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MINUTES OF GMCA ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

December 15, 2016


The meeting was called to order at 11:30 a.m. by President Pio Ieraci at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

Board Members present: : Ieraci, Berkowitz, Hamaker, Nesbitt, McBride, Abruzzino, Bazerghi, Bendis, Bibace, Cave, Claire, Coffman, Hashek, Katz, Kessler, Korn, Larson, Madgett, Mancke, Matsas, Mercado, Oser, Tripoli, Solewin, Soucy and Wenberg

Guests present: Fort Lauderdale Police Department Officer Tom Gestal; Mayoral candidate Charlotte Rodstrom (drop-in)

Approval of Minutes - Minutes of the October 20, 2016 Advisory Board Meeting were approved.

Old and New Business/Guests

  • Pio advised us that Chepo Vega is not able to continue monitoring the Galt Landscape and asked if someone could take over this job. Fred Nesbitt suggested, and everyone agreed, that we honor Chepo for his dedicated service by placing a plaque on a bench near the Commodore; Fred will investigate.

  • Engineered Life Safety System (ELSS): Pio spoke to George Moraitis. Awaiting draft of an ELSS opt-out bill from Donna Berger and Ellyn Bogdanoff. Will meet with them by the end of the week and have information to George Moraitis by the end of the month. Receiving calls from Palm Beach condo associations that are already contributing to the impending lobbying effort. Becker & Poliakoff will reach out to impacted associations across Florida, although the vast majority of Florida associations are oblivious to this threat. George Moraitis said that he can win approval in the House but we need someone to elicit votes in the Senate. To avoid a veto, the Governor must also be on board. Since approval will require a costly lobbying effort, condo contributions are critical to defeating powerful opt-out opponents, including the Sprinkler Associations and those Fire Marshals who are on their payroll.

  • Creating a Habitat Conservation Program (HCP):

    • Question posed: why is this important? Since darkened beaches are not safe after twilight, the City is losing tourism revenues to other coastal communities. Residents who moved here to enjoy the beach must now avoid beaches adjacent to their own homes after sundown. Roadways that are blacked out or fitted with yellow lighting (that alters perspective) have resulted in a steady stream of collisions and injuries. Forced to close at sundown, formerly thriving beachfront commercial districts have become ghost towns. The darkened beaches have repeatedly attracted vandals and muggers who deface association property, vandalize turtle nests and accost elderly Galt Mile residents as they enter or exit their homes. Police have uncovered makeshift shelters/toilets carved into dunes, and covered with human waste. The HCP will protect the turtle nesting habitat while once again making our beaches safe.

    • About to apply bid to Beach Improvement District for funding to receive Incidental Take Permit.

  • Buses: BCT officials claim that the Galt Ocean Drive bus layovers will be relocated to A1A when construction is completed. They deny blocking the handicap ramp, damaging curbs, leaving buses unattended for prolonged periods, blocking traffic, etc., ignoring proof to the contrary submitted by Galt Mile officials. When they fabricated similar fairy tales in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, the Town Commission threw them out.

  • Pio introduced Fort Lauderdale Police Officer Tom Gestal who reported:

    • No specific crime trends, however, he said “do not leave your guard down” as there is a scam sweeping South Florida that hoodwinks seniors into voluntarily surrendering their debit/credit cards.

    • If a phone call is received warning that since your credit/debit card account has been breached, the card must be replaced, ask for their telephone number and offer to call them right back, then hang up and call the number on the back of your credit card.

    • Craig’s list can be dangerous. If you want to arrange a meeting, say “Meet me at the Police Department.”

    • The Infiniti auto problem still exists. Remote devices are being used to open, start and steal the vehicles.

    • Tom was thanked for his dedicated service.

Galt Mile Reading Center - Terry Claire

  • Renovations for the library have been approved.

  • Marlene, the librarian, is doing a great job

Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz

  • November 2016 Website Statistics: 453,303 hits, 19,709 Unique Site Visits (First Timers)

Articles posted during the past month include:

  • November 20, 2016 - Roberts: Surtax, Best of Web, Stormwater - In his November / December 2016 Newsletter, after welcoming the Holiday Season, City Commissioner Bruce Roberts makes a pre-Election Day effort to engender approval for the ill-fated penny sales tax - for the third time in 5 months. Building on last year’s 8th place ranking in data and technology by Digital Cities, Fort Lauderdale rated Digital Cities 2016 “Best of the Web” recognition by for its new website’s bells and whistles. After reporting a Commission decision to decline approval for couching an upgraded Galleria in a massive mixed-use complex laced with condos and poorly planned public use trade-offs, Roberts snapshots progress of a 2014 10-year plan to compensate for rising sea levels with a 3-phase reconfiguration of the City’s Stormwater infrastructure. Roberts wraps up his message with calendar tweaks.

  • November 30, 2016 - November 2016 LaMarca Letter - In his November 2016 LaMarca Letter, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca announces the grand opening of the newly constructed Broward County Animal Care and Adoption Center, welcomes the world’s largest cruise ship - Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas - at Port Everglades, notes how the decision by Air Emirates to service the Greater Fort Lauderdale area will enhance international services at Fort Lauderdale - Hollywood International Airport, describes the TechGateway Initiative - a partnership between the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance and Broward County Public Schools that will symbiotically benefit local students and the region’s fast-growing Tech Industry, applauds Broward County Parks for providing Veterans with an assortment of free camping services in November, and reminds boaters to avoid collisions with manatees that seasonally return to local waterways - usually in November

  • December 20, 2016 - Homestead Express - 2017 - The Florida Constitution provides all legal Florida residents with a tax-saving exemption on the first and third $25,000 of the assessed value of their owner/occupied homes, condominiums, co-op apartments, and other “permanent residences” - if they qualify. Homesteaded properties are eligible for the protective “Save Our Homes” tax cap. Also available are a host of traditional and new exemptions for seniors, veterans, widows/widowers, active military, the blind, disabled persons and properties with build-outs for Mom, Dad, Grandma and/or Grandpa. Apply for exemptions in person, at an outreach event (Beach Community Center), by mail to BCPA, interactively online or by requesting “homesteads-on-wheels” (for house-bound applicants). Although exemption applications are considered "timely" if submitted by the March 1, 2017 "soft" deadline, they will still be accepted until the September 18 "hard" deadline if accompanied by any moronic excuse for tardiness. If you miss that, a "Good Cause" sob story won't make a difference - you're screwed!!! Learn about the 2017 incarnation of the Homestead Express!.

Other Business

  • Terry Claire reported Schindler Elevators told them that Broward County wants fire simulation done monthly. This will be investigated.

  • Elevator work: It is important to retain an elevator consultant (i.e. Dan Carey, Landmark, etc.) when modernizing the elevators; legitimate consultants are not related to elevator maintenance – repair - construction companies or manufacturers. Pio will send information on elevators.

  • Fred Nesbitt: It took five months for his building to get a permit for pool work.

  • Fire Station 54 construction to begin in March; will take a year to complete.

  • It’s very important to maintain the integrity of our private beaches. Our security needs to enforce our ownership rights and deter trespassing. People have the right to pass through – not squat! Beachgoers should be admonished to avoid the dunes.

  • red presented Chef Phil and our waiter Bobbie with Holiday gifts certificates.

Treasurer’s Report - Fred Nesbitt

  • The Treasurer reported a balance of $16,255.66.

  • Two buildings remain delinquent: Coral Ridge Towers North and Il Lugano.

Adjournment - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, January 19, 2017 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:00 p.m.

Fern McBride
Fern McBride, Secretary

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