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The historical content of the Galt Mile Community Association's Web Site is catalogued and chronicled in these archives. This content is comprised of articles and anecdotes that are no longer current, but may be useful from a historical perspective. The categories are chronological. Scrolling down delves deeper into the past. If you encounter any difficulty locating a particular story, report, or graphic, feel free to Contact us with your dilemma and assistance will be forthcoming.

Please Note - Many of the links included in these articles from the past are no longer active.


2003


Update: Senator Jeffrey Atwater

Florida State Senator Jeffrey Atwater addressed a September 18, 2003 Advisory Board meeting of the Galt Mile Community Association at Nick's Italian Restaurant. The Thursday afternoon luncheon meeting afforded members the opportunity to query the Senator about a variety of issues that affect our neighborhood, City and State. The Senator, accompanied by Legislative Assistant Michelle Mattox, fielded questions about shore preservation, fire safety, insurance and the political process.

Florida State Senator Jeffrey (Jeff) H. Atwater
Senator Jeffrey (Jeff) H. Atwater

Robert Rozema, GMCA President, alerted the Senator to our concern stemming from the severe tidal erosion that plagues our beaches. The GMCA played an integral part in the Florida State Cabinet's decision to include Fort Lauderdale in the permit sought by the Broward County Department of Environmental Protection to renourish the beaches from the Dade County line to Pompano Beach. A contingent of Galt Mile residents staged a successful demonstration at the May 13th Cabinet meeting to refocus the Cabinet's attention on the critical part that our beaches play in the State's economy and the lives of all Floridians (CLICK HERE for full story). Unfortunately, the Senator was in Rome at the time and unavailable to join the other Broward County, Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale representatives that lent staunch support to the beach renourishment project. The Senator expressed regret at having missed the opportunity to support the project at the critical Cabinet vote. He explained that politics demands a clear vision of all sides of every issue. He recounted that Deerfield Beach, one of the offshore donation sites for the sand, has raised concerns about being left with a shortage of sand once the dredging operation is complete. It was pointed out to Senator Atwater that every environmental study precluded any possibility of damage to the Deerfield Shoreline and Broward County has guaranteed Deerfield that they would assume all responsibility for any possible adverse reaction suffered from the donation. The Senator also acknowledged that while the vast majority of environmental groups (including every major one) were clearly in favor of the beach renourishment, politicians generally retreat from involvement in any environmental controversy. The Senator agreed that there was no rational justification to allow the beaches that protect our infrastructure and underwrite the already shaky Florida economy to quietly disappear.

Senator Atwater identified the "Fire Safety Amendment" controversy as "an ongoing struggle that is far from settled". Referring to the secretive statute sponsored by the National Fire Sprinkler Association and the Plumbers and Pipe fitters Union that slipped through the legislature a few years ago, the Senator explained that two elements would conspire to perpetuate the controversy. One element is the media-fed scare tactics that the Senator called the "Towering Inferno Scenario". The second element is the huge amount of money at stake for the industries (and their lobbyists) that sponsored the original legislation. Again, the Senator exclaimed that the issue was a political mine field that intimidated any politician with a survival instinct. Howard Goldstein, president of Plaza East, asked the Senator how Condominium Associations should respond to the contradictory interpretations of both the legislation and the subsequent amendment. The Senator, a co-sponsor of Senator Geller's Amendment S 592 that supports the right to "opt out" of certain exigencies created in the original legislation, advised the attendees to "do nothing!" Senator Atwater was alluding to a recent Public Meeting conducted by State Fire Marshal Tom Gallagher's office wherein the State Fire Marshal's staffers admitted that "This law is in a state of flux. The Fire Marshal’s office, along with most local fire authorities, is awaiting clarification from the legislature." Politicians are aware that the media-driven scare tactics exploited by the sponsoring lobbyists bear little relation to reality. While our representatives support a more moderate "owner determined" engineered fire safety system (Geller's Amendment passed the House - 114 YEAS, 0 NAYS - and the Senate - 36 YEAS, 2 NAYS (Campbell and Dawson), and 2 Abstentions), they dread being painted as "soft on fire safety."

Chief Financial Officer, State Fire Marshal and State Treasurer Tom Gallagher
Treasurer Tom Gallagher
The Senator also spoke to the insurance industry's highly unstable approach to Florida underwritings. The industry is attempting to justify its volatile behavior as simply a reaction to topsy turvy actuarial fundamentals drawn from the unusual claims patterns that are supposedly unique to the State of Florida. Many insurance companies have recently declined to continue servicing certain key categories, opting instead to forego offering competitive coverage and sacrificing their "admitted" status. There is, for instance, a dearth of admitted carriers for such industry cornerstones as automobile insurance and malpractice coverage. If not for the State of Florida's self-directed disaster insurance (a seven-member Board of Governors and a technical advisory board ALL appointed by the State Treasurer (Tom Gallagher) for three-year terms, representing geographically diverse regions of the state), there would be NONE. It appears as if this threadbare system is one disaster away from non-existence. This issue was first tackled by Senator Atwater while serving in the Florida House in 2002. He successfully sponsored a bill designed to merge the Florida Windstorm Underwriting Association (FWUA) and the Residential Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting Association -- the insurers of last resort for residents in hurricane-prone regions of the state -- into a new entity, the federally tax-exempt Citizens Property Insurance Corp. The industry is claiming that they need statutory protection from "frivolous litigation". The insurance industry has uniformly bemoaned having to survive in a "litigious" environment across the country. Not surprisingly, the industry feels that they could prosper if claims payments weren't judicially enforced. The obvious problem with this solution is that claims would be paid based upon the carrier’s ability to afford them, not on their merit. Who wouldn't enjoy a similar arrangement with FP&L, BellSouth, Visa and our friendly mortgage holder. Taking a stand on this dogmatic dilemma represents another recurrent nightmare to our elected "voices" in Tallahassee, squeezing them between the rock hard Insurance and Trial Lawyers' Lobbies.

The Senator deftly rewrote the meeting's agenda. In addition to exhorting his position on a variety of ongoing struggles, he took the opportunity to clarify the perplexing paralysis that seems to continually afflict Tallahassee. There was some confusion surrounding the Senator's purpose for responding in this manner. While some of us interpreted the Senator's message as “be patient”, others framed it as an admonition to “get use to it!” In any event, it appears as if the problems of shore preservation, fire safety and insurance instability are dwarfed by the psychological battering that our representatives are forced to endure. A simple solution for our legislators' job-related stress would be to allow them to vote yea AND nay on each issue. Perhaps a third voting option labeled "sometimes" could be affixed to a yellow light on the electronic voting apparatus.

Florida State Senator Jeffrey (Jeff) H. Atwater, a first term Republican representing District 25, staged an upset during his struggle for the Senate seat also sought by Bob Butterworth, the high profile Democratic candidate who resigned as Florida State Attorney General in a futile effort to fill the seat vacated by Debby Sanderson. Senator Atwater's Capitol office is located in the Senate Office Building (Room 212) at 404 South Monroe Street in Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1100. His Tallahassee telephone no. is (850) 487-5100, SunCom: 277-5100 and FAX no. is (850) 487-5296. His local District Office is at the Oakland Park City Hall on 3650 N.E. 12th Avenue in Oakland Park, Florida 33334. Local Contact numbers are Phone: (954) 847-3518, Fax: (954) 847-3519. The Senator's official Florida Senate web address is accessible by CLICKING HERE. Senator Atwater's E-mail address is atwater.jeffrey.web@flsenate.gov. Michelle Mattox, Senator Atwater's Legislative Assistant serving the Galt Mile Community, can be reached at (954) 847-3518 or Click Here to E-mail.

For complete contact information, go to Report Card.


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The Select Committee on
Condominium Association Governance

Representative Julio Robaina, Committee Chairman and Speaker
Chair - Rep. Julio Robaina
The Florida Legislature recently gave birth to a new committee.
The Select Committee on Condominium Association Governance has that “double-edged sword quality” that earmarks many Tallahassee creations. Actions implemented by this committee stand to influence various levels of, as the name implies, Condominium Association governance. Any committee is capable of producing positive or negative results depending on the committee composition, the input sources utilized by the committee and the political pressures and incentives manufactured by vested interests (lobbyists) and the media. Their focus could range from requiring greater transparency from Board Members (financial disclosure, term limits, etc.) to micro-management of the daily administration of private Associations (Big Brother).

The key in this case is input. Any actions taken by the Select Committee need to be grounded in data collected in a fair and balanced format. A credible cross section of anecdotal evidence will support a useful set of recommendations. If the venues chosen by the Committee invite disproportionate testimony from vested interests, pro or con, the decisions they ultimately arrive at will be, in turn, unbalanced. Unfortunately, it appears as if this is what’s happening.

Representative Kenneth Allan Gottlieb, Committee Vice Chairman
Vice - Chair
Rep. Kenneth Allan Gottlieb
The Select Committee has arranged a series of public hearings throughout the state to accumulate testimony relevant to Association governance. The first meeting was held in Miami-Dade County on September 24th with extremely short notice. The meeting was heavily attended by disgruntled unit owners complaining about “out of control” boards. The next meeting was conducted on October 28th in Bailey Hall/Broward Community College with only 7 days prior notice. Several building managers, condominium attorneys and Board members attended this meeting. When they attempted to voice support for well-administered Associations and point out that statutory controls for most of the complainants’ problems already existed, they were summarily shouted down. It’s beginning to appear as if the Committee is primarily interested in accumulating the foundation they would need to justify micro-managing Condominium Associations. If the Committee concludes that the best way to reign in “condo board abuses” is to disenfranchise condo owners, the effects will be disastrous.


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Seal of the Florida House of Representatives If those few but loud disgruntled condo owners that have their “ear” become the primary source of information upon which they will ultimately act, the Select Committee could initiate legislation that would subordinate most or all Association decision-making to new bureaucratic layers of burdensome, questionable regulations. The increased costs related to belaboring activities such as negotiating contracts, enforcing condominium rules, filing liens or pursuing lawsuits would pass directly to the average owner’s maintenance bill. Should the Committee arrive at the conclusion that Condominiums are incapable of self-governance, they could reduce an elected board to little more than a rubber stamp.

It’s our responsibility to see to it that the “baby doesn't get thrown out with the bathwater.” It is naive to imply that abuses don't exist at every level of elected representative government. When representative Board members break the law they are performing criminal acts, and should be held accountable as prescribed by Chapter 718 of the Florida Statutes (The Condominium Act). Abuses perpetrated by individual “rogue boards” or their members do not justify interfering with a condominium owner’s right to self-government.

These “trial by anecdote” public meetings are painting a dangerously one-sided representation of condominium governance. Below you'll find a list of the members of the Select Committee on Condominium Association Governance along with their contact information. To send an email to any particular legislator, simply click on the member’s name. You might consider alerting them to the proposition that we are quite capable of governing ourselves. As elected representatives, they should realize that it is unfair to encumber a democratic institution because it carries with it a pitfall inherent in all democracies.

Select Committee on Condominium Association Governance Mailing Address:

  • Select Committee on Condominium Association Governance
    402 The Capitol
    Tallahassee FL 32399           Click to Web Page
  • Staff (Policy Coordinator)- Rubottom, Don
  • Click Here to access Committee Documents & Publications.

Select Committee on Condominium Association Governance Members:

Click on the Representative's NAME to send an E-mail. To get more information about any of the Committee members, go to their respective Web Pages.

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Notice

Seal of the Florida House of Representatives District 91 Special Election Seal of the Florida House of Representatives
for the Florida Statehouse

Connie Mack IV's vacant seat in the Florida Statehouse will be occupied by the winner of a special January 6th election. The seven Republicans vying for the remainder of Mack's term (through the end of 2004) will face off in District 91's 77 participating precincts from Boca Raton to Port Everglades, roughly east of Interstate 95. The homogeneously Republican field obviated the need for the scheduled general election, as the winner of the Primary takes the $29,916 per annum Statehouse seat. All registered District 91 voters can participate in the January 6th election (despite their party affiliation). It is the only House district in Broward County that has a majority of Republican voters (53%). As both of Florida's legislative houses are dominated by the GOP, a Republican legislator will have an easier time eliciting state dollars .

