
Troast played baseball all the way through high school, and was the head coach of his son’s Lighthouse Point little league baseball team.
MAYOR GLENN TROAST REMEMBERED BY COLLEAGUES & FRIENDS
In the wake of Troast’s passing, the city commissioners, Broward County Vice Mayor Lamar Fisher and other members of the community shared their thoughts about his personal and civic achievements.
City Commission President Kyle Van Buskirk
“Glenn was one of the most mentally and physically tough people I’ve ever met,” said Commission President Kyle Van Buskirk.
While doing what was needed to take care of himself, Troast also worked hard to take care of the City of Lighthouse Point and the residents, always looking to better the city for the future, said Van Buskirk, as seen in the bond projects, which are the largest infrastructure upgrade in the city’s history.
“When he and I had a discussion, or even a difference of opinion, he always reminded me that it wasn’t who was right or wrong, but what is best for the city,” said Van Buskirk. “He would close the discussion with that.”
“His wanting to continuously fulfill his duties as the mayor, even while being sick, speaks volumes of how hard he worked to do what he felt was right for the city and its residents. He did it all the way to the end, and never let us down.”
City Commission Vice President Jason Joffe
“He was a dedicated public servant,” said Commission Vice President Jason Joffe. “We certainly didn’t always agree on everything, but I never once questioned how hard he worked or the sacrifices he made for Lighthouse Point.”
Joffe said he will miss the Tuesday morning “check-in calls” from Troast before the city commission meetings, when Troast would listen to his input about the agenda items for that night.
“In spite of a very difficult situation with his health, he continued to work for the residents of Lighthouse Point until the very end,” said Joffe, “and it was, quite honestly, amazing and inspiring.”
Commissioner Michael Long
“For me, he was a friend, a close advisor and confidante,” said Commissioner Michael Long. “We could talk about a lot of different things in the world, not just politics or city issues.”
“He was a very caring person, and would always go that extra mile,” said Long. “If you asked a question, he would say, ‘I can help you with that.’” Whether it was his involvement with the city, the church or scouts, “he was just very passionate about what he did.”
In addition to the bond projects, Troast was very involved in the Lighthouse Point Yacht Club redevelopment plans as they moved through the City’s approval process, which took approximately three years. He looked out for the city’s interests because he realized what it would mean to the city if the redevelopment were done wrong, said Long.
Long said Troast kept the city in strong financial condition as it went through COVID-19 and changes in revenue stream, and was “the right guy at the right time for that.”
“He was the strongest person I’ve ever met when it came to dealing with his own issues,” said Long. “And I think that is part of his legacy too, just being so strong and always so positive.”
Commissioner Sandy Johnson
The Lighthouse Point mayor position is not full-time, but Troast was always there, said Commissioner Sandy Johnson. Even though he had a business to run and a family to take care of, “he never missed a beat in being right there every second that he needed to be for the city.”
Johnson described Troast as “a brilliant guy” and “one of a kind.”
“Through his whole ordeal with his illness, I’ve never seen anybody remain so upbeat as he was,” she said. “He always had a positive attitude.”
Johnson said the Commission had a very cordial relationship with the mayor and with each other, and most of the time didn’t disagree on things because “we all have the city at heart.”
“That type of attitude starts from the top, and Glenn exuded that attitude and it came down to all of us,” said Johnson.
“He’ll be greatly missed,” said Johnson. “He’s irreplaceable at this point.”
Commissioner Patty Petrone
“I have known Glenn for many years,” said newly elected City Commissioner Patty Petrone. “He was truly a gentleman.”
Petrone heads up the annual Nautical Flea Market, and prior to becoming commissioner, was on the Marine Advisory Board.
“I think the thing that impressed me the most was that he remained mayor even as sick as he was,” said Petrone. “He just continued to put the city first.”
“He was a loving family man and very involved with the boy scouts,” said Petrone. “He did a lot of public service.”
Former Commissioner Earl Maucker
“I think his legacy is ‘brick and mortar’ in the fire station and community center and the new public works building that will be a beacon for many years to come,” said former City Commissioner Earl Maucker.
“He was a very smart guy, and financially astute because of his background as a forensic accountant,” said Maucker. “He had an incredible understanding of the financial picture of Lighthouse Point and because of that was able to position the city to be in absolute excellent financial shape.”
Maucker noted that, in the 10 years that he worked with Troast on the City Commission, “we never once raised our tax rates other than the bond issues. We were very conservative financially based on his leadership because he really understood finance.”
Troast had an array of contacts at the state and county levels, said Maucker. “Whenever we needed to get help from state or county officials, he knew who to contact, so he was a real asset to the city.”
“It’s a sad day for the city to lose Glenn,” said Maucker. “I know everybody feels that, and he would want us to march forward, which we will do.”
