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MINUTES OF GMCA ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

NOVEMBER 18, 2010


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

Board Members present: Ieraci, Berkowitz, Glickfield, Hamaker, Nesbitt, McBride, Abruzzino, Adams, Bazerghi, Bindler, Nicholson-Brown, Dawson, Freismuth, Friedman, W. Jordan, Katkin, Katz and Short.

Approval of Minutes - The minutes of the October 21, 2010 meeting were approved with the following correction. The Treasurer stated that our balance should have been $8,575.21. D&O insurance was paid in the amount of $1,544.63 and the wage survey in the amount of $1,500.00.

Old and New Business

Pio spoke about strictly enforcing signage regulations on the Galt. To insure that the community is maintained in a “Disney-like” manner, it would be helpful if members reported anything detrimental to the neighborhood’s appearance.

Fred Nesbitt spoke about the budget process. He attended a budget workshop in which the following issues were discussed:

  • They are working on the process for next year, which is ongoing.

  • Revenues are declining. Less revenue means cutting needed services. Cutting currently unfilled positions will help.

  • Fire station #54 negotiations are continuing. The new fire station will have, among other things, an EMS room and a community room. The Galt Ocean Shoppes area needs an anchor store to help stabilize the neighborhood; Publix is a possibility. The Advisory Board voted to support this project. Fred will supply us with the contact data.

Pio introduced Fort Lauderdale Police Department District 1 Acting Major Michael Gregory, who shared the following:

  • There is no bad news; no major issues.

  • Since vehicular burglaries increase during the upcoming Holiday/shopping season, it is crucial to lock cars and stow items such as purses, packages, etc. out of plain sight.

  • Be nosey neighbors! If you see something suspicious, call 911 or the Security Patrol.

  • Two bicycle registration events will be scheduled for January.

Galt Ocean Drive Street Landscape

Although Chepo was unable to attend the meeting, he was credited with the Mile’s many aesthetic improvements. An article just posted on our website describes his recent accomplishments.

Marlene Katkin made a motion to present Chepo with a $100 American Express Gift Card to show our appreciation. Pio seconded the motion, which was unanimously passed.

Beach Renourishment

  • Broward County paid for the entire renourishment process at Segment III. They are petitioning the Federal government for reimbursement of its promised contribution.

  • Now that Steve Higgins is leaving, he wants to be sure that the County will pay for Segment II.

  • Ron Klein was supportive of this process, and now we need Alan West to be aware of the history of this project and use his Congressional Office to get the County paid so Segment II can proceed

  • We also need new District 4 County Commissioner Chip LaMarca to understand the critical importance of the Beach Renourishment Project.

Community Center

There are many activities available at the Community Center. We will ask Susan to provide flyers for posting in association buildings.

Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz -

Thanks to Eric, we do not pay for printing of the Galt Mile Newsletter. Pio made a motion to present Eric with a $100 American Express Gift Card to show our appreciation. Marlene Katkin seconded the motion, which was unanimously passed.

  • October Web Site Stats: 774,962 hits; 12,968 unique site visits (first timers)

The past month’s articles:

  • 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.

  • October 25, 2010 - Love Steers Budget to Soft Landing - When the Fort Lauderdale City Commission addressed the FY 2010 - 2011 municipal budget at the August 17, 2010 Commission meeting, they took misdirected criticism for partially plugging the $611.7 million municipal spending plan's $31 million deficit with $17 million from the City's overstuffed reserves. The Commission ordered Interim City Manager Allyson Love to clip another 5% from city expenditures in expectation of eliminating the deficit - and complaints from the Budget Advisory Board. Since Budget staffers, the Commission and residents at public sessions had already surgically skinned the spending plan, Love’s options seemed largely limited to sacrificing infrastructure, forcing furloughs or reversing employee benefit concessions. In a testament to her fiscal skills, at the September 21st final Budget Meeting, Love offered a viable alternative to plucking the entire $17 million from the Reserve Fund – without raising the fire assessment fees or the millage rate, laying off employees or cutting important services. What's more, she whittled the hit taken by the Reserve Fund to $6.9 million. Not bad for a few weeks work!

  • November 5, 2010 - Roberts: Late October Update - In his late October Newsletter, District 1 City Commissioner Bruce Roberts updates the City Commission’s search for a new City Manager, promotes the Centennial celebration, offers a history of the embattled Sun Trolley, explains how city staff intends to maximize use of diminished Gas Tax revenues for street repairs and runs through the October events schedule. While the City Commission is providing for layers of input in selecting a new City Manager, Acting City Manager Allyson Love continues to fill the bill. Along with the budget, the Commissioners unanimously agree that this is one of the two most important tasks they are charged with accomplishing. Roberts announces what may be the Sun Trolley’s funding salvation, connecting the Galt to the Galleria. Reduced gas tax revenues brought focus to the archaic methodology around which City street maintenance is structured. Having upgraded the City’s maintenance tracking software, Roberts list the first steps taken to input the data that will ultimately save us a bundle. Roll on...

  • November 14, 2010 - Enter: The Chipster - Broward’s District 4 is a political wild card. Unlike the 2:1 Democrat majority in the rest of Broward County, District 4 Democrats and Republicans maintain a slippery numerical equilibrium that varies annually by 3 to 4 points. The registered Independents, about one third of the District's voters, enhance local Election Day volatility. Ironically, the two County Commissioners seated by this unpredictable electoral configuration prior to newly elected Charles John “Chip” LaMarca - Republican Jim Scott and Democrat Ken Keechl - were deposed for almost identical reasons. As an experienced Republican insider, LaMarca knows that while reactionary blowback from Washington and/or Tallahassee can temporarily tilt the political landscape, it has little impact on the District’s problems. With the campaign rhetoric fading, LaMarca’s first task will be to mend fences and reassure constituents that he represents all the District’s residents. For more on the new commish, Read On...

Other Business

  • Fred Nesbitt spoke about recycling: Playa del Mar participated in the City recycling program. They received $325 from points earned for environmentally friendly activities. He will invite Loretta Cronk of City’s recycling program to attend a Presidents Council Meeting.

  • Dott Nicholson-Brown discussed the zone changes from X to AO for flood insurance.

  • Fred reported that a search firm has been hired to secure a new City Manager.

  • Fred stated that fire alarm fees have been increased.

  • Kathie Freismuth asked about garbage service for the Mile by one company. Pio answered that bids have been requested from three firms.

  • Kathie stated that Leah Glickfield does a lot of work for all of us and made a motion to present Leah with a $100 American Express Gift Card to show our appreciation. Eric Berkowitz seconded the motion, which was unanimously passed.

  • Michael Katz spoke about energy saving projects, such as solar protectors. We will ask Donna Berger to add this issue to the Community Advocacy Network (CAN) agenda.

Treasurer’s Report - Leah Glickfield

The treasurer reported that we have a balance of $8,406.21.

Next Advisory Board Meeting - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, December 16, 2010 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:55 p.m.

Fern McBride
Fern McBride, Secretary

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