MINUTES OF GMCA ADVISORY BOARD MEETING
OCTOBER 15, 2011
The meeting was called to order at 11:00 a.m. by President Pio Ieraci.
Board Members present: Ieraci, Berkowitz, Glickfield, Hamaker, Nesbitt, McBride, Adams, Bazerghi, Bendis, Bibace, Effron, Katkin, Kessler, Quintero, Short, Solewin and Vanek.
Guests present: John “Jack” Seiler, Mayor, City of Fort Lauderdale; Loretta Cronk, City of Fort Lauderdale Recycling Program; and Ken Harrison, Broward Art Guild.
Approval of Minutes - Minutes of the September 15, 2011 Advisory Board meeting were approved.
Old and New Business
Pio introduced Loretta Cronk of the City of Fort Lauderdale Recycling Program, who shared information about the program, comparing participation by single family homeowners with residents living in multi-family buildings. Playa del Mar unit owners who participated in the program for 2 years earned money on behalf of the neighborhood association which was passed back to Playa del Mar. Pio will send a memo to our buildings with information regarding the recycling program. Program details are available on the City website.
Pio introduced Jack Seiler, Mayor of the City of Fort Lauderdale, who shared the following:
Trash rates may decrease for associations, as they have for single family homes serviced by the City. Check vendor contracts when they are renewed.
Taxes: millage rates have been level for 3 consecutive years (4.11%).
By eliminating 200 unfilled positions over 3 years, the City reduced its work force without impacting services. A negotiated reduction in pension benefits for new city hires translated into a 21% savings per employee. Public safety wasn’t affected by cuts. (Pio complimented the Fort Lauderdale Police Department for their recent professionalism.)
Fire Station: Our outdated Fire Station 54 at 3200 NE 32nd Street is scheduled for renovation. The current facility will remain in service during construction, which should begin in 7 - 9 months.
Budget: Seiler thanked the Budget Advisory Board for its contribution to realizing an excellent budget. Fort Lauderdale’s financial situation is preferable to those of neighboring municipalities such as Hollywood.
Tourism: Fort Lauderdale has the lowest tourism tax in the country and has enjoyed 23 straight months of tourism growth.
Crime and homelessness is a problem. (Discussion ensued regarding impressing upon our residents the importance of not giving food and/or money to the homeless on the Mile).
Pio asked Mayor Seiler for any help he is able to give to expedite the long-delayed beach renourishment project.
Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz -
- September Web Site Stats: 667,115 hits; 14,713 unique site visits (first timers)
The past month’s articles:
September 11, 2011 - Galt Mile Winn-Dixie Ups its Game - Notwithstanding divergent opinions about the neighborhood Winn-Dixie’s service and product lines, raw convenience prompts almost every Galt Mile resident to cruise the aisles on a regular basis. When Winn-Dixie corporate sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection 5 years ago, the Galt Ocean Mile store appeared as if it was conducting a garage sale. Products were left in boxes strewn about the premises. Shelves were half empty and employees behaved as if they were nervously awaiting severance checks. Although unlikely to soon breach any supermarket “A” list, they have made a remarkable transformation. This year, corporate invested in a cart containment system that will insure availability while clearing the carts from our sidewalks, new high speed IBM checkout technology and a system for sanitizing equipment handled by shoppers. If they overcome the supernatural force responsible for their being out of whatever anyone needs at the time that they need it, we may soon be able to forego those bi-monthly “fill in” trips to Publix.
September 4, 2011 - Roadmap to a Port Everglades Windfall - In his September 2011 Newsletter, District 91 Statehouse Representative George Moraitis brings focus to a critically important financial opportunity that, if managed properly, will inject $billions into the local economy, funnel truckloads of tax revenue into state and regional coffers, and pluck thousands of local residents from the unemployment rolls. When the Panama Canal is reconfigured to accommodate supersized transports, tankers and cruise ships in less than three years, plummeting shipping costs will significantly pump up international patterns of commerce. If Port Everglades successfully competes with other East Coast and Gulf ports for an impending trade windfall, it could deliver a steroidal jerk to the State and local economic recovery. Moraitis intends to bag the financing required for implementing a County “Master Plan” to prepare the Port for this bonanza.
October 5, 2011 - The National Delegate Dump - In 2008, Florida lawmakers sought to heighten their state’s influence over the Presidential election. To grab the national spotlight, they enacted a statute moving Florida’s Presidential Primary from March to late January. Having violated National Party rules against presidential primaries held before February, unless its January 31, 2012 primary is rescheduled, Florida will lose half of its 99 delegates - a prospect that has enraged grass-roots Republican and Democrat activists. Infuriated by Florida’s attempt to usurp their historical status, the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina leapfrogged Florida, moving their primaries from February to January. Ironically, while state and local party leaders struggle to heal the rift between their national counterparts and Florida’s intransigent lawmakers, the events set in motion by Florida could reduce the state’s nominating contest to little more than a predictive ripple.
President Ken Harrison of the Broward Art Guild passed out brochures describing their programs and promoting a fund raiser that will contribute to enhancing the area.
The board discussed inviting Congressman Allen West to a meeting. A February event was suggested to exploit the seasonal influx of local residents.
Programs at the Beach Community Center are heavily attended.
Discussed the jurisdictional obstacles to making operational changes in traffic signal management (traffic lights).
Commissioner Bruce Roberts and assistant Robbi Uptegrove were recognized for their many contributions to the community.
Franci Bindler is in the hospital; Leah will send a card.
Galt Mile Security Patrol incident reports are sent to associations every day. A meeting with Police District 1 Major Raul Diaz will be scheduled to elicit local crime statistics and clarify the patrol’s importance to non-participating buildings.
Pio shared a note from Galleon President and GMCA Board member Donna Oppert about the road striping on 41st Street.
Treasurer’s Report - Leah Glickfield
The treasurer reported that we have a balance of $14,243.34. All associations have paid their annual dues.
Next Advisory Board Meeting - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, November 17, 2011 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:45 p.m.
Fern McBride, Secretary
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