Voting for the Special Election will take place at your precinct's polling location (take a look at your Voter Registration Card to determine your precinct) and the polls will be open from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. See below to ascertain the polling location for your precinct:

  • Precinct 5R - The Beach Community Center at 3351 NE 33rd Avenue in Fort Lauderdale.
  • Precinct 6R - The Galt Ocean Mile County Library located at 3403 Galt Ocean Drive in Fort Lauderdale.
  • Precinct 15R - Fire Station #54 at 3200 NE 32nd Street in Fort Lauderdale.
  • Precinct 30Q - The Commission Room of Jarvis Hall at 4501 Ocean Drive in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea (just north of Commercial Boulevard on the west side of A1A).
To find your precinct's polling location, surf to the Broward County Supervisor of Elections web site or Click Here to find your Precinct, Representatives and Polling Place.

The Candidates and their profiles are as follows (alpha-sorted):

Bogdanoff, Ellyn Setnor (Republican)
908 S. Andrews Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
Phone: (954) 767-9850, Email: esbogle2@aol.com, Web Site: www.voteellyn.org
Date Filed: 10/13/2003

  • Political: Chairwoman of the Broward County Children's Services Board; member of the East Broward Federated Women's Republican club; former member, state Elections Commission, December 2000 to May 2001; member, board of directors for the state WAGES program, December 1998 to June 2000; member, Gov. Jeb Bush's transition team from November 1998 to January 1999; board member, Children's Home Society, 1989 to 1999; member, district advisory council for the Broward County School District, 1994 to 1996 and 1997 to 1999; member, Homeless Initiative Partnership Advisory Board of Broward County, 2000 to present; member, Fort Lauderdale Education Advisory Committee, 1997 to 2000; member, Human Rights Board of Broward County, 1997 to 2000.
  • Residence: Fort Lauderdale.
  • Personal: 44, married with 3 children.
  • Civic: Guardian ad litem, 17th Judicial Circuit; board member, Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce Board of Governors; board member, JAFCO (Jewish Adoption and Foster Care Options); advisory board member, Enterprise Ambassador Program of Nova Southeastern University, 1988 to 2000; foundation board member and former chairwoman, Habitat for Humanity of Broward County, 1997 and 1998; member, Broward Alliance, 1995 to 2001; charter member, Women's Chamber of Commerce of Broward County, 1996 to 2001, board member, 1998 to 1999, chairwoman, 1999 to 2000
  • Professional: President and founder, Enterprising Business Strategies Inc., since 1997.
  • Education: Law degree, Nova Southeastern University (graduated with honors in May); bachelor's degree in risk management, University of Florida (graduated with honors).

Cooper, Kenneth Donald (Republican)
625 Royal Plaza Drive
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Phone: (954) 527-5888
Date Filed: 10/10/2003

  • Political: Ran unsuccessfully for state House District 99 in 1998; ran against U.S. Rep. E. Clay Shaw, R-Fort Lauderdale, in 1996 and lost; ran against U.S. Rep Alcee Hastings, D-Fort Lauderdale, in 1992 and lost; member, City of Fort Lauderdale Budget Advisory Committee; member, Leadership of Hollywood 1976; speaker, Florida Blue Key Speakers Bureau; East Las Olas liaison to ex-Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Tim Smith and Commissioner Dean Trantalis.
  • Residence: Fort Lauderdale.
  • Personal: 50, married, one child.
  • Civic: Pro-bono attorney for St. Jude's Children's Hospital of the South Florida Chapter and South Florida Theater of the Deaf; attorney for children in the Guardian Ad Litem program; former mentor for underprivileged teens; chairman, Florida Bar Grievance Committee.
  • Professional: Fort Lauderdale trial attorney; former economics teacher at Broward Community College and the Sun Coast Chapter for the savings and loan industry; private pilot.
  • Education: Law degree, Nova Southeastern University; bachelor's degree in business administration, University of Florida; associate's degree, Broward Community College.

Lewis, Jim (Republican)
2215 SE 19th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
Phone: (954) 523-7949, Email: jlewisatty@aol.com
Date Filed: 10/10/2003

  • Political: Ran unsuccessfully for Broward County public defender in 1992; ran unsuccessfully for Fort Lauderdale mayor in 1993.
  • Residence: Fort Lauderdale.
  • Personal: 46, married with four children.
  • Civic: Guardian ad litem; coaches football and baseball for the Plantation Athletic League; youth motivator at Stranahan High School; pro bono legal provider.
  • Professional: Attorney, adjunct professor at Nova Southeastern Law School; assistant statewide prosecutor for the state Attorney General's Office, 1987-1992; Office of the Governor special prosecutor to the Florida statewide grand jury, 1985-1986; assistant state attorney, 1981-1985.
  • Education: Law degree, Stetson University; bachelor's degree in criminal justice and public administration, University of Central Florida.

McNeilage, Bruce William (Republican)
1900 Ocean Walk Lane #124
Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, FL 33062
Phone: (954) 629-8244, Email: bmcneilage@aol.com, Web Site: www.brucemcneilage.com
Date Filed: 10/9/2003

  • Political: Chairman, Broward County Republican Party's finance committee; former member, Florida Prepaid College Plan board of directors (appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush); was a member of the finance teams for the campaigns of President Bush; Gov. Bush, state Sen. Jeff Atwater and state Rep. Connie Mack IV.
  • Residence: Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.
  • Personal: 37, engaged with one daughter.
  • Civic: Member, American Lung Association board of directors; chairman, 2003 Asthma Walk; past president, Ocean Walk Villas Homeowners Association; board member, Estate Planning Council of Broward County; board member, Broward County Consumer Protection Board; past member, Broward County Planned Giving Council; life and qualifying member, Million Dollar Round Table's Top of the Table; past board member, American Cancer Society; member, Florida State University Presidents Club.
  • Professional: Managing partner, Wealth Management Group of Florida; investment adviser representative, Linsco/Private Ledger.
  • Education: Bachelor's degree in economics, Florida State University; has licenses for insurance and securities; expects to qualify as a chartered financial consultant in January; graduate, Leadership Broward.

Morrall, Julie (Republican)
2600 NE 21st Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33305
Phone: (954) 565-8965, Email: jmorrall@hotmail.com
Date Filed: 10/20/2003

  • Political: Legislative assistant to former state Sen. Jim Scott, 1987-1988; legislative aide to former state Sen. Curt Kiser, 1984-1986; staff member, Florida Commission on the Status of Women, 1983; intern, state House, 1984.
  • Residence: Fort Lauderdale.
  • Personal: 45, married with four children.
  • Civic: Brownie leader, Girl Scouts of Florida; member, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation "Let's Have a Ball" committee; volunteer, Fort Lauderdale Children's Theater-Outreach; vice president, Home and School Board, 1997-1999; classroom volunteer for St. Coleman's School; member, Junior League of Fort Lauderdale, 1992-1993; volunteer, HRS District 10, 1992; member, Atlantic Vocational Technical Center Advisory Committee, 1989.
  • Professional: Office manager for Mattew E. Morrall P.A.; former economic development director, Pompano Beach Chamber of Commerce.
  • Education: Master's degree in public administration, Florida State University; bachelor's degree in marketing, University of South Florida.

Parker, Oliver (Republican)
4900 N Ocean Blvd #421
Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, FL 33308
Phone: (954) 772-6468, Email: splitapart@prodigy.net
Date Filed: 10/14/2003

  • Political: Broward state committeeman for the GOP; mayor of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea since 1998, vice mayor from 1994-1998; served on parking meters citizens committee and sign committee in 1993.
  • Residence: Lauderdale-by-the Sea.
  • Personal: 52, married with two stepchildren.
  • Civic: Member of the board of directors of the Broward League of Cities; co-chairman of the Legislative Committee of the Broward League of Cities; voting delegate to the Florida League of Cities; member of the Criminal Justice Policy Committee of the Florida League of Cities; member of the Leadership Broward Foundation, Class 20; director and past president of the Sea Ranch Club Condominium; former vice president of the Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Chamber of Commerce; secretary-treasurer of the Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Optimist Club; member of the Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Lions Club; member of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Kiwanis Club; member of the Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Property Owner's Association; member, the Florida Bar; member, Broward County Bar Association; member, Advisory Board to the Legal Aid Service of Broward County Inc.
  • Professional: Attorney (although he no longer has a private practice and devotes most of his time to his elected office).
  • Education: Law degree, University of Miami, 1976; bachelor's degree in philosophy, University of Miami, 1973.

Paul-Hus, Richard G. (Republican)
1010 Seminole Drive #503
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
Phone: (954) 868-5167, (954) 978-8666
Email: rich@paul-hus.org, Web Site: www.paul-hus.org
Date Filed: 10/8/2003

  • Political: Subject matter expert, Governor's Information Technology Task Force; former member, Broward County Citizen's Involvement Round Table; special appointee, City of Miami Community Technology Advisory Board; member, Broward County finance committees for the 1998 Jeb Bush gubernatorial campaign and President Bush's 2000 campaign.
  • Residence: Fort Lauderdale.
  • Personal: 33, single.
  • Civic: Past chairman, InternetCoast Network Access Point Committee; Broward appointee to InternetCoast Board of Directors; past chairman, InternetCoast Infrastructure Committee; past chairman, Broward Days High-Tech Team (lobbied legislators on Broward's behalf as a Broward Days Delegate); past chairman, East Fort Lauderdale YMCA; member, Broward YMCA Metro Board; three-time Junior Achievement visiting economics instructor; member, Associated Builders and Contractors; member, Port Everglades Association.
  • Professional: Vice president of business development, Hypower Inc., an electrical contracting business that specializes in airfield lighting, intelligent transportation systems, telecommunications and wide-area security systems; owner and consultant of Navaid Services, a firm specializing in the installations of navigational aids for the Federal Aviation Administration; owner in BERS Group, a holding company.
  • Education: Currently seeking a master's degree in business administration, University of Miami; bachelor's degree in business administration, Stetson University.

This is an unusual situation. The voter turnout is expected to be extremely light. The absentee vote, usually around 10% of the voting totals, is expected to come in at around 30 - 40%. The large field of candidates will further dilute the vote. Under these conditions, a few votes can carry a substantial impact. We can make a difference! GET OUT AND VOTE! The Supervisor of Elections, Dr. Brenda C. Snipes, invites anyone with any questions or comments pertaining to voter registration or the elections process to contact the Department of Elections office at (954) 357-7050.


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Connie Mack - Florida Representative-District 91 [R]

Capitol Office
House Office Building, 402 S. Monroe St. - Room 412
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1300
Phone: (850) 488-0635
District Office
2601 East Oakland Park Blvd. - #204
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33306-1612
Phone: (954) 958-5569, SUNCOM: 423-5569
E-Mail Representative Mack

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Notice

District 91 Candidates Forum

Seal of the Florida House of Representatives A Candidates Forum for the upcoming District 91 election will be held on Monday, November 24th, at 7:00 PM. The Forum, sponsored by the Galt Mile Community Association and the District One Alliance of Homeowner Associations, will take place at the Beach Community Center located at 3350 NE 33rd Avenue in Fort Lauderdale. The District 91 Florida House seat was recently vacated by Representative Connie Mack Jr. to accommodate his intention to run for the United States House of Representatives. He intends to relocate to the district that his father represented until he was elected to the US Senate. The current field of candidates, seven at last count, is uniformly populated by Republicans.

From 6:30 PM to 7:00 PM, the candidates will navigate the lobby and the building entry, passing out literature and personally mingling with potential constituents. Following a half hour of political "glad-handing", GMCA Presidents Council Chairman Pio Ieraci will formally introduce the candidates to the assembly. The aspiring candidates will each have 4 minutes to impart a brief self-appraisal, unveil their intentions once in Tallahassee, explain their positions on relevant issues and justify why they deserve community support. The order in which they are presented will be random and a time keeper located in an aisle seat of the first row will warn the speakers one minute prior to the 4 minute deadline.

After the introductory campaign oratory, attendees will be afforded the opportunity to question any and/or all of the candidates about local matters, general concerns, held positions and/or the previously expounded commentary. The question and answer period will be facilitated by two microphone-wielding"Alliance" volunteers situated in the aisles to provide convenient access for the entire audience. All are welcome to attend and MEET THE CANDIDATES!

The Date: Monday, November 24th, 2003

The Time: 7:00 P.M.

The Place: The Beach Community Center
3351 NE 33rd Avenue in Fort Lauderdale

The Candidates and their contact data are as follows (alpha-sorted):

If the field remains homogeneously Republican, the election will be decided on the January 6th Primary date. Should a candidate from any other party surface, the General Election will be held on January 27th.


