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MINUTES OF GMCA ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

OCTOBER 17, 2013


The meeting was called to order at 11:16 a.m. by President Pio Ieraci at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

Board Members present: Ieraci, Berkowitz, Hamaker, Nesbitt, Surdovel, McBride, Adams, Ascher, Bazerghi, Bendis, Dawson, Hashek, Katz, Larson, LeDuc, Rollo, Seaman, Solewin and Swanson.

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

Approval of Minutes - Minutes of the September 19, 2013 Advisory Board Meeting were approved.

Old and New Business

  • Pio confirmed that the 2nd Annual Galt Mile Wine & Food Festival will be held on March 1, 2014. Relevant information will be distributed to member associations following an operational meeting scheduled for next week. A limited number of free tickets will be made available for the upcoming Boca Raton Wine & Food Festival.

  • Pio introduced Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Bruce Roberts, who spoke on the following issues:

    • Update on Commission Meetings and future elections, regulatory obstacles delaying beach renourishment permits and an Army Corps of Engineers study of sand resources off the Southeast Florida coast.

    • Reported on the October 8, 2013 A1A Greenway presentation at the Community Center by Diana Alarcon of the Fort Lauderdale Transportation & Mobility Department.

    • Asked Advisory Board members and other Galt Mile residents with issues to notify his office.

    • Discussed the controversial proposed A1A Greenway and its anticipated adverse impact on traffic patterns along A1A and Galt Ocean Drive. Following the discussion, Pio will distribute copies of an online Transportation & Mobility Department project presentation available on the City of Fort Lauderdale website.

    • Questions asked about rumored delays to the Segment II beach renourishment plan and whether certain overflowing trash cans along Galt Ocean Drive are being emptied often enough.

    • Asked about recent ocean tests for fecal bacteria: there is none on our beaches.

  • Pio introduced Officer Tom Gestal, Fort Lauderdale Police Department, who addressed the following:

    • Locally, there have recently been 3 larcenies, retail thefts, vehicle burglary, and a stolen car.

    • Members were cautioned to keep jewelry and cell phones out of sight if left in a parked vehicle.

    • Use bag boy service at grocery stores (as practiced in Publix); will speak to Winn-Dixie management about enhancing security in the parking lot by promoting carry-out service.

    • Since they are occasionally obscured by parked buses, be aware of bike lanes.

  • Pio spoke about a retributive “human rights” ordinance cynically passed by the Broward County Commission that arbitrarily discriminates against associations. Representative George Moraitis told him that although the State Attorney is hesitant to get directly involved with this issue, legislation is being planned to overturn the ordinance. Commissioner Roberts will ask the City Commission to support such a proposal.

Galt Mile Merchants - Linda LeDuc

Linda reported that the Merchant’s Association now has 15 members. They also have a web site: galtocean.org.

She promised to send an updated membership list to Pio.

Galt Mile Security Patrol

Discussed whether fishing on the Galt Mile beach is permitted. This will be investigated and verified.

Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz

  • September 2013 Web Site Stats: 566,236 hits; 16,591 Unique Site Visits (First Timers)

Articles posted during the past month include:

  • September 24, 2013 - LaMarca: Back to Work - In his September 2013 message to constituents, Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca seeks to honor the heroes of Patriot Day (changed in 2012 to the National Day of Service and Remembrance) with a plan to provide disabled veterans with free transportation. The “Patriot Pass” he describes is remarkably similar to the “Patriot Passport” distributed by Miami-Dade Transit to honorably discharged veterans who are permanent residents of Miami-Dade and whose annual income is $22,000 or less. To evidence the County’s fiscal stability, LaMarca cites Broward’s unemployment rate, which remains below those of the State and Nation. He conveys the Commission’s intention to minimally maintain reserves at two months of general fund operating revenues or expenditures. Finally, our District 4 County Commissioner thanks Galt Mile residents for participating in an eerie public hearing during which the Commissioners approved a law intimating that ordinary people are morally ill-equipped to govern themselves.

