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MINUTES OF GMCA ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

OCTOBER 25, 2007


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

Board Members present: Ieraci, Berkowitz, Glickfield, Gill, Guttman, Hamaker, Songer, McBride, Alfano, Baker, Nicholson-Brown, Creal, Freismuth, Gilligan, Gonzalez, Lecht, Leeds, Mayer, Pohan, Saaf and Weck.

Approval of Minutes - The minutes of May 31, 2007 were approved.

Old & New Business

President Ieraci welcomed and introduced Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Christine Teel. Commissioner Teel was accompanied by John Hoelzle, Parking & Fleet Services Director for the City of Fort Lauderdale. Commissioner Teel spoke to the following issues:

  • Fairwinds (Ireland’s Inn) – plans are vastly improved. Approval of projects is based on quality, not “name.”

  • Code Compliance Frustration – Despite the imposition of daily fines on the seriously deteriorating structure at 3365 Galt Ocean Drive (adjacent to Jon Paul Jewelers), owner Rohan Kelley has successfully postponed compliance with a magistrate’s rehabilitation mandate, recklessly endangering area residents and neighboring businesses. The City is reluctant to commence foreclosure proceedings to assume the property. Since he is an attorney (whose grandfather was Fort Lauderdale’s first Mayor), he is aware that in this new forum, the court will initially be predisposed to grant requests for more undeserved delays, creating a bureaucratic Catch-22. The Commissioner explored more efficient methods of soliciting the owner’s cooperation.

  • Sun Trolley – Broward County isn’t required to fund our local bus service if utilization drops below 6 persons per hour. Presently, patronage is averaging 6.2 persons per hour. Unless we successfully promote riding the trolley, it will be stripped of funding.

  • Parking meters – Addressed by Director Hoelzle (see below)

  • Spoke about the Galt Ocean Village Shoppes Master Plan created years ago and opined that it needs to be reorganized around effectively eliciting the participation of local merchants.

  • Parking Meter Study – To accurately ascertain the City’s fiscal downside of returning the parking meter time to 6:00 pm, the Parking Division is conducting a 6 month review. When completed, the results may justify a local policy reversal.

  • Pio – Spoke to our situation regarding parking meters and asked Commissioner Teel and Mr. Hoelzle to seriously reconsider the time change after the 6 month review. Commissioner Teel agreed to convene a special meeting devoted to parking meter issues. The proposal was favorably received by the attending members.

Fort Lauderdale’s Parking & Fleet Services Director John Hoelzle

  • Director Hoelzle reviewed the history of Galt Mile area parking rates and times.

  • He also sought to correct misconceptions about procedures followed by the Parking Division prior to implementation of the new parking meter rates and times: Initially, public meetings were held to solicit local input about the increases. In August, Parking and Fleet Services delivered letters to every local merchant explaining the impending parking meter rate and time changes. For the first few weeks that the new rules were in effect, violators received warnings instead of tickets.

  • Hoelzle enumerated various types of meters, permits and “smart” cards designed to facilitate metered parking. In the near future, a dedicated debit card will be available for use with every City parking meter. When asked why the meters couldn’t be adapted to accept existing debit and credit cards, he explained that the meter manufacturers refused to share their proprietary software technologies with one another or with Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Discovery, etc.

  • Dominic Santorelli of Nick’s Italian Restaurant and Joseph Alu of Go to Health Fitness expressed their dissatisfaction with the way that parking meter rates were increased and times were extended; the negligible benefits don’t justify the devastating impact on their businesses.

Galt Mile Memorial Walk - An architectural representation of the proposed project was funded by the City. The storyboard was used to depict the project’s size and scope. GMCA has applied for NCIP matching funds to help finance the neighborhood improvement project.

Il Lugano – Ralph Hamaker - Trees on 34th Street have been planted. They are close to getting their Certificate of Occupancy. The project will remain as condo/hotel. Commissioner Teel said that the inadequate garage lighting still needs to be addressed. One FPL pole is to be removed and the City will be removing the three difficult to navigate sidewalk extension “areas” from the road. .

Galt Mile Roving Security Patrol - Each building should be receiving copies of the generic daily activity reports. There has been a reduction in crime since the inception of the program, especially as compared to neighboring communities. Our homeless person has been pressured to leave. Two buildings have not paid at this time: Playa del Mar (should be resolved at next Board Meeting) and Ocean Manor (waiting for check). When asked about the prospect for City funding, Commissioner Teel requested additional information about project costs. To properly demonstrate widespread community project support, she also asked for copies of the relevant meeting minutes. Pio will deliver a price breakdown for the patrol (salaries, etc.)

