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MINUTES OF GMCA ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

October 19, 2017


The meeting was called to order at 11:14 a.m. by President Pio Ieraci at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

Board Members present: Ieraci, Berkowitz, Hamaker, Hashek, McBride, Nesbitt, Surdovel, Abruzzino, Adjemian, Babace, Bazerghi, Bendis, Ciento, Cintron, Gonell, Kessler, Larson, Madgett, Sacca, Santiago and Wenberg

Guests present: Fort Lauderdale District 1 City Commissioner Bruce Roberts, District 1 City Commission candidate Heather Moraitis, Fort Lauderdale Police Department Officers Tom Gestal and Tim Ryan, Bob Wolfe of the Property Appraisers Office.

Approval of Minutes - Minutes of the September 26, 2017 Advisory Board Meeting were approved.

Old and New Business

  • Bike Facilities Project: Pio explained that the Oakland Park Bicycle Lanes Project had been proposed for Galt Ocean Drive. After discussing the pros and cons, implementation on Galt Ocean Drive was rejected as if would compromise safety for both drivers and bicyclists. Pio made a motion that we submit to Fort Lauderdale our opposition to the bicycle project on Galt Ocean Drive. The motion was seconded and unanimously approved.

  • Engineered Life Safety Systems – ELSS: Support, financially and otherwise, is needed across the State of Florida. It is critically important that this support be delivered immediately. Discussed gathering endorsement letter and using TV.

  • Pio introduced City Commissioner Bruce Roberts, who addressed and responded to the following issues:

    • Concerns expressed about the remaining piles of debris from Irma; bulk pick-uo in neighborhoods will resume November 1st; to report a problem, call 954-828-2000; lights are still out on the Mile.

    • Discussed ongoing problem with busses on the Galt; will send another letter demanding their removal, Broward County Transit should be responsible for repairing damage caused by the busses.

    • Some of our sidewalks are in need of repair.

    • We were reminded that Bruce will be running for Fort Lauderdale Mayor.

  • Fort Lauderdale Police Department Officers Tom Gestal and Tim Ryan were introduced. They addressed several issues, including the homeless, prostitution, locking automobiles, motorcycles, available assistance when hurricanes approach.

  • Galt Ocean Drive Street Landscape: Ed Haskell reported that John Jors will be meeting about replacing the silver buttonwood trees with more wind resistant foliage. Hopefully, there is something more tolerant to our conditions which can be agreed upon.

  • Wage & Salary Survey: The Wage & Salary Survey that was distributed was not returned by many of our buildings. The survey will be sent again, the goal being to distribute the results in November

Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz

  • September 2017 Website statistics: 505,750 Hits, 20,332 Unique Site Visits (first timers)

Articles posted during the past month include:

  • September 20, 2017 - August 2017 LaMarca Letter - In his August 2017 LaMarca Letter, District 4 County Commissioner Chip LaMarca regrets the Broward Board’s decision to decline a replay of the nominal FY 2017 millage reduction he successfully spearheaded last year; notes that WorldCity’s annual compilation of Port Everglades’ trade statistics heralds a rebound after several years of tentative growth; reviews the fast-growing number of new routes that contributed to FLL’s status as the fastest growing large hub airport in the country; advises constituents to enroll in AlertBroward, a new emergency notification system that provides subscribers with important information about an emergency; and closes by inviting Broward students to participate in the Mayor’s Art Challenge, a competition sponsored by the Broward Cultural Division.

  • September 30, 2017 - Water & Sewer Rates Roller Coaster - On August 28, 2017, Galt Mile officials Pio Ieraci, Eric Berkowitz and Fred Nesbitt met in City Hall with Commissioner Bruce Roberts, City Manager Lee Feldman and staffers from the utility billing department - specifically - those who generate invoices for water and sewer services. It was the latest in a series of meetings convened to correct a longstanding billing inequity that unfairly inflates water and sewer charges for association homeowners. Significantly enhanced during a 2009 rate reconfiguration implemented to plump water and sewer revenues prior to a City venture into the bond market, the billing disparity has since widened from a series of annual rate hikes. Correcting this discriminatory invoicing policy will save every Galt Mile condo or co-op owner hundreds of dollars each year. Read on...

  • October 10, 2017 - The Irma Dividend - On September 26, 2017, the Galt Mile Advisory Board convened an 11 a.m. luncheon meeting at Casa Calabria in the Ocean Manor Hotel. Not surprisingly, the meeting agenda was dominated by Hurricane Irma. Following a series of association damage reports submitted by officials from a dozen member condominiums and cooperatives, GMCA President Pio Ieraci announced that Galt Mile homeowners, tenants and business owners are eligible for financial relief from FEMA, and could apply in person, online or by calling the agency. After detailing his experience with the process, Ieraci concluded, “If a claim is approved, funds can either be mailed to the applicant, or deposited directly into his or her bank account.” While some of our neighbors sailed through unscathed, thousands more were forced to purchase airline tickets and inland hotel rooms - while others had to replace food that spoiled when power was interrupted. Galt Mile residents who sustained losses shouldn’t hesitate to apply for relief, especially since it was funded by your prior contributions to Internal Revenue.

  • October 19, 2017 - September 2017 LaMarca Letter - In his September 2017 Newsletter, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca inventories the impacts of Hurricane Irma, lists Recovery Resources that serve as a financial safety net for individuals, repairs damage to their homes, offsets Businesses losses, and provides low interest Small Business Administration Disaster loans that help return storm victims to solvency; lists important Telephone Numbers that help residents restore lost access to communications, protect against post-storm scams and report price gouging for survival necessities. He observes that the Segment 2 beach renourishment exceeded expectations as a bulwark against Storm Surge while protecting $billions in upland property; and describes how the County teamed with the Humane Society to rescue abandoned pets and rebuild their strength before boarding them on flights to shelters across the country. After Hurricanes Harvey and Irma steamrolled Texas and Florida, the resulting shortage of recovery resources triggered a bidding war that spanned the southeastern states and fueled a regional epidemic of price gouging and actionable contract violations.

    Other Business

    • Heather Moraitis was introduced and gave a short presentation on her running for City Commissioner.

    • Water/Sewer Rates - Fred Nesbitt reported information and a new proposal about our water and sewer rates. Fred will send this information out.

    • Bob Wolfe of the Property Appraisers Office was introduced. He informed us that he was available for answering questions.

    Treasurer’s Report - Fred Nesbitt

    • The Treasurer reported a balance of $14,806.88.

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

    Our December meeting will be held on the second Thursday of the month which is December 14, rather than our usual third Thursday of the month.

    The meeting was adjourned at 12:35 p.m.

    Fern McBride
    Fern McBride, Secretary

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