  • September 30, 2013 - A Look at the Proposed Law - When they passed the original Beach Lighting ordinance in 2003, City Commissioners never anticipated that its strict interpretation would cripple entire neighborhoods and endanger people’s lives. Pressured by FWC and radical members of Sea Turtle support groups to enforce the law as written, City officials blacked out entire neighborhoods and darkened State Road A1A. In the ensuing backlash, complaints poured in from coastal residents fearful of walking down their own block after dark, endangered drivers and pedestrians, angry tourists who vowed to never return, struggling merchants in faltering commercial beach neighborhoods and residents flustered by inconsistent and contradictory enforcement policies. As soap box demagogues on either side of this issue sniped at one another, City officials realized that the vast majority of City residents – including most responsible environmentalists – favored a beach lighting plan that protected both people and sea turtles. When City Commissioners charged City Manager Lee Feldman with creating a vehicle for this expanded objective, he decided to use the State’s model Beach Lighting Ordinance as its foundation. Unfortunately, it was never meant to be plugged into a municipal code. Read on to learn why - and how it needs to be clarified before it is etched in stone.

  • October 7, 2013 - Plaza South Lights the Way - On June 28, 2013, Plaza South President Andy Surdovel, who also serves on the Galt Mile Community Association (GMCA) Board of Directors, contacted some of his peers in the neighborhood association. Under a City-issued permit, Plaza South was completing long-planned upgrades to its pool deck. When designing a deck lighting plan, their landscape architect selected fixtures approved on the Florida Fish and Wildlife website. A permit application submitted to the City was retuned unapproved with an enigmatic turtle graphic stamped on the document. Upon contacting the City to learn why the building department responded to their application with a marine hieroglyphic, the project engineer was told that since the project extends east of the Coastal Construction Control Line (CCCL), it must also be approved by the State. Surdovel strapped up his boots before embarking on a regulatory scavenger hunt that will soon be duplicated by neighboring Galt Mile associations. For Surdovel’s unprecedented itinerary and regulatory roadmap, Read On...

  • October 15, 2013 - New CAM Law - HB 7119 - Since House Bill 7119 addressed issues that primarily impact Homeowner Associations (HOAs); it sailed through the 2013 legislative session below the radar of most Galt Mile Condo and Co-op residents. Sponsored by Representatives Mike LaRosa (R - St. Cloud), Joe Gibbons (D - Hallandale Beach) and Frank Artiles (R - Miami) with a collateral push from the House Judiciary Committee and the House Business & Professional Regulation Subcommittee, the new law extended regulations that have long protected Condominium (Chapter 718) and Cooperative (Chapter 719) members to also shield parcel owners in Homeowner Associations. Leery of an attempt to usurp the right of HOA members to Home Rule, the bill was meticulously monitored throughout the legislative vetting process. The controversy surrounding HB 7119 blurred one of its less well known objectives. While primarily revising provisions in Chapter 720 (The Homeowners Association Act), the bill created a new subsection (7) to Section 468.436(2) F.S., relating to licensed community association managers. In short, Managers or Management Companies that violate provisions in Chapters 718, 719 or 720 get a whiff of the abyss. Read on...

Other Business

  • Eric Berkowitz was commended for the Galt Mile Newsletter. The article about anticipated compliance obstacles in a proposed revision to the Municipal beach lighting ordinance was applauded. Commissioner Roberts thanked Pio and Eric for their work on these issues.

  • A tractor/trailer that overturned in front of Plaza South caused problems on the street and sidewalk.

  • Discussed whether associations are required to comply with handicap regulations applicable to public swimming pools. Legally, association pools are private property, not subject to public protocols.

  • Discussed a Fish and Wildlife ruling on seaweed removal that punished several associations because Nova monitors failed to perform their responsibilities on schedule.

  • Discussed how recent legislation affected the right of unit owners to request information about employee wages.

  • Discussed rehabilitation of the Winn/Dixie basement/garage area and an accumulation of debris behind the store.

Treasurer’s Report - Given by Fred Nesbitt for Leah Glickfield

The Treasurer’s report given by Fred Nesbitt showed a balance of $18,064.43.

Adjournment - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, November 21, 2013 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:08 p.m.

Fern McBride
Fern McBride, Secretary

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