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Surprise Fire-Rescue Assessment

Notice To Property Owner...familiar? You probably received a notification recently from the City of Fort Lauderdale Fire-Rescue that informs you of a “Notice of Hearing to Impose and Provide for Collection of Fire-Rescue Non-Ad Valorem Assessments”. The letter looks and reads so much like a bill that it's difficult to believe the admonition at the bottom of the letter that states “****THIS IS NOT A BILL****”. It points to the legislative underpinning (Section 197.3632 of the Florida Statutes) for annual assessments that the Fire-Rescue Department relies on to substantiate its budget.

Each year the City determines the anticipated shortfall in the budget for Fire-Rescue services. The Assessment Roll is then updated to re-impose the projected annual assessment required of the individual unit owners to make up that shortfall. Most residents are acutely unaware of this, as it is one of several municipal taxes that are paid through the escrow account linked to their mortgage obligations. The City hasn't historically sent this type of notification to unit owners. This time is different.

The difference has to do with the amount of the increase. The cost of saving your life is going up 50%. While no rational human being would assert that their life isn't worth the increase, no rational municipal politicians would try to pass a 50% increase in ANYTHING without giving their constituencies the opportunity to VENT.

Fort Lauderdale is convening a public hearing to be held at 6:00 PM on September 3, 2003 in the Commission Chambers at City Hall (100 N. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Florida) “for the purpose of receiving public comment on the proposed assessments”. Galt Mile residents “have the right to appear at the meeting and to file written objections with the City Commission within 20 days” of the notice date. “If you decide to appeal any decision made by the City Commission with respect to any matter considered at the hearing, you will need a record of the proceedings and may need to insure that a verbatim record is made, including the testimony and evidence upon which the appeal is to be made.”

If you have any questions about your fire rescue assessment, please call the Fire-Rescue Department at (954) 828-6800 from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday - Friday.

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Public Hearing

Florida Department of Transportation
Turnpike Widening

The Florida Department of Transportation is considering widening the section of the Florida Turnpike from Griffin Road to Atlantic Boulevard. This stretch is a particularly pernicious traffic plug. As is required in all such projects, the FDOT is conducting a Public Hearing to determine if there are any unanticipated consequences to its implementation. The hearing will be held at the Holiday Inn in Plantation (1711 North University Drive) and is scheduled for September 23rd at 5:30 PM. For additional information, call Rebecca Bolan at (954) 975-4855. She can also be reached by Email at rebecca.bolan@dot.state.fl.us.

The Date: Tuesday, September 23rd, 2003

The Time: 5:30 P.M.

The Place: The Holiday Inn
1711 North University Drive in Plantation

For more information, please call Rebecca Bolan at 954-975-4855 or
Email her at rebecca.bolan@dot.state.fl.us.


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Notice

Commissioner Christine Teel's District 1 Pre-Agenda Meeting
AND
Alliance of District One Homeowners’ Meeting

City Commissioner Christine Teel’s District I Pre-Agenda meeting will be held Tuesday, September 2, 2003 immediately following the Alliance of District One Homeowners’ Meeting at the Beach Community Center, 3351 NE 33 Avenue.

City Manager Floyd T. Johnson and the City's Director of Finance Terry Sharp are scheduled to speak regarding the City's long-range financial planning at the Alliance of District One Homeowners' Meeting.

Commissioner Teel's review of the September 3rd City Commission agenda will follow immediately thereafter. All are invited to attend.

The Date: Tuesday, September 2nd, 2003

The Time: 7:00 P.M.

The Place: The Beach Community Center
3351 NE 33rd Avenue in Fort Lauderdale

For more information, please call the City Commission Office at 954-828-5004.


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Il Lugano Development

City of Fort Lauderdale
Planning & Zoning Board Meeting

Il Lugano (Case No. 82-R-02) is a major development slated to occupy the location at 3333 NE 32nd Avenue (currently the Estate of James Fazio). On July 16th, the Planning & Zoning Board of the City of Fort Lauderdale conducted a Site Plan Level III Review of the allocation of flexible units in a "Mixed Use Development". It was the 4th agenda item (out of 5) to be considered at this well-attended meeting. City Commissioner Christine Teel had notified us that interested parties (you and I) were encouraged to attend and provide input.

What Happened?

Close to 200 concerned residents attended the Planning and Zoning Board's Level III Site Plan Review of the Il Lugano development. The 5 item agenda contained similar Level III reviews for the Henderson Mental Health Center at 330 SW 27th Avenue, a planned Publix Supermarket at 1415 East Sunrise Boulevard, the Flagler Junction project at 721 NE 4th Avenue, and a rezoning request by the Lauderdale Marine Center. A majority of the audience in attendance declared their stake in the Il Lugano project, awaiting the opportunity to press for its passage or lodge some complaint.

The Proposed Il Lugano DevelopmentAlthough the 6:30 start time was observed, the Board didn't hear the Il Lugano review request until 10:30 PM. After the Item identification by Chairperson Barbara Curtis (The first female Chair of the Planning and Zoning Board), Developer Robert Couf's agent, Robert Lochrie, presented the project to Board members. P & Z staff was then questioned after updating the Board with the relevant facts, community input, pertinent legal standing, and possible obstacles. Click Here to obtain the Staff Report (Since this is a PDF file, you need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer...don't worry...it's probably there).

The Public Hearing segment of the review basically consists of two parts. The first is the testimony from Representatives of Associations and groups followed by testimony elicited from individuals. The two categories of testimony, taken together, yield a reflection of the Developer's success at addressing his neighbor's as well as the neighborhood's concerns.

Ralph Hamaker, President of next-door neighbor Coral Ridge Towers South, painted a glowing endorsement of the project. When questioned by the Board about his optimistic assessment, Mr. Hamaker referred to the Developer's response to several objections adherent to the original plan. The building, as first conceived, would have cast an unacceptable shadow across the Coral Ridge Towers South swimming pool. Developer Bob Couf reduced the building's height in certain critical areas after commissioning a shadow study. Couf also conceded a substantial easement to buffer the properties. Several residents of the Coral Ridge Towers Complex (four large neighboring co-ops) echoed Mr. Hamaker's endorsement, adding that the project would be an asset to the community and end the long string of failed nightclubs and restaurants that previously occupied that location. Similar endorsements of the project took the form of letters from past and current Coral Ridge Towers Complex building Presidents. Area merchants praised the developer's high-end structure, concurring with the view that the project will be an excellent keystone for the area's redevelopment.

Several area residents bemoaned the fact that their views of the Intracoastal Waterway would be marginally impacted. A resident of the neighboring Maracay condominium inquired about the developer's intentions for adequate waste removal. The Board added a condition to the permit that bars the developer from removing garbage between the hours of 8 PM to 8 AM. The developer consented to that and every other condition that the Board felt appropriate.

Eric Peter Berkowitz, speaking for Galt Mile Community Association President Robert Rozema, reminded the Board that "our recent municipal elections made it very clear that our residents expect controlled development. Developments cannot be allowed to outstrip the City's ability to provide essential services, control traffic, and effectively manage parking." Speaking on behalf of the 25 Condominiums and Co-ops that stretch along the Galt Ocean Mile from Commercial Boulevard to Oakland Park Boulevard (including the four towers that comprise the Coral Ridge Towers Complex), Mr. Berkowitz imparted that the "GMCA Board of Directors voted unanimously to support the Il Lugano project. GMCA's representative Advisory Board also voted unanimously to support the development." He emphasized that the uncharacteristic unanimous vote resulted from the fact that "this project met every significant criteria that defines a controlled development", alluding to the Advisory Board's consensus view that "it gives more to the neighborhood than it takes". The development will "tweak our local economy without burdening our resources."

The Planning and Zoning Board members asked several questions of developer's representative Robert Lochrie and their staff attorney before making a motion to approve the permit. Several Board members repeated the fact that every code was met without request for variance and every staff recommendation was acceded to by the developer. The Board agreed to a series of minor conditions (all assented to by the developer) before unanimously voting to grant the Level III Permit.

Unless one of our City Commissioners decides to turn Il Lugano into a political football, it appears as if the community will have a substantial and responsible new neighbor. Mr. Couf is committed to Il Lugano "pulling its weight" in the roll of community cornerstone. The Beach Community Center and Il Lugano provide a solid nucleus around which the Galt Shoppes neighborhood can realize a renaissance. The permit acquisition effected by the P&Z Board's action brings the community one step closer to actualizing the Master Plan to reinvigorate the area by transforming the Galt Ocean Shoppes neighborhood into an attractive, mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly "destination place" for both tourists and locals. Chances are that it wouldn't hurt our property values to have a "Las Olas North" right in our side yard!

Il Lugano Project Summary

The applicant proposes to construct a 14-story mixed-use building on a 38,000 sq. ft. lot located on the east side of the Intracoastal Waterway at the intersection of NE 32nd Avenue and NE 34th Street. The project, to be known as Il Lugano, will have 24 multifamily residential units and 110 hotel rooms.

The proposed site is located adjacent to the Intracoastal Waterway. To the south of the site is an existing seven level Maracay residential condominium building and the twelve level Continental residential condominium and to the north is the sixteen level Coral Ridge Tower residential building. Across the street to the east is the Fort Lauderdale Beach Community Center. The site is now occupied by a single level non-residential building which has been used for a series of cocktail lounge/restaurant operations.

The Existing Site ConditionsThe proposed building will have five parking levels with one level below grade. There will be five stories of hotel rooms and four of multifamily residential units. A pool had been located on the north side of the site adjacent to the building. The applicant proposed to provide a 25-foot wide, 150-foot long strip of open space between the pool and the adjacent property. This area was to have been recorded as a pedestrian/utility easement for access to the water and for utilities. The neighborhood is characterized by a number of mid to high-rise multifamily residential buildings surrounding the Galt Shops retail/restaurant area of one and two story structures.

At a Property and Right-of-Way (PROW) Committee meeting held on May 15, 2003, the proposed pool was relocated adjacent to the Intracoastal Waterway leaving a full 50-foot wide (combination 25-foot wide utility easement and a 25-foot wide pedestrian easement), open area adjacent to the building. A water taxi stop is being considered to be located at the end of and adjacent to this easement.

Responding to concerns expressed by Coral Ridge Towers representatives, the City recommended that a condition of approval require the pool to be relocated to the southwest portion of the site and that a yard modification to do so be approved. Coral Ridge Towers additionally questioned the impacts of shadowing on their existing pool (for which a shadow study was prepared). It was determined that the impacts of this shadowing while during the winter season will not prevent those residents from sunning at any time and will only degrade the experience of those wishing to swim for less than one hour each day for a period of several weeks. The applicant has worked to reduce the shadow impact by removing one floor and lowering the overall height in those critical areas that cause the shadows on the pool, by as much as nine feet from an earlier version of the design.

The applicant is providing 173 parking spaces while the code requires 167 spaces. Hotels require 1 space for every room. With 110 hotel rooms, 110 parking spaces are required. The parking requirement for multifamily depends on the number of bedrooms proposed. The total number of parking spaces for the residential units is 51 spaces.

The City of Fort Lauderdale Planning and Zoning Board needed to determine whether the proposed development or use met the standards and requirements of the ULDR and criteria for site plan level III review. They could have either approved, disapproved, or approved with conditions, the issuance of the site plan level III permit.

Galt Mile Community Association President Robert Rozema, in acknowledging the benefits that accrue to the community as a result of this project's actualization, sent letters of support to every City Commissioner, Mayor James Naugle, and the City of Fort Lauderdale Planning and Zoning Board. The development respects the neighborhood's character, the municipality's ability to provide adequate services, and would ameliorate the traffic and parking issues. The developers have extended themselves to maintain cordial relations and good communication with their neighbors by adapting the structure significantly to acommodate shadowing and greenspace concerns. The proximity of Il Lugano to the Beach Community Center heightens the Center's functionality by allowing visitors and business people convenient access to both lodging and adequate meeting facilities. Il Lugano appears to positively exemplify the "controlled development" so avidly mandated by our recent municipal elections. Apparently, the Planning and Zoning Board got the message. The Board voted unanimously to approve the required Level III permit.

Site Plan Location

CB (Commercial Building) Galt Ocean Mile, P.B. 34, P. 16
Block 1, Lots 13 - 15
Block 12, Lot 1 (the S.53.45' as measured along the E. and W. lines thereof)
See Existing Conditions picture in article!