Broward County Vice Mayor Lamar Fisher
“I was blessed to work with Glenn when I was mayor of Pompano Beach,” said Broward County Vice Mayor Lamar Fisher. “We worked collectively on multiple issues, and then at the county level, I was able to continue to work with Lighthouse Point on the county issues.”
“We really became true friends first, and politics second, so we had a lot of things in common,” said Fisher.
Fisher and Troast would talk at least once or twice a week about various issues, but also about their personal lives.
“We just had an incredible rapport with each other and respect for each other,” said Fisher.
Fisher commended Troast for his hard work on the G.O. Bond so the city could get dollars for the new fire station and community center.
“He was very fiscally responsible and always dedicated to the city,” said Fisher.
“I will miss him dearly,” said Fisher. “I’ll miss our conversations. I’ll miss our camaraderie, and kidding back and forth with each other. I’ll miss that personal relationship. It’s a tough loss.”
Monsignor Willie Dever, Pastor, St. Paul’s Church
Troast was a longtime parishioner of St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Lighthouse Point.
“He was held in very high esteem by the people of Lighthouse Point and everyone who knew him,” said Monsignor Willie Dever, pastor of the church.
Troast was an active participant in St. Paul’s community, especially through scouting, since the church sponsors the charter for scout troops in the area.
Troast and his son Evan, along with several other scouts and their fathers and mothers, installed the Stations of the Cross and the Mysteries of the Rosary that are in the Meditation Garden next to the church bell tower and the shrine of Our Lady of Knock.
There’s a contract between the church and the City that allows the City to use the church parking lot, and in return, the City maintains it. Dever said Troast “was very diligent in making sure the details of the agreement were upheld.”
“Personally, I found him always approachable and cooperative in supporting the relationship between the City and the church,” said Dever.
GLENN TROAST: A TRUE EAGLE SCOUT
Scouting played an important role in Troast’s life, starting at an early age. Troast earned his Eagle Scout rank when he was 14 years old, which is much earlier than most scouts, said Charles Schramm, the city’s public works director.
“That was just the beginning of his lifetime achievements,” said Schramm. “He was a go-getter; he was not a procrastinator. He got things done.”
Schramm and Troast were involved in Boy Scout Troop 238, based at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Lighthouse Point, where Schramm’s two sons and Troast’s son Evan were scouts.
Schramm said that when Troast was involved in the planning of scout camping trips, there would always be a challenging schedule, with lots of things to do from sunup to sundown.
“He was a true Eagle Scout,” said Schramm. “He did anything that he physically was able to do to help the troop and contribute, because he was of the mindset that, if his son was in the troop, he should be part of it.”
Several years ago, the troop drove to Tennessee for a five-day “high adventure” trip, which included zip-lining, hiking and camping every night. Troast “wasn’t feeling 100% at that time, but he still went anyway,” said Schramm.
Troast enjoyed teaching the boys new skills, such as how to make a fire, or whatever merit badge was designated to be worked on at the campout he was on.
“He lit up,” said Schramm. “He would lead that teaching with gusto, and there was no goofing around – not to say he was hard, but he was on point.”
For many years, Troast was part of the board of review for scout rank advancement, as a volunteer.
“The boys knew what they were in for when Glenn was on the board,” said Schramm. “He was going to ask some tough questions. He challenged the boys to be better.”
Up until the end, Troast remained the liaison between Troop 238 and the Boy Scouts of America organization.
“The Boy Scouts were near and dear to his heart,” said Schramm.
Troast recently helped his son, Evan, who is now 18, complete his Eagle Scout service project, which was the installation of two owl boxes at DeGroff Park. First, Evan and his father consulted with Roy Rogers, who lives across the street from DeGroff Park and has initiated a number of improvements to the park over the years. Then Evan raised the funds to purchase the materials for the owl boxes.
Evan, along with his father and several scout volunteers, installed the owl boxes on Feb. 5.
“They came on a Saturday and started at 9am and finished by noon,” said Rogers. “It was an exemplary job.”
According to Rogers, there is now one owl living in each box.
While he was mayor, Troast worked many hours, including weekends, Schramm noted. “He was always working on making something better, whether it was his business, the city, the scouts or all the other things he was involved with.” People would call him directly; people would knock on his door. He was very service-oriented to the residents and always made himself available with his own personal time.
“He had a lot of knowledge and wide-ranging experience, outside of being a successful businessman,” said Schramm. “There’s going to be big shoes to fill.”
GLENN TROAST: TWO FAVORITE QUOTES
On the “Re-Elect Glenn Troast” website for his 2020 mayoral campaign, Troast included two of his favorite quotes:
“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” – Lombardi
“Live so when your children think of fairness, caring and integrity, they think of you.” – Brown