The meeting was called to order at 11:00 a.m. by President Pio Ieraci.
Board Members present: Ieraci, Berkowitz, Glickfield, Hamaker, Nesbitt, Songer, McBride, Abruzzino, Bazerghi, Bibace, Bindler, Freismuth, Mayer, Nicholson-Brown, Krevy, Konstance, Quintero, Vanek, Vega and Weck.
Approval of Minutes - The minutes of the October 15, 2009 meeting were approved.
Old and New Business
Pio shared a letter received from Herman Gardner, President of Friends of the Galt Mile Reading Center, expressing appreciation for our efforts to save the library.
Special Update – City Manager George Gretsas – Contract not renewed
Fort Lauderdale City Manager George Gretsas contract was up for renewal and the City Commission Meeting was devoted primarily to this issue.
Mr. Gretsas has been extremely helpful to the Mile (i.e. having removed shipwrecks from the beach and laying the groundwork for a Galt Mile Master Plan, etc.).
Hundreds of residents attended the meeting, so many that over a hundred people surrounded the building and viewed proceedings through the ground floor windows.
Of the 59 people that signed up to address the Commission:
8 retired police officers brought there by Police Union President Jack Lokeinsky and Commissioner Bruce Roberts spoke against the City Manager as did one disgruntled business owner with a personal axe to grind.
50 residents from all parts of the community vehemently supported renewing the City Manager’s contract, extolling his performance as excellent
Commissioner for and against:
Roberts against renewal of contract
Despite promises that his vote would be performance-based and statements to the Advisory Board that the City Manager had been doing a good job, Commissioner Roberts loosed a verbal tirade against Gretsas that was characterized in the local media as resulting from longstanding differences with the City Manager. He also attacked his own constituents for disagreeing with him.
Seiler voted against
The Mayor required Gretsas to elicit at least 3 Commission approvals – which meant that Bruce Roberts or Charlotte Rodstrom would have to approve his contract to win the Mayor’s vote. As it turned out – he gave him an impossible goal to achieve.
Support for Commissioner Roberts would be undertaken again at some future date – after emotions cooled down.
Many Comments made off the record
Pio reported that the Army Corp of Engineers project is going forward. Sand is to be dumped south of Commercial Blvd. which will temporarily benefit the Galt Mile.
Regarding the full beach renourishment, the engineering and biology test results will be reviewed in approximately 2012.
Pio spoke with Il Lugano; they will be sending a check. Also, Winterfest Boat Show rooms are available at Il Lugano.
Treasurer’s Report - Leah Glickfield
The treasurer reported that we have a balance of $12,123.51.
Next Advisory Board Meeting - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, December 17, 2009 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:40 p.m.
Fern McBride, Secretary