Click Here for the full agenda of the July 16, 2003 Planning and Zoning Board Meeting.
Click Here for the complete Staff Report (in PDF format - you need the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer to access this data - it's probably there) explaining all the details surrounding the Il Lugano development.

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Commissioner Christine Teel Gets a Sign

At the June 26th meeting held at the Beach Community Center concerning the Galt Shuttle Bus Service, the issue of putting in a 10 MPH Speed Limit sign on NE 32nd Avenue where it curves onto NE 34th Street (by the Beach Community Center) was discussed.

On July 15, 2003, Commissioner Teel contacted Broward County to request the installation of a 10 MPH sign at the Beach Community Center location. As a result of some deft networking among the Commissioner, Horace McHugh, Peter Partington, and Commission Assistant Catherine Wichmann, the decision was made on August 14th to emplace a 10 MPH Advisory Speed Limit plate along with a Right Turn Warning sign.

According to Dave White of Broward County, these signs were actually there at one time. A work order to replace (1) missing Right Turn Warning sign and (1) missing 10 MPH Advisory Speed Limit plate has been issued. The timeframe for installation is approximately 4 weeks. Thank you Commissioner. One question...where did the original signs go?


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Galt Ocean Village Seasonal Tree Lighting

Each year we discuss seasonal lighting for the trees in the Galt Ocean Village. Each year we get no lights, usually because we start too late on the project or don't reach the people who can help us accomplish this goal.

This year we will start early with a meeting on Wednesday, June 4th, 2003 at 2 P.M. at the Fort Lauderdale Beach Community Center. The Commissioner, Christine Teel, will be there. She has been very helpful in facilitating solutions to some of our local issues. Mike Fayyez and Tom Terrell of the City of Fort Lauderdale and Alfred Russillo of Florida Power & Light will also attend. All interested merchants and owners are invited to attend the meeting and help get seasonal lighting for our village this holiday season.

Sincerely,
Dr. Alex Leeds

Seasonal Tree Lighting - A Formula for Success

Seasonal LightsThe problem is simple and straightforward. Community merchants and residents would like to adorn their streets with seasonal lighting during the holidays. Many neighborhoods do this every year. The City caucuses with Community Association representatives to imbue a "holiday spirit" throughout the "commercial" part of town. Each year they find a way to make it happen. Our community, for various reasons, has not been able to! Some link in the chain always breaks. The same group of disappointed community activists and unsuccessful City staffers annually departs the failed effort scratching their heads in defeat. It appears that this year will be different!

A group of participating merchants, Community Association representatives, City of Fort Lauderdale staffers, and a representative of FPL (Florida Power & Light) met on June 4th at the Beach Community Center to address this problem under City Commissioner Christine Teel’s auspices (See above invitation). While the meeting didn’t produce a resolution, it did produce a road map.

Seasonal LightsGalt Mile Community Association President Robert Rozema and Galt Merchants Association President Dr. Alex Leeds requested that Commissioner Teel assemble the municipal parts of the puzzle. She brought City of Fort Lauderdale’s Mike Fayyez and Tom Terrell, FPL’s Alfred Russillo, and the Galt Ocean Village Shoppes “Master Plan” Project Engineer, Hal Barnes, to the table. Dr. Leeds brought merchant representatives from 32nd Street, 33rd Street and 34th Street to the table. They talked. They heard input from Coral Ridge Towers South President Ralph Hamaker, SunTrust’s Marty Sullivan, paralegal Chris Burggraf from attorney Lawrence Blacke’s office, Galt Ocean Shoppes Improvement Association Vice President Gabe Palotas, and the indigenous neighborhood merchants. Then something extraordinary happened.

Instead of the usual adversarial format fostered by these "City-Community" style meetings, all sides contributed whatever they could to the project’s ultimate success. In lieu of a litany of jurisdictional constraints and statutory roadblocks, Fayyez and Terrell offered three different methods of installing the seasonal lighting. The merchants agreed to pull their weight with regard to maintenance, safety, and installation. After a brief discussion, Alex Leeds suggested that each party be given a portion of the remaining “punchlist” of items that required follow through. Even the FPL representative, Alfred Russillo, limited the number of times he said, "no, we can’t" to one! That aside, Mr. Rusillo agreed to apply a unique formula to the project that will obviate the need for metering. It was not a negotiation; it was a win-win, non-partisan, apolitical brain storming session!

Seasonal LightsSeasonal lighting is not an earth shaking issue. We can live without it. What is significant is the formula that was used to resolve community issues. When the parties are more concerned with contributing to the project’s success than with defending their "turf", the system works! Of course, inviting the right parties to the table makes a big difference. Christine Teel and her secret weapon, Pam Brown (of the City Commission’s administration), seem to have a talent for this.

The "follow through" previously alluded to is being "managed" by Dr. Leeds. When the requested technical and electrical data needed by the City and FPL is collected, it will be forwarded to the City of Fort Lauderdale’s Mike Fayyez and Tom Terrell. After reviewing the data, they will contact FPL to enlist any additional input and affirm the ultimately agreed to methodology. Once accomplished, Dr. Leeds will be contacted to commence enacting the plan. Commissioner Teel’s office will be apprised of each step as it’s taken. It sounds simple. We’ll see! Stay tuned...

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Now You See It...Now You Don't!

Do you like magic? If you do, then you're in for a treat! The City of Fort Lauderdale is making some of your money disappear…a lot of it. The developer of the L'Ambiance Beach paid a voluntary contribution of $100,000 on May 15, 2001 to the City of Fort Lauderdale prior to receiving final DRC approval. The money was earmarked for future public improvements to be recommended by the community. The Galt Mile Community Association was supposed to have input into its ultimate disbursement. The Association's Presidents Council and Advisory Board repeatedly debated possible appropriate targets for the money. During the course of these discussions, the Association checked the status of the account. POOF!

It was gone! The City had "misplaced" the cash! President Robert Rozema of the Galt Mile Community Association contacted City Commissioner Christine Teel to attempt to pinpoint the ethereal bank account. Commissioner Teel, in turn, contacted Assistant City Manager Greg Kisela to locate the $100,000. PAYDIRT! The money reappeared.

The City, having made the money disappear and reappear, decided that it was gaining some proficiency in the "magic" business. It decided to repeat the trick. The FDOT (Florida Department of Transportation) is currently in the midst of a $1.5 million project to upgrade "Miles Corner". Even though it's basically a milling and resurfacing project along Oakland Park Boulevard from A1A to Bayview Drive, it's technically designated as a ROW (right of way) improvement. Some clever municipal employee independently decided (below the radar) that it would be a good idea to use $22,000 of the contribution for upgraded light poles. POOF!

Wait! The show's not over yet. The City enjoyed performing the disappearing money trick so much that they plan on doing it again. The balance of the $100,000 (hopefully $78,000) has been targeted for "turn lane improvements" as well as additional pavers in the intersection of A1A and Oakland Park Blvd. Not wanting to ruin the surprise, they didn't bother to ask, much less inform, anyone. After all, why should the FDOT use its own money when they can quietly use YOURS! Hmmm.

This construction is NOT a City of Fort Lauderdale project. It’s a State of Florida project. The City isn't authorized or responsible in any way for funding the Miles Corner improvements. How did the State of Florida get authorization to utilize the $100,000 deposit in a City of Fort Lauderdale bank account that the community was supposed to allocate? ITS MAGIC!

Follow Up: A meeting has been arranged between the City and representatives of the Galt Mile Community Association to "make us whole". We have been assured that the remaining funds will NOT be utilized (as first purported) for "turn lane improvements" and additional pavers. In addition, the funds appropriated for "upgraded light poles" will be restored to the account. Ahh...ain't magic grand! Stay tuned...


Mystery Money Reappears!

Fort Lauderdale Assistant City Manager Greg Kisela addressed the Galt Mile Community Association at a June 19th, 2003 Advisory Board meeting. Mr. Kisela and District 1 City Commissioner Christine Teel were able to pencil in some of the details surrounding the unfortunate misallocation of the $100,000 voluntarily contributed by the developer of L'Ambiance prior to receiving DRC approval (Click Here for full story!). The funds were deposited into a revenue account. They should have been deposited into a capital account.

Placing the funds into a revenue account is the municipal equivalent of hanging a "Spend Me" tag on the money. What agency could resist? FDOT (Florida Department of Transportation) got there first, appropriating $22,000 for "upgraded light poles" for the Miles Corner project. The "appropriation" took the form of a loan from the "Parking Fund". FDOT had designs on the remaining $78,000 (turn lane improvements, additional pavers for the A1A - Oakland Park Boulevard intersection, etc.), when an investigation into the funds’ whereabouts spoiled the "free lunch".

Mr. Kisela’s intention is to replenish the account in October, when the City invests the 2003 - 2004 Capital Improvement Budget. The funds were originally targeted for "right-of-way" improvements for the planned Miles Corner project. Since the FDOT is completing the Miles Corner upgrade independently, the funds are available for other "community improvements". The DRC (Design and Review) has jurisdictional oversight for how the money is spent. Mr. Kisela will approach DRC to elicit a clarification regarding acceptable alternatives for expensing the funds. It was requested of Mr. Kisela to inquire about broadening the venue, allowing the community a wider selection of possible targets for the funds. He agreed to ask for greater latitude for the community in choosing the "best use" for the contribution.

Several suggestions for its allocation were forwarded at the meeting, including seasonal holiday lighting in the commercial area of the neighborhood. The Board agreed that it would best serve the community to wait until Mr. Kisela received the impending clarification from DRC before making a decision. Once accomplished, the Association will help select a beneficiary for the money, hopefully before it disappears again!

Patching the Galt

During the same June 19th, 2003 Advisory Board meeting, Commissioner Christine Teel responded to an April 17th GMCA Advisory Board Meeting (also see April 17th Meeting Minutes) inquiry about the random "patching" of Galt Ocean Drive subsequent to developers and utility crews tearing up the street. Cable, utility, and private construction subcontractors are supposed to replace the original custom aggregate after completing a penetration under surface level. While some replacement fills were acceptable, Presidents Council Chairman Pio Ieraci expressed concern about several "black asphalt" patches that were used to replace the decorative aggregate that the Galt residents paid for.

Greg Kisela explained that there was only one remaining cubic yard of the original aggregate. Because of sun bleaching, chemical exposure, and traffic, the original aggregate doesn't match the existing street anymore. The City will utilize color-matching computer programs to approximate the aggregate color of future street fills. Mr. Kisela also promised to check the amount (and availability) of the special pavers that were utilized to surface our crosswalks, street indents, and sidewalk highlights.

If your building is planning or doing a resurfacing project, take this under advisement. Make sure that you purchase adequate replacement pavers, tiles, and other resurfacing materials at the time of installation!

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Galt Shuttle Meeting

Commissioner Christine Teel and TMA Director Paul Carpenter invite you to attend a meeting to review and discuss the proposed revisions to the Galt Shuttle schedule. Community input will heavily influence any decisions with regard to the Galt shuttle's schedule. You can provide that input!



The Date: June 26th, 2003

The Time: 3:00 P.M.

The Place: The Beach Community Center
3351 NE 33rd Avenue in Fort Lauderdale

This effort is one of a series of targeted meetings that rely on the community to shape its own destiny. Its up to us to demonstrate that we are capable of governing ourselves. Please be there!


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Miles Corner Finally Gets a Facelift

Miles Corner Aerial ViewThe Florida Department of Transportation held a public information meeting Thursday, May 1st, to discuss upcoming construction on Oakland Park Boulevard between Bayview Drive and A1A. The meeting was held from 7 P.M. to 9 P.M. at the Beach Community Center (Galt Ocean Shops, 3352 NE 33rd Avenue, at the corner of NE 34th Street and 33rd Avenue) in Fort Lauderdale. FDOT (Florida Department of Transportation), having awarded this $1.5 million project to Weekley Asphalt Paving, Inc., scheduled the project to begin the week of May 19th, and to be completed this fall.

The project, technically designated as ROW (Right of Way) Improvements, is anticipated to take approximately 166 days to complete and includes:

  • Milling and repaving Oakland Park Blvd. between Bayview Drive and A1A, except on the Intracoastal Waterway Bridge;
  • Repaving and redesigning of the parking area on the northwest corner at the Oakland Park Blvd. and A1A intersection;
  • Replacing the existing traffic signals with mast arms;
  • Median modifications;
  • Drainage improvements;
  • Installing landscaping in the sodded areas on both sides of the roadway;
  • Installing decorative street lighting from the east end of the Intracoastal Waterway Bridge to A1A;
  • Sidewalk repairs and improvements.

