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MINUTES OF GMCA ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

January 19, 2017


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, Nesbitt, McBride, Abruzzino, Bendis, Bibace, Chapman, Cintron, Claire, DeLaFuente, Hashek, Katz, Korn, Larson, Madgett, Mercado, Moyyad, Mullan, Pohan, Tripoli, Sacca, Santiago, Sclafani, Soucy, VanDyke and Wenberg.

Guests present: Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Bruce Roberts; Fort Lauderdale Police Department Officer Tom Gestal.

Approval of Minutes - Minutes of the December 15, 2016 Advisory Board Meeting were approved.

Old and New Business

  • Pio shared the 2017 GMCA President’s Council Location Schedule which takes place on the first Monday of the month at 7:30 p.m.

    • Engineered Life Safety System (ELSS): Pio shared the history of this project. A press conference is scheduled for next week to announce a planned legislative resolution to this costly threat. District 93 Representative George Moraitis is confident the bill will win House approval. Senator Kathleen Passidomo will file a companion bill in the other chamber. Sufficient resources are required to sustain an effective lobbying effort through the April 30 conclusion of the legislative session. Pio said that a Statehouse Representative from Hialeah is addressing condo issues. On the advice of Donna Berger and Ellyn Bogdanoff, the Governor continues to be involved. The initial objective is to file the bills

  • Pio introduced Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Bruce Roberts:

    • Wished everyone a Happy, Healthy New Year.

    • Described how planned residential and commercial development of the Las Olas Riverfront would be anchored by the City’s two tallest towers (46 and 42-stories)

    • Discussed the parking garage on A1A

    • Noting that roughly half the City’s water and sewer lines are more than 60 years old, Roberts spoke to the significant cost of replacing the City’s aging infrastructure, repairing and heightening City sea walls and improving drainage to prevent flooding

    • Unacceptable pedestrian and cyclist fatality rate

    • Extolled the appointment of Rick Maglione as Fort Lauderdale’s interim police chief

    • Discussed a pilot program to equip police officers with body cameras.

  • Pio addressed concerns about the construction of A1A along the Galt Mile:

    • Opening of the north exit to A1A from Galt Ocean Drive.

    • Traffic light near Starbuck’s.

    • Wrong turns at A1A near Nick’s Restaurant.

    • Dated and/or inadequate signage has created safety issues.

  • Pio introduced Fort Lauderdale Police Department Officer Tom Gestal, who reported:

    • The homeless issue is being addressed.

    • It is very important to be aware of your surroundings – visibility is prevention.

    • As Tax season approaches, identity thieves impersonate taxpayers to steal anticipated refunds

    • When confronted by a situation you consider threatening or suspicious, do not exit your car.

    • Explained how cameras installed at the entrance and exit of association driveways can be used to identify license plate numbers.

Galt Mile Reading Center - Terry Claire

  • Thanked Pio and Eric for their support and for distributing the library’s monthly calendar of events.

Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz

  • December 2016 Website statistics: 435,163 hits, 20,171 Unique Site Visits (First Timers)

Articles posted during the past month include:

  • December 20, 2016 - Homestead Express - 2017 - The Florida Constitution provides all legal Florida residents with a tax-saving exemption on the first and third $25,000 of the assessed value of their owner/occupied homes, condominiums, co-op apartments, and other “permanent residences” - if they qualify. Homesteaded properties are eligible for the protective “Save Our Homes” tax cap. Also available are a host of traditional and new exemptions for seniors, veterans, widows/widowers, active military, the blind, disabled persons and properties with build-outs for Mom, Dad, Grandma and/or Grandpa. Apply for exemptions in person, at an outreach event (Beach Community Center), by mail to BCPA, interactively online or by requesting “homesteads-on-wheels” (for house-bound applicants). Although exemption applications are considered “timely” if submitted by the March 1, 2017 “soft” deadline, they will still be accepted until the September 18 “hard” deadline if accompanied by any moronic excuse for tardiness. If you miss that, a “Good Cause” sob story won’t make a difference – you’re screwed!!! Learn about the 2017 incarnation of the Homestead Express!

  • December 30, 2016 - New Local Scam Targets Seniors - The holiday season is traditionally a time marked by inclusion, family, serene coexistence, charity – and a palpable uptick in fraud. The high profile personal data hacks of 70 million Target customers in 2013 and the fiasco at Sony in 2014 both took place during the holiday season, and it’s no coincidence that December was named National Identity Theft Prevention and Awareness Month. Although Holiday Season scams are a worldwide phenomenon, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) statistics confirm that the slime balls who drive this niche industry auger a preference for Floridians. Nick-named “Fraud Lauderdale” by insiders working both sides of the “Confidence Industry”, the Venice of America features the 3rd highest complaint rate in the United States - Scam Central. FLPD Galt Mile liaison, Officer Tom Gestal recently informed the Advisory Board about a new scam. After targeting seniors in a half dozen Broward municipalities, an unusual yet effective “Fraud Ring” has arrived at the Galt Mile. It can only hurt you if you don’t know how it works. To self-inoculate, check it out...

  • January 10, 2016 - December 2016 LaMarca Letter - In his December 2016 LaMarca Letter, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca highlights some of Port Everglades 2016 benchmarks, topped by Congressional approval of a funding venue for the Port’s Master Plan improvements. By paving the way to deepen the port's channel and expand its turning notch, the new Federal law will enable the port to share in a post-Panamax economic jackpot. LaMarca also applauds Broward County for out-pacing most of the State’s other metro areas for job growth, noting that District 4 is the statewide leader for creating jobs in the fields of trade, transportation, and utilities. LaMarca closes his message by enumerating the health benefits of bike sharing - a sort of testament to Broward B-Cycle on its fifth Birthday, when it became the fiscal ward of health insurance carrier AvMed. After being rescued, the bikes were rebranded. See How...

Other Business

  • Buses: BCT buses still block the handicap ramp across from Playa del Mar. Commissioner Roberts was asked to check on this.

  • John Jors may help with block maintenance oversight formerly performed by Chepo.

  • Fred Nesbitt discussed renovation issues at his building with permits, etc.

  • Jim Madgett shared information about a recent visit by the fire marshal to his building.

Treasurer’s Report - Fred Nesbitt

  • The Treasurer reported a balance of $15,965.71.

Adjournment - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, February 16, 2017 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:00 p.m.

Fern McBride
Fern McBride, Secretary

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