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MINUTES OF GMCA ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

OCTOBER 15, 2009


The meeting was called to order at 11:00 a.m. by President Pio Ieraci.

Board Members present: Ieraci, Berkowitz, Glickfield, Hamaker, Songer, McBride, Abruzzino, Alfano, Bibace, Bindler, Comis, Daly, Freismuth, Gilligan, Nicholson-Brown, Vanek and Weck.

Approval of Minutes - The minutes of the September 17, 2009 meeting were approved.

Old and New Business

The president introduced City of Fort Lauderdale District I Commissioner and Vice Mayor Bruce Roberts, who shared information on the following:

  • Sun Trolley: Interim Director Chris Wren of the Downtown Development Authority is searching for a new Sun Trolley Executive Director; the only way it can continue is if it is supported by ridership, as well as destination businesses (Publix, Holy Cross Hospital, etc.)

  • Galt Mile Roving Security Patrol: The Vice Mayor is still looking for an adequate replacement to head the patrol. In response to a question raised as to the beach patrol hours, it was explained that the hours are random and adjusted to best address current events.

  • George Gretsas: Roberts confirmed that although the City Manager is doing a good job, nothing has been finalized.

  • Will investigate two trees broken when Chabad erected their tent – (subject brought up by Pio at Chepo’s request). Eric agreed to investigate.

Galt Mile Reading Center

Pio shared a letter from Broward Commissioner Ken Keechl congratulating the Galt Mile Community for their successful efforts to ensure the Galt Ocean Mile Library’s continuity.

Galt Ocean Drive Landscaping - Pio Ieraci

Although Chepo Vega was not in attendance, members expressed praise for the excellent job he is doing. A suggestion was made that we purchase a gift to demonstrate our appreciation for Chepo’s efforts. Dott Nicholson-Brown and Fern McBride will follow up on this.

Beach Renourishment

Following a quarterly phone conference, residents will be updated.

Galt Mile Roving Security Patrol

Eleven buildings out of sixteen have paid their annual statement. As stated, they are looking to replace current personnel.

Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz -

Since ad sales continue to exceed $700 per edition, no subsidy has been required. Some local businesses have requested copies of the newsletter for distribution.

  • September Web Site Stats: 734,625 hits; 13,945 unique site visits (first timers)

The past month’s articles:

  • September 18, 2009 - Representative Bogdanoff on Budget - Following a 2004 12-vote election squeaker, Ellyn Bogdanoff's meteoric rise through the Florida Statehouse has led her to target Jeffrey Atwater's soon to be vacant District 25 Senate seat. Until she makes the move, the House leadership is counting on the Statehouse gatekeeper and fiscal guru to help circumvent budget problems. In her Autumn Newsletter, Bogdanoff describes some of the challenges undertaken during the 2009 legislative session and measures their success from several objective perspectives. She makes reference to an economic study by the non-partisan American Legislative Exchange Conference entitled “State Winners and Losers” which credits recent legislative changes with improving the State's economic outlook, ranking it number 11 nationwide. A scholastic report by Education Week magazine similarly improves the State's educational ranking from number 31 to number 10 over the past three years. Read on - You'll feel better!

  • September 24, 2009 - Keechl: 3 Busy Years and Counting... - In his September 2009 Newsletter, Broward Vice Mayor and District 4 Commissioner Ken Keechl reviews his past 3 years on the Broward Board of County Commissioners. The Vice Mayor compares his post-election promises of November 2006 to subsequent hallmarks reached by the County Commission and his part in their actualization. The Commission's lowering of the Broward tax bite by $300 million over Keechl's timeline is matched against his post-campaign exhortation that “The overwhelming local issue of the 2006 campaign season was property taxes. They are too high – period.” Vice Mayor Keechl additionally serves up convincing examples the Board's progress in conservation, land use, animal safety and ethics - virtually every issue upon which he campaigned. See for yourself!

  • October 1, 2009 - Roberts: Post-Budget & Water Rate News - Keenly aware that we have stumbled into a historically unprecedented economic environment, District 1 Commissioner and Vice Mayor Bruce Roberts' September Newsletter considers the preparations facing the City Commission to better facilitate next year's presumably tighter budgeting constraints. While pleased with the Commission guidelines incorporated into FY 2009/2010 budget, Roberts anticipates implementing a zero-based budgeting departmental analysis, examining service fee assessments, studying and recommending pension reforms and assessing the current departmental management structure. Responding to some of the inconsistencies and inequities in the new water and wastewater rate schedule as reported by Galt Mile associations, Roberts reviews some tenets of the enabling ordinance. Read on...

  • October 8, 2009 - Galt Milers Rescue Reading Room - On September 22, 2009, the Galt Ocean Mile Reading Center dodged a bullet. Arguably the community’s most popular local asset, the mini-library has been under the County budget gun for months. Angered at the prospect of losing the only County resource dedicated to the Galt Mile neighborhood, a large group of indomitable seniors inspired their friends, neighbors and public officials to see through the engineered budgetary spin and prevent the library from falling prey to county politics. A strategic plan molded by Broward Vice Mayor Ken Keechl and expedited by the Galt Mile Community Association and Fort Lauderdale Vice Mayor Bruce Roberts came to fruition at the final Broward County budget meeting, reprieving the popular Reading Room for at least another year. Congratulations to the many thousands of Galt Mile residents who participated in this successful campaign. You've improved all of our lives! See how...

Other Business

  • New garbage and recycling receptacles are being installed along the Mile.

  • Pio discussed extending the sprinkler retrofit deadline from 2014 to 2025 with Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff. A financial impact study ordered by the Governor in his veto message of Senate Bill 714 was completed by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) and submitted to the Governor. We discussed modifying the legislative language to grandfather our buildings given their highly effective existing fire safety systems and long history of rapid response and early containment. We haven’t experienced a life threatening incident in 40 years. The data reflecting bids and installation expenses contained in the DBPR report is inaccurate and misleading.

  • Insurance - Citizens sent out large rate increases for windstorm coverage. The Palm Beach Insurance Trust is being discontinued. We discussed funding a new vehicle/program that would be acceptable to OIR. State Farm may be leaving the Florida market. Most of the provisions in the vetoed SB 714, which contained the Sprinkler Retrofit extension, would have fixed defective insurance laws passed in previous years (the Glitch Bill).

  • In the next month or two we will send letters asking if the following associations would be interested in joining the Galt Mile Community Association: Galt Ocean Terrace, Berkley Square, Vantage View, Embassy I & II, Palms I & II, Continental and Maracay.

  • The County has completed its 40-year safety inspections of commercial buildings and has started sending residential high rise buildings recertification notices.

  • An announcement was made that the late Jim Gill’s replacement on the GMCA Board of Directors is Fred Nesbitt.

Treasurer’s Report - Leah Glickfield

The Treasurer reported corrected balances as follows:

  • June - $15,570.17

  • September - 13,029.47

  • October - $12,364.19

Payments made:

  • Wage Survey - $1,350.00

  • D & O Insurance Policy - $1,203.87
    (Directors & Officers Insurance)

Ralph Hamaker made a motion to amend the Treasurer’s reports to reflect the above balances, seconded by Dott Nicholson-Brown; motion passed.

Next Advisory Board Meeting - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, November 19, 2009 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:40 p.m.

Fern McBride
Fern McBride, Secretary

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