Oakland Park BoulevardAdam Gosselin, E.I., FDOT's Project Manager, summarized the project to the audience as a "milling and resurfacing project". The absence of any drainage component in this project will expedite the construction, shortening the projected time to completion.FDOT intends to add landscaping to the target area, install new pavers on A1A, construct planter boxes along the street, remove the old parking meters, and close the dangerous street exit from the parking lot that's closest to the intersection of A1A and Oakland Park Boulevard. The milling and resurfacing of Oakland Park Boulevard will be done in 4 phases. In phase 1 the median will be excised and traffic will channel to the outer lanes. The north side of Oakland Park Boulevard will then be milled and resurfaced as traffic is routed to the south side of the thoroughfare during phase 2. The opposite will then occur, with phase 3 construction performed on the south side as traffic is diverted to the northern lanes. Phase 4 again routs traffic to the outer lanes as the median is reinstalled. Project Manager Gosselin admitted that the plan was extremely flexible but FDOT's current intention is to commence construction at the Bayview Drive end of the project and work their way east to A1A.

While members of the assemblage were extremely positive about the project, two issues were brought to the Project representative's attention. Several people expressed concern about the lack of advance notification about the project's commencement date (May 19th) and the date of the current meeting! In response, Gosselin sent around a sign-in sheet for use in notifying attendees about future meetings. A second concern voiced by some local merchants was about the anticipated interference with convenient access to their places of business. One angry merchant termed the temporary restriction of traffic inherent in the project as "blasphemous" (?) and threatened legal action. The threat was withdrawn after Gosselin assured the merchant that no business would be stranded as a result of the construction and alternative access routes would be provided when an existing one would temporarily close for construction.

For further information about this project, contact Adam Gosselin, E.I., FDOT's Project Manager. He can be reached by phone at (954) 713-1235, by fax at (954) 713-1238 or by e-mail at Adam.Gosselin@dot.state.fl.us.

During construction there will be a need to temporarily close 1 or more lanes of traffic, so please forward this information to your friends and neighbors. If you represent condos, please request that this be posted in elevators, or where mail is distributed. It might help alleviate expected traffic congestion during the project period.

However, if you need to drive through the target area, you can Click Here to find out the current traffic conditions on Oakland Park Boulevard!

Click on Picture For Current Traffic Conditions on Oakland Park Boulevard
Oakland Park Boulevard Construction Zone

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Update: Commissioner Teel in High Gear!

Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Christine Teel is dispelling the cloud of suspicion that often follows newly elected public officials into office. She represented a disturbingly unknown quantity to many Galt Mile residents with the advent of her District 1 elective success. An April 17th Galt Mile Community Association Advisory Board meeting that she addressed did little to clarify her civic intentions for our neighborhood. (Click Here for details about meeting!) Her apparent ignorance of the issues that plague our community heightened participants' concerns. Surprisingly, she has subsequently become a political ball of fire.

Commissioner Christine Teel

At the meeting, Galt Mile Community Association President Robert Rozema suggested a walking tour of the Galt to enlighten Commissioner Teel about neighborhood problems. During this tour, Mr. Rozema focused the Commissioner's attention on a variety of unfulfilled municipal obligations. He pointed out the half dozen as yet unreplaced broken tree stumps that lined the block and disparaged developers and utility crews for tearing up portions of the street and replacing the original pavers and special concrete composite (that we paid for) with ordinary concrete or asphalt. In addition, President Rozema impugned the city for "misplacing" a $100,000 deposit initially donated to the Association by a developer. The Association earmarked the funds for community improvements. Quietly, Commissioner Teel rolled up her sleeves.

The trees have been replaced. The incorrect street fill is being investigated. Lo and behold, she found the missing money! The Fort Lauderdale Forester, Gene Dempsey, finally responded to numerous previous requests to replace the damaged trees AFTER Ms. Teel added her name to the supplicants. She is aware of the prerequisite for anyone who mars the surface of our street to return it to its original condition. She's looking into who did what and when. Not only did she locate the "misplaced" bank account, she alerted us to the fact that someone "dipped" into it without Association authorization. Not bad for a few weeks work!

Commissioner Teel hosted an April 23rd meeting to address the 32nd Street Alley wherein she forged a partnership among businesses, residents, and city representatives to correct the Alley's inadequate drainage. (Click Here for Summary Notes of Meeting!) On May 1st, the Galt Merchants Association held a Board of Directors meeting that spoke to the development of the Galt Ocean Shoppes area. Attendees inquired of Commissioner Teel whether her anti-development campaign stance might not interfere with plans to improve the area bounded by A1A, the Intracoastal, Oakland Park Boulevard, and NE 34th Street. She depicted her anti-development reputation as inaccurate, stating that she is strongly in favor of sensible development. Her statement that the development should benefit the area at least as much as it benefits the developer was universally applauded.

Governor Jeb Bush and the Florida Cabinet met in Tallahassee on May 13th to undertake the critical beach renourishment issue. (Click Here for Full Story!) A contingent of residents and public officials traveled to the Capitol to support Fort Lauderdale's inclusion into the Broward County Shore Preservation Project's permit approval. Along with Broward County Commissioner Jim Scott, Hollywood Representative Eleanor Sobel, and a host of Galt Mile residents, Christine Teel (representating Fort Lauderdale) strongly endorsed the project to Governor Bush and members of the Cabinet.

While her stewardship of our community is still in its nascent stages and the jury is still out as to her effectiveness, there is no longer any doubt about her commitment. The question about "whether she could produce results" has evolved into "when she would produce results". Its safe to say that Galt Mile residents seem to have found a reliable partner in city hall.

Fort Lauderdale City CommissionThe City of Fort Lauderdale schedules City Commission Meetings on the first and third Tuesday of each month. Commissioner Teel holds open town meetings at the Beach Community Center the Monday prior to the City Commission meetings as a vehicle to collect community input. (See GMCA Calendar for info!) As such, community participation is welcome.

Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Christine Teel's office is located at 100 N. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301. Her telephone no. is (954) 828-5004 and FAX no. is (954) 828-5667. Commissioner Teel's City of Fort Lauderdale web address is http://www.fortlauderdale.gov/commission/bios/teel.htm. Commissioner Teel's E-mail address is ChristineT@cityfort.com. Her assistant, Catherine Wichmann, can be reached at (954) 828-5033 or Click Here to E-mail.
For complete contact information, go to Report Card.


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Plaza South Mystery Log Removed

Did you hear about the "gift" that was deposited on the beach at Plaza South recently? It was a very large log (most likely a very ancient tree trunk) that travelled to our beach from some far-off country. All governmental agencies, state, county and for a time even the city denied responsibility for its removal.

City Commissioner Christine Teel met with Plaza South board members and condo manager Charles Baldwin to inspect this hazardous visitor on the sand. The Commissioner indicated that she would find a way to get this situation resolved regardless of the cost and effort involved.

After a number of conversations with City Manager Floyd Johnson and members of his staff and they agreed to step up and get the job done. The log is now gone and Plaza South is no longer an archeological site!


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Trees Replaced Along Galt Mile

A viscious early April storm literally tore trees lining Galt Ocean Drive "limb from limb". Roughly a half dozen trees were damaged during the squall. Broken branches and split stumps created road and pedestrian hazards. In addition, several trees were destabilized and posed a threat of imminent collapse.

Trees Replaced After StormThe following day, the Parks Department received numerous reports from residents and Condominium Associations about the downed trees. Gerry McGinnis of the Fort Lauderdale Parks Department arrived with several crews to remove the hazardous branches. Proceeding north up Galt Ocean Drive, the crews cut the split trunks of all the affected trees to a safe height as a "temporary measure". McGinnis stated that his department was "doing work of an emergency nature" and he was responsible only "for the removal of the trees that posed an immediate danger to drivers and pedestrians". Mcinnis continued, "Replacement of the cut trees was the responsibility of a different department".

The Parks Department Landscape Foreman, Larry Smith, was contacted the next day and queried about when the trees might be replaced. He indicated that trees were torn up throughout the city and the Department's priority was to remove all the damaged trees before replacement could begin. He approximated the removal and trimming operation to take a few weeks. He imparted that only the Fort Lauderdale City Forester could decide replacement priorities.

Fort Lauderdale City Forester Gene Dempsey estimated that the downed trees would be replaced in about a month. After the month passed with no sign of replacement, Mr. Dempsey was again contacted on May 5th. He started replacement that afternoon, apologizing for the delay. He explained that they had to order certain types of Palms that weren't readily available. He also asserted that the root systems of two damaged trees made their replacement extremely difficult. By Friday, May 16th, the last of the new Palms were set in place.

Fort Lauderdale City Forester (actual title is "Urban Forester") Gene Dempsey's office in the Parks and Recreation Department is located at 1350 W. Broward Boulevard Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33312. He can be reached by telephone at (954) 828-5785 or by E-mail at gened@ci.ftlaud.fl.us. Click Here to access the City of Fort Lauderdale's Urban Forestry web site. To report a downed or damaged tree that requires removal or trimming, call the Parks Department's Gerry McInnis at (954) 828-5788.


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First Look: Commissioner Christine Teel

Christine Teel, the recently elected District 1 Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner, addressed a meeting of the Galt Mile Community Association's Advisory Board on April 17, 2003. The Commissioner reinforced her campaign platform plank that centered on controlling growth in Fort Lauderdale. Speaking primarily in generalizations with assorted references to generic civic issues, she restated her intention to oversee and enforce strict adherence to regulatory codes by developers.

Commissioner Christine Teel

While the need to attract local investment requires our municipal representatives to negotiate the impact of these codes with prospective developers, Commissioner Teel indicted the abuse of a process that often sacrifices valuable civic resources in exchange for questionable improvements. She emphasized the importance of limiting the size and scope of projects to befit their stated intention and the surrounding environment. A project must address factors such as shadowcasting and noise levels to blend seamlessly with its intended location. Impending projects also need to be proportional to the municipality's ability to contend with the adjunctive strain on public services as well as the inherent increase in traffic.

Members of the Advisory Board, while in agreement with the principle of controlling development (the mom's apple pie of neighborhood associations), attempted to focus the Commissioner's attention on the Association's major concerns. Board members inquired about beach renourishment, fire safety codes, insurance costs, the homeless, and other significant issues. Robert Rozema, GMCA President, pointed out that while sections of A1A fronting Fort Lauderdale Beach (south of Galt Mile) and along Lauderdale-By-The-Sea (north of Galt Mile) have been the recipients of substantial upgrades, the City has elected to ignore the dilapidated and dangerous segment of this key barrier island thoroughfare that services the Galt Mile Community. The Commissioner suggested that several of our more civic-minded citizens might consider volunteering to participate in the City's CAP (Community Area Planning) program.

The CAP Initiative, a City-Commission-sponsored program under the direction of the Planning and Zoning Division, is based on a combination of grassroots community input and proactive government response. The purpose of CAP is to provide a Fort Lauderdale community with an opportunity to help direct its future. The problem with CAP is that it's a zero-sum game. The City is divided into 5 CAP areas (east, central, north, south, and the barrier island). All of the constituent Neighborhood Associations in a CAP area are in contention for the same limited resources. Similarly, each CAP area must compete with the other CAP areas for funding and political attention.

While we intend to participate in this 5-year initiative, despite the fact that the barrier island component isn't slated for review until the fifth year, the Association expects our representatives to help us overcome bureaucratic obstacles and assist us in obtaining our fair share of resources. Mayor Naugle, at the 10/17/2002 Advisory Board meeting, demonstrated that the Galt Mile Community contributes as much or more than either the City's uptown or downtown business districts to Fort Lauderdale's general coffers while receiving a small fraction of resources in return. When Presidents Council Chairman Pio Ieraci alerted the Commissioner to this fact, she agreed that The Galt Mile had been shortchanged.

Inasmuch as this is the first time that the Commissioner has represented the Galt Mile, her inconversance with issues that are unique to us is understandable. In an effort to remedy this deficiency and familiarize herself with our difficulties, she agreed to "walk the Mile" with President Rozema and several community representatives. They scheduled a walking tour of the Galt Mile designed to edify the Commissioner regarding some of the problems iterated at this initial meeting.