Galt Merchants Association – Marilyn Leeds - Since Hurricane Wilma, the Galt Ocean Village Shoppes area has suffered a record high in the number of vacant shops. There is a new gym on 33rd Street that charges $30.00 per month for unlimited visits. Gwen Rubino of Bank United would like to attend our meetings as a member of the Galt Merchants Association. Marilyn expressed disappointment about the Opus South withdrawal from the La Reserve location. She mentioned the planned enhancement of area lighting and signage using part of the $100,000.to secure matching grants.

She asked that the long missing street sign be replaced at 33rd Street. Marilyn introduced Galt Merchant Association members Joseph Alu, Jr. of Go to Health Fitness and Gwen Rubino of Bank United; both gave a short presentation.

Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz -

  • September Hits: 763,540 hits; 11,923 unique site visits (first timers)

Articles Posted since the September 20th Advisory Board Meeting:

  • September 24, 2007 - Parking Meter Madness - Discusses how the City’s recent decision to hike parking meter rates and extend usage times is threatening some of our local businesses. While Commissioner Teel explains how some new technologies may help smooth the way, the city should install meters capable of taking advantage of these technologies and notify neighborhood residents of impending rate & time changes well in advance of their implementation. Hundreds of Galt Mile residents first learned about these changes from having received a $25 ticket.

  • September 30, 2007 - Commissioner Teel’s Autumn Newsletter - Applauding the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) committee for having approved the funds to replace the fountain in Jack Kaye Park on Bayview Drive, our City Commissioner explained that the park is being redesignated to include Jack Kaye’s late wife Harriet. An endowment she arranged with the Freedoms Foundation will educate hundreds of Broward students about the historical legacy upon which our nation was built.

  • October 6, 2007 - Keechl Backs Beach and Budget - Of the myriad County issues he was confronted with during his first term, Commissioner Ken Keechl has repeatedly demonstrated a dedicated interest in sound fiscal and environmental policies. As such, the Commissioner addressed the Broward County Budget and the tax reform legislation undertaken in Tallahassee after the regular session. He also conveyed what he learned about the upcoming Segment II beach renourishment from Broward Beach Administrator Stephen Higgins.

  • October 14, 2007 - Captain Peney Catalyzes Security Patrol - This past June, the Galt Mile Community Association initiated a neighborhood security patrol comprised of active Fort Lauderdale Police officers contracted to patrol the beach and Galt Ocean Drive. Organized as a private professional police unit, the patrol is supervised by Captain Todd Peney, the recipient of 23 Departmental and 57 Public Commendations. Fort Lauderdale Chief of Police Bruce G. Roberts applauded the Galt Mile community for establishing a neighborhood security patrol at a June 10th Advisory Board kickoff event in the Galt Ocean Club. At the October 1st GMCA Presidents Council meeting at Plaza South, Captain Peney described some of the neighborhood’s changing security vulnerabilities and answered questions about the patrol’s organization.

  • October 20, 2007 - Ellyn Bogdanoff’s October Newsletter - In her October Newsletter, Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff describes an effort to contain deficit spending based on soliciting State agency proposals for budgetary cost-cutting. She asserts that living within our means is sustainable while spending one time monies or raiding the state’s reserves to pay for today’s recurring expenses will mortgage our fiscal future. Although painful, our Representative assures constituents that the belt tightening will not undermine adequate funding for healthcare or education.

  • October 25, 2007 - Commissioner Teel Tackles FXE Disasters - An important General Aviation facility serving Southeast Florida, Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport has been the site of a series of mysterious accidents. Charged with investigating these disasters, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has failed to adequately explain why four aircraft crashed into nearby local roadways during the past few years and, more importantly, implement whatever operational improvements are required to address this disturbingly dangerous proclivity. To this end, the Fort Lauderdale City Commission passed a resolution insisting that the FAA fulfill its obligation. In her October Newsletter, City Commissioner Christine Teel frames the issue, explains the Commission’s action to help mitigate the recurring disasters and asks for our help.

Treasurer’s Report - Leah Glickfield reported $17,495.99 in our Treasury. Only one building has not paid.

Next Advisory Board Meeting - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, November 15, 2007 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:45 p.m.

Fern McBride, Secretary

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