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MINUTES OF GMCA ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

OCTOBER 21, 2010


The meeting was called to order at 11:10 a.m. by President Pio Ieraci.

Board Members present: Ieraci, Berkowitz, Glickfield, Hamaker, Nesbitt, Oppert, McBride, Adams, Bazerghi, Bindler, Nicholson-Brown, D’Ambrosio, Gonzalez, W. Jordan, Katkin, Short, Vanek and Weck.

Approval of Minutes - The minutes of the September 16, 2010 meeting were approved.

Old and New Business

Pio introduced Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Bruce Roberts, who shared the following:

  • The budget process has been completed. The millage rate was not raised. Some unfilled positions will be officially eliminated next year.

  • A meeting will be held on October 27th to further refine the selection process for a new City Manager. The process will take 6 to 9 months. Acting City Manager Allyson Love will continue to serve in her present capacity. The Commission wants to insure that the process is not rushed.

  • 195 positions will be eliminated through attrition over a 3-year period.

  • Healthy reserves have been maintained.

Pio complimented Commissioner Robert’s Assistant, Robbi, for her efficiency whenever she is called upon. He also commented that the city budget open workshops are beneficial because they verify the accuracy of reviewed information.

After Acting Major Michael Gregory of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department (who temporarily assumed the operational responsibilities for District 1 Major Raul Diaz during his service in Iraq) was introduced, a request was made of the Commissioner and Acting Major Gregory to look into the status of our “person on the bench,” who reportedly was to receive Social Security benefits and move to his own apartment.

Acting Major Gregory distributed a fact sheet about bicycle registration. A time will be scheduled at the Community Center and another location along the Mile for bicycle registration. He stated that there are no major crime levels on the Galt. When asked whether there is an increase in crime during the season, he responded “more people, more activity.”

When Major Gregory was asked how the Security Patrol impacted the crime rate, he said that the rate in the patrolled areas was lower than surrounding areas.

Fire Safety – Issues

Regarding opting out:

  • Fire marshals in certain areas are maliciously pressuring associations to update, repair, etc. in a manner inconsistent with the new statute. CAN is researching ways to prevent this.

  • Although some attorneys have advised associations that there is no need to opt-out immediately, Pio recommended that we go forward with the opt-out process ASAP in order to send a strong message that the legislature did the right thing by passing the relief statute. The Sprinkler Associations will be monitoring association activity in hopes of reenacting a new sprinkler mandate.

  • Ralph stated that there were 3 options for opting out.

  • Association attorney Donna Berger will be attending the November Presidents Council Meeting to address questions about the opt-out process.

Galt Ocean Drive Street Landscape

Chepo has been working diligently; the landscaping looks better than it has for a long time. The leveling of the sidewalks will soon be addressed.

Parking on the grass across the street from the Ocean Manor is still a problem. It was suggested that a call be made to Frank Talerico requesting that he instruct his parking employees to not park on the grass.

Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz -

  • September 2010 Web Site Stats: 730,723 Hits, 11,726 Unique Site Visits (first timers)

The past month’s articles:

  • September 14, 2010 - Keechl Summarizes New Ethics Code - Ken Keechl is pleased with the recent approval of an ethics code for Broward County Commissioners. Unlike many of his peers on the County Board, the Broward Mayor never viewed compliance with the 2002 and 2008 electoral mandates as a blot on the Commission’s integrity. Instead, he believed that their eight-year delay in passing a viable ethics code further fueled a public perception of impropriety, unnecessarily postponing a remission of the County’s scarred reputation. Although Keechl opposed the County Commission’s adulteration of the version created by the Ethics Commission, he believes that the amended code approved by his peers contains enough of the original version to provide an effective deterrent to corruption. A longtime supporter of ethics reform, Mayor Keechl’s September 2010 Newsletter summarizes the new code’s major elements and optimistically envisions a prospect for future improvements. On the whole, he’s right!