This promising first step might additionally shine some light on the nature and extent of the assistance we might expect from our new Commissioner. Ms. Teel is an intelligent and sensitive representative with a reputation for being able to aggressively make an impact when necessary. At the meeting she indicated that she's anxious to acquire our input and promote our interests. It falls to us, as a community, to make our aspirations and objectives clear. Hopefully, the Commissioner's response to this "get-acquainted" meeting will justify the confidence our voters demonstrated at the polls!

Click Here for story about subsequent actions undertaken by Commissioner Teel [Editor]

Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Christine Teel's office is located at 100 N. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301. Her telephone no. is (954) 828-5004 and FAX no. is (954) 828-5667. Commissioner Teel's City of Fort Lauderdale web address is http://www.fortlauderdale.gov/commission/bios/teel.htm. Commissioner Teel's E-mail address is ChristineT@cityfort.com. For complete contact information, go to Report Card.


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Naugle In, Smith and Ingles Out

Mayor Jim NaugleBy dint of a landslide victory, Jim Naugle won a political triple crown. Garnering two-thirds of the vote invested Naugle with a clear mandate for controlled development in the City of Fort Lauderdale. In this fortuitous election primary, Naugle secured his fifth three-year term as the Mayor of our city, eliminated Tim Smith from politics, and rebalanced the City Commission that historically placed him on the losing side of numerous 3-2 votes that favored waiving city code limitations on unrestricted development. By winning 50% + 1 of the votes, Naugle eliminated the need to competitively persevere through the General Election scheduled for March 11th.

Tim SmithHe also removed himself as a target of aggressive negative campaigning that, for some reason, seemed to become more malicious as the February 11th Primary approached. Even during structured Town Hall style debates, such as the one in the Beach Community Center on January 30th with Naugle, Smith (former District 2 City Commissioner) and Ingles (civic activist, minister, and a distant 3rd place finisher), Naugle was accused of succumbing to the interests of developers. The tactic seemed to boomerang because his accusers, as it turned out, were guilty of identical indiscretions. In that nearly every political plank in Naugle's platform seemed to be shared by all the other candidates, the election became a barometer of credibility.

While voters heard all three mayoral candidates claim that they favor controlled development, apparently they believed Naugle. In politics, plurality nurtures a mandate. The residents of Fort Lauderdale sent an unmistakable signal to the City Commission that they had best think twice before waiving the codes designed to constrain developers. The remaining candidates for the City Commission who possess an instinct for self-preservation would do well to take heed!

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Teel Upsets Katz for District 1 Commissioner's Seat

Incumbent Gloria KatzFormer Registered Nurse and community activist Christine Teel defeated incumbent Gloria Katz for the District 1 City Commissioner's seat in a seesaw campaign that was decided by the candidates' perceived positions on controlling development. Gloria Katz narrowly missed an automatic victory in the February 11th primary, securing 46% of the vote. A margin of 50% + 1 is required to sidestep the general election. She was favored to win the March 11th main event.

Commissioner Christine TeelThe campaign initially appeared to concern itself with the issues that affect our community. The candidates seemed to have similar views regarding the main election issue, uncontrolled development. True to the unwritten rule of Fort Lauderdale politics, the campaigns turned negative overnight. With the help of a devastating article written by Sun-Sentinel political writer Buddy Nevins, Teel successfully painted Ms. Katz as a pro-development wolf in sheep's clothing. The article lambasted Ms. Katz for being the swing vote for a large development called the Palazzo to replace a parking lot on Las Olas Boulevard. What Mr. Nevins neglected to mention was that the vote was not between the development or leaving the parking lot, it was a vote to determine which of three proposed developments should be built on the site. As it turns out, the Palazzo was the "least dense" option. The two commissioners that voted against the Palazzo actually voted for a denser project. Katz returned the compliment by characterizing Ms. Teel as "Pinocchio" for deliberately distorting her voting record. After suffering through a month of recriminatory campaign mailings, the voters installed Ms. Teel as the District 1 City Commissioner.

During the course of her campaign, Ms. Teel voiced concern about airport expansion and inadequate traffic management. She intimated that she would take a tough position on exempting developers from strict adherence to the city codes. Her secret weapon in this campaign was a Fort Lauderdale Attorney, Barbara Curtis, who "discovered" Ms. Teel in her quest to squelch overdevelopment in the city. She has successfully cultivated candidates whose mandate is to control growth in Fort Lauderdale and stop approving exemptions and variances for developers. Curtis helped Commissioner Cindi Hutchinson win her seat three years ago and played a substantial part in Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle's successful campaign in February. She is a volunteer who has consistently defeated paid consultants at their own game.

The turnout for this important local election was disgracefully light. The difficulties experienced by voters in the Election Day fiasco has had a lasting impact. Concern about a repeat performance of broken voting machines, inept poll workers, and polls opening and closing at the wrong times kept voters away in droves. Even with the pre-voting option designed to allow voters to avoid the polls on the day of the election, only 15% of registered voters actually participated. Ironically, the election was a model of efficiency. There were no lines, the poll workers behaved professionally, and aside from one man dancing about in front of a polling place adorned in one of the candidate's tee shirts, there was no hint of impropriety.

For years Mayor Naugle disparaged the City Commission's customary capitulation to the demands of developers to dilute the protective code that restricts the magnitude of their projects. Commissioner-Elect Teel joins a reconstituted City Commission that was forged in a fit of civic dissatisfaction with the byproducts of unbridled development. This election has redefined the Commission's priorities, mandating it to strike a balance between civic growth and the ability of the city to manage that growth. Time, as always, will tell.

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Election Information

There are two excellent web sites available for election information. They are the City Clerk of Fort Lauderdale Election Information Web Site and the Broward County Supervisor of Elections Web Site. You can easily navigate either site to address most of your election confusion. Volunteers (including clerical office assistants, regional site assistants, telephone bank assistants, and warehouse assistants) are needed for The City Of Fort Lauderdale 2003 Municipal Elections. For instance, to help out at the Beach Community Center (3351 N.E. 33rd Avenue) as a regional site assistant, call (954) 828-4610. To flex your civic muscle and volunteer, go to the Volunteers Web Site of the City of Fort Lauderdale to learn more! We have also compiled an election FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) to provide more direct responses to common election inquiries. Click on the question to obtain the answer!

Please note: Candidates for Mayor, Districts 1 and 2 City Commissioners will appear on the February 11, 2003 Primary Ballot (more than 2 candidates are running for the same office). Candidates for Districts 3 and 4 City Commissioners will appear on the March 11, 2003 General Ballot. If any candidate in the Primary receives 50% + 1 vote in the Primary, he/she will automatically be elected and will not appear on the General ballot. For questions or more information, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at 954-828-5002.

Candidates For Mayor - Alphabetical Order

  • Gene Ingles - Box 460046 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33346
    Phone: Campaign - (954) 822-GENE (4363), Office - (954) 760-7878 Ext.0100
    E-mail: gi@gene4mayor.com, Web Site: www.Gene4Mayor.com
  • Mayor Jim Naugle - P.O. Box 70 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33302
    Phone: (954) 527-0835, (954) 803-2023 (mobile)
    E-mail: MayorJames@aol.com, Web Site: www.jimnaugle.com
  • Commissioner Tim Smith - 1720 N.E. 9th Avenue Fort Lauderdale, FL 33305
    Phone: (954) 728-9290, (754) 224-6393 (mobile)
    E-mail: Tim@TimSmith.com, Web Site: www.timsmith.com

    Candidates For District 1 Commissioner - Alphabetical Order

  • Commissioner Gloria F. Katz - 2823 N.E. 36th Street Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
    Phone: Campaign - (954) 565-1263, Office - (954) 828-5004, E-mail: gloriakatz@prodigy.net
    Web Site: gloriakatz.com, Campaign Web Site: www.videotours.info/gloriakatz
  • Christine Teel - 555 Middle River Drive Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
    Phone: (954) 563-0340, E-mail: CTEEL2003@aol.com
  • Thomas F. “Tom” Wilson - 2100 N.E. 45th Street Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
    Phone: (954) 771-4646
  • Don T. Winsett - 6500 N.E. 20th Avenue Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
    Phone: (954) 771-1550

  • Who are the qualified candidates in the City of Fort Lauderdale Municipal Elections AND their campaign treasurers?

  • What general election and ballot information (including Sample Ballot) should I know?

  • What are the polling (voting) locations by district and precinct?

  • How do I register to vote?

  • Where do I vote?

    Check your Voter Identification Card to determine your Precinct!

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    Galt Ocean Shoppes Improvement Association
    Board of Directors Meeting

  • Location: Galt Ocean Village Medical Center - 3298 NE 33rd Avenue
  • Date: Thursday May 1, 2003
  • Time: 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

    Agenda

  • Discuss the progress of the Marriott Project and the Master Plan
    Speaker: Alex Leeds M.D.
  • Update on Lauderdale Beach Wellness Resort
    Speakers: Robin Massa and Don Race

    RSVP - Marty Sullivan at SunTrust Bank (954) 390-6081
    Click Here to E-mail Ms. Sullivan for RSVP

    For a comprehensive overview of the Galt Ocean Shoppes Improvement Project, Click Here!

    For an update of the Lauderdale Beach Wellness Center, Click Here!

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    The Homeless at Work!

    At the March 20th Galt Mile Community Association Advisory Board meeting, Fort Lauderdale Police Assistant Chief Chuck Drago addressed the growing problem of allegedly homeless people occupying the benches along Galt Ocean Drive. There is a special unit in the FLPD whose mandate is to reach out to these people and alert them to a wide variety of services including medical services, room and board, and employment. "Homeless" individuals can avail themselves of these voluntary services at their discretion. There is no law that can be invoked to force these individuals to leave the area. While they are predominantly harmless, there have been several complaints surrounding the behavior of certain individuals.

    Move-in Condition?Assistant Chief Drago said that while some of the homeless people on our benches have impactive medical histories (primarily mental), there is a healthy percentage of them that are homeless by avocation. They "earn a living" by emotionally blackmailing sympathetic passers-by for assorted forms of sustenance. This includes food, clothing, and a surprisingly substantial amount of money. Drago explained that the most effective method of thinning the ranks of "homeless people that make a living at it" is to "stop giving them money". Apparently, word spreads that a certain area is ripe for donations. This attracts others who seek "profitable" locations, areas exposed to a substantial amount of sympathetic pedestrian traffic.

    It is difficult to encounter fellow human beings who are seemingly "down on their luck" without feeling the urge to offer reasonable assistance. Unfortunately, some of them intentionally take advantage of this common reaction and systematically transform pedestrians' empathy into hard cash. The only effective way to combat this exploitation is to stop giving them money. When this occurs, they usually relocate to a more "productive" area. Conversely, if the money keeps coming, so do additional "homeless" people to share in the "neighborhood's generosity". Drago suggested that it would be preferable to "contribute to social agencies that provide the services that truly homeless people need". Many of the so-called homeless that collect money from residents "actually have nicer homes" than their misguided benefactors. Food for thought.

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    2002


    Update: Congressman E. Clay Shaw

    On Thursday, November 21, 2002 Congressman E. Clay Shaw addressed the Advisory Board of the Galt Mile Community Association. The Congressman analyzed the results of the recent election and articulated his view of the responsibility that accompanies the "mandate to govern". The Congressman's Party (the Republican Party) now controls the Executive and the Legislative Branches of the Federal Government.

    Congressman E. Clay Shaw Jr.Congressman Shaw is a longtime advocate of many of the issues that concern the Galt Mile Community. He fought vigorously to forestall the departure of the Cleveland Clinic (and their Emergency Room) from the Barrier Island and is participating in the search for an adequate replacement. He is an avid proponent of the Broward County Shore Preservation Project that is critically necessary to save our disappearing beaches. His support for Medicare, Prescription Drug Coverage, and issues that impact our seniors helped the Congressman garner a two-thirds plurality from the Galt Mile Community in the recent election.

    The Congressman credits "fate" with playing a large part in the dynamics of the election. The awkward manner in which the "Wellstone Memorial" was handled gave "the Republicans a needed boost". The media's concentration on the "sniper" served to "wash out the Democrats' attempts to focus attention on the shaky economy." He also pointed out that the same "lack of a complete agenda that hurt the Republicans in the previous election, undermined the Democrats in this one."

