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MINUTES OF GMCA ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

January 18, 2018


The meeting was called to order at 11:15 a.m. by President Pio Ieraci at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

Board Members present: Ieraci, Berkowitz, Hamaker, Hashek, McBride, Nesbitt, Surdovel, Adams, Bazerghi, Bendis, Cave, Cella, Cintron, Claire, Cuneo, Deevy, Guillen, Harris, Johnson, Katz, Korn, Larson, Madgett, Mancke, Mullin, Myles, Sarelakos, Tripoli

Guests present: District 1 City Commissioner-elect Heather Moraitis; Fort Lauderdale Police Department Officers Tom Gestal and Tim Ryan; Laurie Madenfort (Galt Merchants Association).

Approval of Minutes - Minutes of the December 14, 2017 Advisory Board Meeting were approved.

Old and New Business

  • Pio introduced our new District 1 Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Heather Moraitis, who addressed several issues including parking of service workers on the Galt, installation of lighting under the bridge, lighting of trees, median landscaping on A1A

  • Pio shared information regarding:

    • Received a complaint from jeweler Jon Paul about the inadequate customer parking at his location.

    • A future three level Publix/Condo/Parking structure is under consideration.

    • The Sun Trolley Galt Route has been suspended due to insufficient ridership.

    • Sea Turtles: discussed how creating a federally approved Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) would allow the relocation of turtle nests to unpopulated coastal sites and provide for the adequate illumination of beach neighborhoods

  • Engineered Life Safety Systems – ELSS: Pio explained Ellyn Bogdanoff’s memo regarding the sprinkler systems; residents should be encouraged to send emails to lawmakers explaining the importance of the opt-out bill and their support of this issue.

  • Fort Lauderdale Police Department Officers Gestal and Ryan were introduced and conveyed the following information:

    • Good area crime rate report - no homeless on Galt.

    • Individuals should not give money to the homeless – many deliberately decline the substantial resources available to the homeless

    • Spoke about the recent bank robbery on the Mile.

  • Galt Ocean Drive Street Landscape: Ed Hashek shared an update from John Jors.

    The three environmentally compatible species of trees being tested at five locations along the Galt will be assessed this week. Discussed the utility graffiti on our streets and sidewalks.

    Galt Mile Reading Center – Terry Claire

    Reviewed programs being offered at the Galt Mile Reading Center; renovations are scheduled to begin on April 1 2018.

  • Galt Roving Patrol: Fred Nesbitt is our representative; presented a summary which Pio will send out to members.

    Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz

    • December 2017 Website statistics: 456,458 Hits, 22,018 Unique Site Visits (first timers)
    • January 2018 Website statistics: Unavailable

    Articles posted during the past month include:

    • December 17, 2017 - Fire Wiz Jeff Lucas Boosts Fire Rescue - Dispatched from each of the City's eleven Fire Stations, Fort Lauderdale firefighters annually respond to 55 thousand reported fires and medical emergencies. Fire Marshals don’t rescue people endangered by fire, or provide those threatened by medical emergencies with a chance to survive a harrowing ordeal. In the City of Fort Lauderdale, the Fire Prevention Bureau is answerable to Fort Lauderdale Fire Marshal Jeff Lucas, whose unique talent for engendering cooperation has manifested a sea change in Bureau operations. By crafting enforcement policies that incorporate the concerns of homeowners, merchants, neighborhood associations and civic organizations – while enlisting them as partners – Lucas has nosedived the number and severity of fires in Fort Lauderdale, an achievement that quietly merited a litany of honoraria from the City, the State and his peers.

    • December 27, 2017 - Round 2: ELSS Opt-Out First Update - Seeking to recapture a $multi-billion windfall, Fire Sprinkler Association lobbyists deployed a Declaratory Statement to circumvent State Law by manipulating a “skewed” interpretation of the Florida Fire Code, thereby authorizing local Fire Marshalls to demand that thousands of Florida high-rise associations retrofit a $multi-million Engineered Life Safety System (ELSS) - an arbitrary stewpot of fire safety features that invariably include a sprinkler system. Angered by this mercenary maneuver to relegate the intent of the legislature and scam $billions from association homeowners, Statehouse Representative George Moraitis (R – Fort Lauderdale) teamed with Association Advocate Ellyn Bogdanoff to file legislation providing associations with the right to opt-out of the costly ELSS. With one exception, every Florida lawmaker in both chambers approved the bills. When Governor Scott broke his word and vetoed the legislation, lawmakers began crunching a revised strategy for 2018 - until fate smiled – and convincingly inveighed the legislation’s current readiness for Round 2.

    • January 5, 2018 - December 2017 LaMarca Letter - In his December 2017 LaMarca Letter, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca cites the newly built Ravenswood Bus Operations and Maintenance Facility and the new Animal Care and Adoption Center for having respectively scored Gold and Silver LEED certifications; apprises travelers about using the recently released 2018 Port Everglades Cruise Guide to build an entire vacation around a cruise; reminds Broward boaters to heed the slower seasonal speed limits to avoid collisions with migrating Manatees; and applauds the Broward Water Partnership Rebate Program for saving a record breaking 1.5 billion gallons of water as of October 2017. While LaMarca’s Holiday Season missive extolls two recent County projects for meriting LEED Certification, few of his Broward constituents are conversant with the LEED Program, or why their elected officials celebrate LEED certified projects. This may help...

    • January 16, 2018 - Delivering Disney: Keeping the Promise - When Galt Ocean Drive residents voluntarily self-assessed funding for the broad range of civic upgrades known as the Galt Mile Improvement Project in 1995 (pink aggregate sidewalks, new traffic signals and signage, interred utility lines, pavered crosswalks, new landscaping, etc.), the City agreed to maintain the many improvements in “a Disney-like manner.” They didn’t. Having watched the landscaping cycle through 12 years of avoidable brownouts, frustrated Galt officials were delighted when Commodore resident José “Chepo” Vega volunteered to pressure the City into keeping its promise. After eight years of fighting to keep our home safe and beautiful, Chepo retired last year. Scrambling to fill his shoes, neighborhood officials serendipitously hit the jackpot when Galleon resident John Jors picked up the gauntlet and hit the ground running. For some insight into his first few months as the neighborhood’s block maintenance liaison, Read on...

    Other Business

    • Fred Nesbitt spoke walking dogs on the Mile. Discussed the possible installation of dog bag dispensers and receptacles for their disposal, and if the City should be responsible for the bags & receptacles; dogs on the beach (emotional support & service animals).

    • Fred spoke about the Sewer & Water Bonds. A study/survey is to be done.

    • The next City Council meeting is scheduled for January 23, 2018.

    Treasurer’s Report - Fred Nesbitt

    • The Treasurer reported a balance of $12,451.35.

    • Berkley South has joined the Galt Mile Community Association.

    Adjournment - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, February 15, 2018 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

    The meeting was adjourned at 1:10 p.m.

    Fern McBride
    Fern McBride, Secretary

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