  • September 25, 2010 - FHFA Threatens Assn Mortgage Lockout - Since the onset of the recession, members of Common Interest Communities have good reason to feel like rats on a shock plate. Thanks to last year’s legislative footwork by Statehouse Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff, State Senator Mike Fasano, a sympathetic legislature and a Governor who gratefully took his hand off the veto switch, association members dodged big-time retrofit assessments for a half dozen special interest-driven projects. As the celebratory reaction to this long-awaited financial relief waned, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) pumped out another prospective ulcer for Community Association members. Some confused federal bureaucrats stumbled on a way to render half the association units in the country unmarketable. Unable to pass up the opportunity to wreak havoc in the lives of 30 million association residents, they kicked the process into gear on August 13th. NOT TO WORRY! We have about a month to convince them to reconsider.

  • October 5, 2010 - Galt Reading Room Rescue - Part II - Last year, when Broward budgetary convulsions verged on closing the popular Galt Mile Library, residents from every Galt Mile Association joined to prevent Broward budget politics from gobbling up the only County resource uniquely dedicated to Galt Mile taxpayers. The past year's declining property values have intensified the strain on County tax revenues, reviving a political threat to the Reading Center's negligible funding. A survival plan formulated by Broward Commissioner Ken Keechl and implemented by the Galt Mile Community Association, "Friends of the Galt Mile Library" and City Commissioner Bruce Roberts elicited roughly 4000 petition signatures, 800 letters to Commissioners and Resolutions passed by Associations confirming the Library's community significance. On September 28th, when more than 100 local library supporters dramatically punctuated the documentation at the final Broward budget meeting, Mayor Keechl announced “The Galt Library is fully funded in the current budget.” However, the night was still young...

  • October 16, 2010 - Fiscal Fraud Freezes Foreclosures - On June 7, 2010, team leader Jeffrey B. Stephan of GMAC’s document execution team opened Pandora’s Box while being deposed in Palm Beach County for a Maine foreclosure case. After establishing that he personally signed between 8,000 and 12,000 mortgage assignments and affidavits (in support of Summary Judgment) every month that were used by GMAC, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in over 100,000 foreclosure cases, he admitted that the only thing he ever saw was the name of the mortgagee before applying his notarized signature, despite the absence of any notary. While similarly testifying in October, former employee of the David Stern law firm (and foreclosure mill), paralegal Tammie Lou Kapusta, described a foreclosure factory where the lack of legal records was compensated for with forged, pre-notarized and backdated affidavits and assignments. Since crooked lawyers have been illegally ripping off homeowners for crooked bankers for centuries, it initially didn't seem to warrant freezing the real estate market in most of the country. In fact, the underlying problem could bury the market for decades unless Federal and State regulators expeditiously craft a resolution to the dilemma.

Other Business

  • Pio distributed a memo dated June 9, 2010 from the City of Fort Lauderdale to 4280 Galt Ocean Drive (Plaza South) stating that their property “is not located in a Special Flood Hazard Area.” The zone has not changed; Pio will send out email giving references and online access to the city’s web site regarding this information.

  • Ralph Hamaker: Il Lugano is raising their rate to $159 when the season begins. To get the neighborhood rate, you must register. Bill Jordan will inquire to see if the Mile can register as a “block.”

  • Marlene Katkin raised a question regarding lenders who refuse to service buildings without adequate reserves.

  • Donna Oppert had a sub meter installed to monitor water usage in her building.

  • Grandma’s Restaurant will have a new owner.

  • A Greek restaurant is planned at the former Denny’s location.

  • Fred Nesbitt asked if any grants are available to improve the Galt Merchants area.

Treasurer’s Report - Leah Glickfield

The treasurer reported that we have a balance of $10,120.77.

Next Advisory Board Meeting - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, November 18, 2010 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:50 p.m.

Fern McBride
Fern McBride, Secretary

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