    The immediate future should bring a flurry of political activity in Washington and Tallahassee. The acute shortage of judges will be relieved by a series of rapid appointments. A 2-day session is scheduled after January 7th to hash out appropriations prior to "the creation of an omnibus bill" that will hence be passed. "The country then expects the Budget to be completed and passed shortly after the State of the Union event. Unfortunately, the United States is facing a huge deficit resulting from the combination of recession and war." The Congressman alluded to the fact that the Republicans had best deliver on ameliorating the country's issues or they will quickly lose their "mandate". Since they control the agenda, "there is no one to blame if we fail to govern."

    Congressman E. Clay Shaw Jr. maintains a website is at http://www.house.gov/shaw/. Click Here to E-Mail Congressman Shaw. For complete contact information, go to Report Card.


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    10/17/2002 Update: Mayor James Naugle

    Mayor James Naugle addressed a luncheon meeting of the Galt Mile Community Association at Nick's Italian Restaurant on October 17, 2002 to share some interesting insights. The Mayor distributed a spreadsheet documenting the property assessments of the individual Associations that comprise the GMCA. Total assessments for each building and average assessment per unit are clearly sorted by chronological folio entry. The number at the bottom of the spreadsheet, the total financial assessment of our neighborhood, embodied the purpose of the exercise. This data was a representation of the Galt Mile community's value to the city as a fiscal asset. The Mayor demonstrated that the contribution of our neighborhood to the municipality's "general coffers" equaled or surpassed those of Fort Lauderdale's "Downtown" or "Uptown" business districts! The GMCA's combined neighborhood assessment exceeded a billion dollars, which closely paralleled the amounts generated by those communities widely assumed to be the tax engines and "cash cows" of our town.

    Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim NaugleThe exuberance that accompanied the revelation that we were such a substantial provider to the city's needs faded as the irony attendant to these facts penetrated. Despite our comparable net worth to the city, the Galt Ocean Mile receives a small fraction of the political attention that is reserved for the more celebrated "business districts" of Fort Lauderdale. If we pack as much fiscal punch as the more prominent "Downtown" community, aren't we entitled to commensurate political resources? Sounds about right.

    The Mayor stressed the importance of the impending "International Boat Show" hosted annually by the City of Fort Lauderdale from Thursday, October 31 to Monday, November 4, 2002. The 43rd Annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show displays more than a billion dollars' worth of boats, yachts, and accessories from every major marine manufacturer worldwide. It is the world's premier venue for superyachts. It is also the single largest revenue-contributing event in the State of Florida, yielding in excess of eight billion dollars per annum. This "niche" industry is relatively stable in spite of our current economic turbulence. The show spans six locations including the Bahia Mar Yachting Center, the Greater Fort Lauderdale / Broward County Convention Center, the Marriott Portside Marina, the Pier 66 Marina, the Hall of Fame Marina, and the Las Olas Marina. Check GMCA's Calendar Page for details.

    Mayor Naugle told of an incident that seriously impacted his attitude toward terrorism. He was hosting Mayor Amram Mitzna of Haifa, Israel in consideration for participation in Fort Lauderdale's Sister Cities Program. Haifa had just experienced a heinous terrorist incident and Mayor Naugle asked the Mayor of Haifa if he wished to postpone the scheduled visit. Mayor Mitzna told Mayor Naugle that "if the terrorists succeed in altering your life, they win!" He arrived at Fort Lauderdale on August 17, 2001 as scheduled. On September 11, Mayor Naugle was faced with a similar decision about the city's response to our national tragedy. Remembering Mayor Mitzna's words, he kept the wheels of government turning while many other municipalities "cut and ran". This helped quell the unbridled fear and hysteria that resulted from that unconscionable disaster.

    The proceeds from the Gas Tax that financed myriad miles of road throughout the area is still flowing into the government till. Since there is little room left for additional roads, the Mayor feels that the Jitney should be the logical recipient of some of these funds. If the funds are not so dedicated, they stand to become a target for every useless pork barrel project dreamed up by misdirected politicians. Mayor Naugle is also concentrating his efforts on bringing outside investment into the Galt Mile area. With regard to the upcoming election, he recommended that registered voters take advantage of the "Early Voting" prerogative available to residents. In view of the 23 Broward County issues and the substantial number of candidate-seats to be decided at the polls, this is excellent advice!

    Mayor Naugle, a long time supporter of the Galt Mile Community's interests, is scheduled to debate opposition candidate Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Tim Smith prior to the February mayoral election. The debate will take place at the Fort Lauderdale Beach Community Center at 3351 33rd Ave. on January 30, 2003 at 7:00 PM. All community residents are welcome to attend. In view of the fact that James Naugle is one of the few political bastions against the onslaught of unrestricted development that threatens to afflict Fort Lauderdale, it behooves us to attend this debate to familiarize ourselves with issues that affect us as a community. Check Calendar Page as a reminder! See you there!

    Mayor Naugle can be contacted by E-mail at MayorJames@aol.com and maintains a website is at http://www.fortlauderdale.gov/commission/bios/naugle.htm. For complete contact information, go to Report Card.

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    Update: Jitney Arson

    Halloween, more accurately described as "Idiot Night" in many disaffected neighborhoods, was the backdrop for what seemed to be a senseless act of arson that will inconvenience numerous residents of the Galt Mile community. On November 2nd, the Sun Sentinel reported the destruction of two Coral Springs mini-buses, four other mini-buses, and a Toyota Camry in a storage yard at 3818 SW 30th Avenue in Hollywood as the result of a Halloween Night arson. What they failed to mention was the fact that the "four other mini-buses" were the City Cruiser Beach Trolleys that service our neighborhood!

    Free Shuttle Bus - JitneyOn October 31st, a person or persons unknown penetrated the Hollywood storage facility and perforated the gas tank(s) of the vehicle(s). The exposed gas was ignited prior to 9:41 PM (time reported) and the subsequent blaze ultimately engulfed four of the five "Jitneys" in the fleet. The "Jitney" fleet is managed by the Downtown Fort Lauderdale Transportation Management Association (DFLTMA) who subcontracts the service to L.L.S. Transportation of Fort Lauderdale. Paul Carpenter, Executive Director of DFLTMA, stated that while the arson investigation is in its early stages and results are inconclusive, it appears to be a deliberate act of sabotage. Mr. Carpenter asserted that it was impossible to determine (at this time) whether this was committed by a disgruntled employee or as an insipid yet deliberate prank.

    The Jitneys, acquired at a cost of $65,000.00 apiece, are a project nurtured by Commissioner Gloria Katz, Mayor James Naugle, and other Fort Lauderdale City officials. The Galt Mile ridership for the month of October was 1,822 or 79 people each day. The DFLTMA has reported that temporary vans will continue to service the roughly 10 passengers per hour utilizing the Beach Trolley until replacement vehicles can be procured.

    The Offices of the Downtown Fort Lauderdale Transportation Management Association (DFLTMA) are located at 305 South Andrews Avenue, Suite 201 Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301. The telephone number is (954) 761-3543 and the FAX number is (954) 761-3402. DFLTMA Executive Director Paul Carpenter can be reached by e-mail at dfltma@fdn.com.


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    Goodbye, Adam!

    By John Pescosolido

    On October 31, 2002, Adam Libertella, President of the Galt Towers Condominium Association died suddenly. He led the Galt Towers Association for three years and attempted to fix everything and anything in the building. He was in his office each morning until late afternoon, greeting those who passed by, listening to each complaint, and guiding the work of the employees. Dedication doesn't totally describe his behavior, fairness doesn't totally describe his relationship with contractors or employees. He was a caring individual behind a strong exterior. He left a building where people thought the world of him. The Galt Towers lost a leader, the Galt Mile lost a friend.

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    Florida Attorney General Bob ButterworthFYI - Bob Butterworth, Attorney General for the State of Florida (previously a County and a Circuit Judge, Broward County Sheriff, and the Mayor of Sunrise), attended the meeting and voiced his support for the Mayor. General Butterworth is the only Broward resident to ever serve in the cabinet. A candidate for the District 25 State Senate seat, Butterworth stated that while he "regrets incumbent Debby Sanderson's decision to drop out of the race", he feels that his "extensive political experience in both the County and State levels of government" would serve the Galt Mile community well in the Florida State Senate. "Term limited" out of office, he was a relentless fighter as Attorney General, taking on Medicaid Fraud, crimes against the elderly, Big Tobacco, Household Finance, and other heavyweights. His political familiarity with Tallahassee and Broward County combined with his empathy for the concerns of the Galt Ocean Mile community should help pick up the "civic slack" resulting from Senator Sanderson's departure. Bob Butterworth's Broward Headquarters is located at 3471 N. Federal Highway, Suite 401, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33306. The telephone number for his Headquarters is: (954) 563-3202, the Fax number is: (954) 563-3262. E-mail is bob@butterworth2002.com and his Web Site is at http://www.butterworth2002.com.


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    Election Information

    There are two excellent web sites available for election information. They are the Broward County Web Site and the Broward County Supervisor of Elections Web Site. You can easily navigate either site to address most of your election confusion. We have also compiled an election FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) to provide more direct responses to common election inquiries. Click on the question to obtain the answer!

  • How do I register to vote?

  • Where do I vote?

  • How do I request an absentee ballot?

  • How do I take advantage of the Early In-House Absentee Voting option?

  • What are the hours and locations of the Advance Voting option?

  • What will my ballot look like?

  • What are the 13 proposed Broward County Charter Amendments?

  • What are the actual ballot questions corresponding to the proposed amendments and revisions?

    EAT THE VOTE! Eat The Vote is a nonpartisan event created to stimulate awareness among Broward County residents to get out the vote...and eat! Simply bring your valid voter registration card or your "I Voted" sticker to any of over 30 participating restaurants from Friday, November 1 through Sunday, November 10 and you will qualify for discounts and/or FREE offers (including either a complimentary beverage, appetizer or dessert). Click Here to go to the Eat The Vote website. Click Here for a complete list of participating restaurants. The funds accrued from this effort will benefit Kids Voting Broward, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization aimed at educating youth on the importance of voting and how voting preserves freedom and democracy.


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    Update: Commissioner Gloria Katz

    Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Gloria Katz spoke at a meeting of the Galt Mile Community Association on September 19, 2002 (Click to See Meeting Minutes) to alert the Association to some of the internal civic machinations affecting our neighborhood. Historically a champion of the Galt Mile, Commissioner Katz dispensed information on a wide variety of issues ranging from inconsequential to important.

    City Commissioner Gloria KatzShe alerted us to some reports about "paint markings" (possible precursors to underground construction) applied to our recently renovated street by AT&T. In view of the fact that the expense for this renovation was satisfied by the residents through assessment, Tim Welch of Engineering informed AT&T of the need to exercise "extreme caution" and restraint in evaluating the necessity of construction excavations. He requested of AT&T's management to forward any design proposing excavation to his office for scrutiny in order to recommend alternatives to cutting the surface whenever possible. Thomas Carroll, Engineering Manager of AT&T, indicated that the markings were generated by various local companies to identify all utilities prior to construction. To reduce the impact to our street, the company will "direction bore" wherever possible. The specifications for the special concrete pigment and aggregate composition were sent to AT&T to utilize when excavation is absolutely necessary and restoration is appropriate. AT&T is currently installing a state-of-the-art fiber optic network throughout the City of Fort Lauderdale.

    Other construction issues include the replacement of lights and signs currently underway on Galt Ocean Mile and progress in development of the master plan for the Galt Ocean Shoppes Neighborhood Improvement Project. The master plan serves to heighten the aesthetics, functionality, and economic viability of the area bounded by the Intracoastal Waterway on the west, A1A on the east, Oakland Park Boulevard on the south, and NE 34th Street on the north. The establishment of a mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly area with the appropriate infrastructure enhancements and amenities, traffic flow and parking considerations, and the accompanying visual enrichment afforded by decorative sidewalks, brick paver inserts, special lighting, and new landscaping will transform this area into a "destination" place for locals and tourists. The lowest responsible bidder of the firms invited to design the master plan was Architectural Alliance in the amount of $14,500. Having been reviewed by the Galt Ocean Shoppes Merchants Association, the consulting agreement with Architectural Alliance is being recommended by Commissioner Katz for approval by the Fort Lauderdale City Commission.

    Planners are also reviewing the criteria for allowing yard modifications and setbacks to protect low density areas from high density development (i.e. McMansions-style construction wherein building ends at the boundaries of the property!) The Parks Department is considering three small parks in the neighborhood for "linkage". The creation of one "greenway" resulting from this linkage would make the combined entity eligible for state funds.

    Commissioner Katz reported that continued progress is being made by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department with regard to the homeless on the Galt and North Beach areas. Patrol Officers and the Homeless Outreach Team are encouraging the use of shelters with some success. Vehicular burglaries continue to be the primary law enforcement issue in the area. A crime of opportunity, FLPD is striving to inform the area residents of the obvious advantage of locking valuables out of sight. The use of "Beat Watches" have had a positive effect by visibly rewarding those who haven't left tempting cell phones, bicycles, CD players, etc. in plain sight. Conversely, when the officers encounter the opposite situation, they leave a notice admonishing caution.

    With respect to the elections, the Commissioner relayed that she would continue to carefully scrutinize the process and evaluate the impact that the "improvements and adjustments" (new machines, better monitoring, etc.) will have. The Galt Mile Community Association considers itself fortunate to be represented by a public servant with Gloria Katz's credentials and dedication. Commissioner Katz maintains a website at http://gloriakatz.com/ and can be contacted by E-mail at GloriaK@ci.ftlaud.fl.us. For in depth access information, go to Report Card.


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    Gloria Katz - Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner - District 1

    City of Fort Lauderdale, 100 N. Andrews Avenue
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301
    Phone: (954) 828-5004, Fax: (954) 828-5667
    E-Mail Commissioner Katz

  • Commissioner Katz addressed a meeting of the Galt Mile Community Association on September 19, 2002. Click Here to read her remarks.

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    Debby P. Sanderson - Florida Senator - District 31[R]

    Capitol Office
    Senate Office Building - Room 314
    404 South Monroe Street
    Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1100
    Phone: (850) 487-5100, SunCom: 277-5100
    District Office
    4800 N.E. 20th Terrace - Suite 401
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33308-4572
    Phone: (954) 958-5500, SunCom: 423-5502
    Legislative Assistants: Vicki Pearson and Barbara Ferguson
    E-Mail Senator Sanderson

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    THE PRESIDENT'S COLUMN

    by Robert Rozema

    *******************

    Your Galt Mile Community Association is involved in many projects for the benefit of all our members. We are still looking into salvaging an Emergency Room east of the Intercoastal. Also, improvements to the corner of Oakland Park Boulevard and A1A continuing to Bayview Drive will be started in March of 2003. This project will include improvements to the parking lot around Walgreen's and new, more attractive, traffic lights and light poles. Other items on our wish list are improvements to A1A from Palm Avenue in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea to the Fort Lauderdale Public Beach. We have met with state, county, and city officials hoping to get this project started. The Galt Merchants Association is working on a plan to improve the area west of A1A between Oakland Park Boulevard and 34th Street.

    The Galt Mile lost a great friend, our newsletter publisher and editor, and website administrator, on April 24th with the sudden passing of Bob Eagan. He is greatly missed by all that knew him.

    We are very fortunate that we are able to announce that Eric Peter Berkowitz has agreed to become our newsletter publisher and editor, and website administrator. I have known Eric for several years and know that he will do an excellent job filling the shoes of his predecessors.

    Please remember to support our local merchants.

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    The GMCA’s New Web Site

    The Galt Mile Community Association has upgraded the Association’s web site and altered its format. More attention is focused on the issues that affect the lifestyles, homes, and finances of the residents of Galt Ocean Mile. The site is utilized to define and analyze our present challenges as well as impending difficulties that, despite their nascency, require illumination, informed diagnoses, and timely organized rejoinder. The web site, in conjunction with the Newsletter, disseminates the information necessary to adjudicate the critical factors and relative importance of these issues in order to better prepare the community to ultimately provide a well-coordinated unified response. The Association’s responsibility, as always, is to promptly and effectively deliver that response to our greatest political benefit.

    In addition to the greater focus on politically significant content, the web site affords our residents a plethora of useful links to a variety of interesting utilitarian sources of data. Along with the information you need to know, we provide the information you want to know. These functional improvements are accompanied by graphic design enhancements that result in a more interesting, more useful, better-organized, "user friendly" end product. The ultimate success of any web site is reflected in its "stickiness" factor. To this end, the site provides access to the weather, movie times, news, directions, travel assistance, restaurant reviews, "Fort Lauderdale at night" (entertainment), financial info, and an assortment of useful links. This inventory of upgrades enhances the individual Condominium Association sites as well.

    We aspire to a web site that serves the community it represents. The site also provides prospective homeowners investigating the Galt Mile neighborhood with an interesting and accurate reflection of our home. Future residents are able to review the many assets that accompany "Life on the Galt". We are examining several interactive modalities bent on enabling our residents direct input of ideas and feedback. Since the perfect web site has not and never will be created, we hope to approach an ideal through experimentation and communal contribution. The Galt Mile Community Association is a participatory organization. This web site intends to draw on the resources of the thousands of residents it both represents and serves.

    If you think that you have something to contribute that your neighbors might benefit from, contact us. If you have something that you would like to sell, contact us. If you think...contact us!


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    Thank you, Robert!

    Robert O. Eagan, the editor of the Galt Mile Community Association Web Site and Newsletter from December 28, 2000, passed away on April 24, 2002. Robert performed a thankless job with a degree of professionalism that distinguished all his efforts. His singular perspective and jocular format brightened the Web Site and gave the relatively dry raw material for the Newsletter interest and meaning. His passing represents a great loss, not only to those who knew and loved him, but also to the entire Galt Mile Community. The Association owed an uncollected debt of gratitude to Robert for many years. Let this serve as the first installment. Again...thank you, Robert...we'll miss you!

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    Galt Ocean Shoppes Improvement Association, Inc.

    By Dr. Alex Leeds


    On February 27th, 2002, merchants, property owners and local residents met as part of the Galt Ocean Village Improvement Association to discuss the future of the shopping district.

    A $15,000 business capital improvement program grant has been received by the group from the City of Fort Lauderdale and will provide the seed money to develop a master plan for the area. The master plan will develop new concepts for the Galt Ocean Village Shops, including street repaving, reconfiguration, landscaping, brick paved crosswalks, decorative street lighting, and economic development incentives to stimulate new businesses.

    After years of delays and waiting while the city focused resources on other neighborhoods, the merchant's group has obtained the first dollars and promises of city support. Peter Sheridan, the Assistant City Engineer, stated that this project has been moved up in priority.

    Another project which is scheduled to start in April 2003 will be to beautify the South East corner of the Galt Ocean Village Shops (Walgreen's corner), and will include the repaving and tree planting on Oakland Park Boulevard from AIA to Bayview Drive.


    Meanwhile, several new restaurants have opened in the Village as well as some new boutiques. There are still a few vacant stores, but judging by the investor interest in them, they will fill up soon.

    If you would like to receive updates on the progress in the "Village" or become involved in the future of this area, send your name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address to
    Dr. Alex Leeds (fax: 954-566-5263)

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    FIRE ON THE ROOF AT REGENCY SOUTH
    ***********************************************************


    During the installation of a new roof, a propane tank became exposed to a boiled over tar pot and a fire with a lot of black smoke resulted. The firemen arrived promptly, the building was evacuated in good time and in an orderly manner. Two hours later everyone was back in their apartment safe and sound, no worse for the experience. In fact, this event served as a needed "fire drill". and was a shining example of cooperation and efficiency by all.


    Note: Regency South has a "state of the art" fire alarm system built in and installed by a reputable company. But there was no alarm station on the roof!


    It may be worth while taking a look at the same situation at your building?

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    2001


    THE PRESIDENT'S COLUMN

    by Robert Rozema


    No progress to report on replacement of the emergency facilities vacated by the Cleveland Clinic. There are certain groups interested, and if "things" can be worked out, we may yet have emergency facilities east of the intracostal.
    Also, the Beach refurbishing that was to have been started in June has now been delayed until Later in the year. It should begin in the Hollywood area mid year and reach this area in 2003.


    Otherwise life on the Mile is becoming more attractive with the addition of the Community Center, the "new" Commercial Boulevard, and the upcoming remodeling of the Oakland Park Boulevard, which you will hear referred to as "Miles Corner".


    The snowbirds have been here en-masse as always and now as they return to the North we bid them a fond adieu until next year.

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    HIGHLIGHTS OF 49 YEARS SINCE THE INCEPTION OF THE
    GALT MILE COMMUNITYASSOCIATION

    By Charles Rossi

    MEMBER OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
    OF THE GALT MILE COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION

    ***In 1953 ***
    It all started with property sold by Arthur Galt.
    This same year Polio Vaccine was discovered by Dr. Jonas Salk.

    Ocean Front Development was slow to come.
    The Beach Club was noted as a place to have fun!

    A computer named UNIVAC was then in use.
    Civil rights leaders received much abuse.

    *** In 1962 ***
    The first American in space, Quite a feat!

    *** In 1963 ***
    President John F. Kennedy assassinated on a Dallas street

    *** In 1965 ***
    The conflict in Vietnam, a most unpopular war
    Our nation torn apart as never before

    *** In 1969 ***
    Neil Armstrong's foot on the moon, The Concord in flight

    *** In 1972 ***
    The Watergate Scandal ends Richard Nixon's political might

    *** In 1978 ***
    A non Italian Pope chose the name of John Paul.
    In England the first test tube baby gave a bawl.

    *** In 1980 ***
    Our new President is Ronald Reagan, an actor of sorts

    *** In 1981 ***
    He appoints the first woman to the Supreme Court

    Ocean Front Development was slow to come.
    The Beach Club was noted as a place to have fun!

    *** In 1986 ***
    The space ship Challenger explodes with the loss of seven lives

    *** In 1987 ***
    Dow Jones hits 2000 and continues to survive

    *** In 1989 ***
    After all these years the Berlin Wall starts to fall.
    The Eastern Bloc countries heed freedom's call

    *** During 1991-2000 ***
    Hurricanes Andrew created a devastating mess.
    We're thankful it missed the Galt Mile, I must confess.

    The Beautification of the Galt, an Earl Lifshey dream,
    It's magnificence accomplished by a Fort Lauderdale Team.

    A tunnel is opened between England and France,
    Many people were happy and found cause to dance.

    We've witnessed more changes than most of us will ever know
    Countless wars, outer space, zippergate, all part of the show

    From Eisenhower to G. W. Bush, Many a new face,
    A total of ten presidents and we've kept up the pace

    We wish you the best, what more can we say?
    Congratulations to Galt on your Forthcoming 50th Birthday!

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    BILL GATE'S ADVICE TO A HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATING CLASS

    Ø Life is not fair, get used to it.

    Ø the world won't care about your self-esteem.

    Ø the world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

    Ø You will NOT make $40,000 a year right out of high school.

    Ø If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

    Ø Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity its an opportunity.

    Ø If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault.

    Ø Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. they got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you are.

    Ø In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

    Ø Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.

    Ø Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

    Ø Be nice to nerds, chances are you will end up working for one

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    Thanks for A Thankless Job

    ********************************************************


    A Condominium Board of Directors is the elected governing body of a large group of individual families who have chosen to live without the personal responsibilities of caring for a private residence, or for whatever other personal reasons.


    To assure that fair treatment is meted out by elected boards, State Statutes and By-Laws fairly cover what a Board of Directors must and what they must not do, but often fail to direct what they should and should not do. Therein lies a giant ethical abyss of "how to", and why and who gets satisfied?


    Boards of Directors are often unfairly blamed for unethical mannerisms, often because of supposed breach of their fiduciary responsibilities concerning treatment of the "majority rules" democratic processes, when in fact, it is often a small vocal minority making the charges.


    (Every condominium has one)

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    CABLE TV OUTAGES NEED NOT BE CATASTROPHIC!


    You may not be aware that your building has a built in VHF antennae on the roof. This means that in addition to your cable installation, there is a second "old fashioned" antennae that can bring in all the local stations channels (2,4,6,7,10 and 12), to your TV set. These days most modern TV sets are made with two or more antennae inputs, making it a simple matter to turn a built-in switch on your remote control to the secondary antennae input and be able to see the local channels when the ATT cable is "down".


    Even if your TV set is not equipped with two "inputs", it's only a 30-minute job by a novice electrician to add a switch for selecting the alternative antennae.


    The "old fashioned" antennae needs to be adjusted once in a while to keep it tuned to the right direction. A once-a-year charge for this service is minimal, and well worth it to avoid bothersome cable TV interruptions!

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