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MINUTES OF GMCA ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

DECEMBER 16, 2010


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

Board Members present: Ieraci, Berkowitz, Glickfield, McBride, Abruzzino, W. Jordan, Katkin, Katz, Short, Vanek, Vega and Oppert.

Guests present: District 1 City Commissioner Bruce Roberts, FLPD District 1 Acting Major Michael Gregory, Ireland’s Inn proprietor Andy Mitchell & District 4 County Commissioner Chip LaMarca.

Approval of Minutes - The minutes of the November 18, 2010 meeting were approved.

Old and New Business

Pio introduced Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca who shared information regarding his background:

  • He has lived in Fort Lauderdale since he was three years old and has spent time on the Galt.

  • He intends to spend a lot of time here.

  • He is aware of the beach renourishment project’s importance to all of Broward County.

  • His priorities currently include public safety and the beach.

  • He stated that he will be accessible.

  • He has toured Port Everglades and believes that private firms do not have the resources that BSO has to insure security.

  • He agreed that an early voting venue should have been on the “island.”

Pio explained to LaMarca how the Galt Roving Security Patrol provides an additional level of security for the residents of the Mile. Pio also spoke about our infrastructure, streetscape issues, street lights and our continuing issue with the Galt Mile library.

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

  • He said that he is looking forward to working with Commissioner LaMarca; that they share many interests.

  • Stating that former District 4 Broward Commissioner Ken Keechl worked with him on the Sun Trolley, he invited LaMarca to join him on the TMA board. He explained its current challenges – future routes, funding, partnerships with Holy Cross Hospital, Galleria and others.

  • A 20 month experiment is in effect regarding relaxing the sandwich board sign ordinance.

  • Worked at a homeless center during the Holidays. Advisory Board member Mary Short volunteers at the same center and thanked Bruce for his help.

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 – Chepo Vega

  • Chepo thanked the group for the gift certificate awarded to him and thanked Commissioner Roberts for his support.

  • Has been in touch with Beach Foreman Mark Almy to discuss cleaning of sidewalks, curbs, gutters.

  • Bus stop signs – need to replace damaged signs. He will forward this information to Commissioner Roberts’ office.

  • At corner of Community Center there are unsightly pipes on the sidewalk; will send picture to Commission Roberts.

Beach Renourishment

We need to be prepared to resume progress efforts after January 1st.

Pio introduced Andy Mitchell of Ireland’s Inn, who gave an update on the family, shared an Ireland’s Inn newsletter, and spoke about the status of Ireland’s redevelopment plans. They expect to have a shovel in the ground in the fall of 2011, as well as a new website with graphics, etc.

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

  • Has been busy citywide with holiday preparations.

  • There is roughly a three percent drop in crime as compared to last year.

  • Repeated warnings about leaving cars unlocked, packages and purses in cars, etc. He said that GPS units are particularly attractive to crooks. Always lock your car door.

  • There have been 700 arrests along the beach area this year, 140 for people sleeping overnight on the beach.

  • Thanked Andy Mitchell for making Ireland’s facility available for training.

  • For crime statistics: see new FLPD web site - flpd.org

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

The past month’s articles:

  • 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...

  • November 21, 2010 - The Chepo Files - Since his April campaign to force the removal of Utility Graffiti from Galt Mile streets and sidewalks, our volunteer landscape ombudsman has been quietly running through an expanded maintenance punch list he developed with Parks and Public Works officials. Trees along the block have been bound and their grates repaired, broken and displaced bricks from our pavered crosswalks have been replaced and sidewalk tripping hazards have been ground flat. Contractors considering black asphalt instead of matching aggregate for street repairs catch hell from Commodore resident José “Chepo” Vega. Navigating the maintenance bureaucracies in City Hall and Broward Government Center, Chepo engineered the repainting of severely eroded street lines and stop lines on Galt Ocean Drive and intersecting side streets. For the first time in two decades, landscaping on the Galt Mile is thriving and the hard scape elements are being rehabilitated. How Chepo pulled this off? See for yourself...

  • November 28, 2010 - Sprinkler Confusion – It’s Time to Act - After eight years of sweating out a dreaded $million plus statutory assessment (2 or 3 times that for larger associations) for retrofitting association hallways and unit foyers with sprinkler heads, the Governor finally signed the recently passed opt-out bill (SB 1196) into law. Although delighted and relieved, few Galt Mile unit owners actually read the few paragraphs that house the statute’s flagship sprinkler provision, fueling confusion over how to best use the new law’s tools to protect their rights - and wallets. If an association doesn’t carefully follow the legislation’s statutory road map, it could inadvertently actualize its unit owners’ long-feared assessment for standpipes and sprinkler heads. Considering an additional threat by motivated Tallahassee lobbyists, how associations respond over the next few months could determine survival or meltdown for future association budgets!

  • December 11, 2010 - The Phantom Water Services Magic Trick - In July of 2009, when the City of Fort Lauderdale announced a new set of water and sewer rates for municipal residents, City officials assured constituents that “The rate changes will result in an increase of approximately $3.15 per month for 72 percent of single family residential customers.” Unfortunately grouped with the other 28%, when associations received water & sewer invoices that shot through the roof, the neighborhood association launched an inquiry. Attempts to learn why the City approved an inequitable disparity in how the block usage rates were applied to single family homes and associations were met with a frustrating dog and pony show. While most Galt Mile condos and co-ops have since stretched association budgets to cover the phantom water & sewer charges, some have discovered innovative ways to tweak their systems, somewhat reducing the sting to unit owners. Having recently identified and exploited one such opportunity, Galleon General Manager Marcy Kravit agreed to share her money saving strategy with neighboring associations. Check it out!

Other Business

  • Pio made a motion to provide an American Express gift card for Bruce Roberts Assistant, Robbie Uptegrove. Marlene Katkin seconded the motion, which was passed.

  • Eric Berkowitz made a motion to retroactively present a gift card to Pio Ieraci. Dott Nicholson-Brown seconded the motion, which was passed.

  • Franci Bindler fell and broke her leg in three places.

  • Fire Sprinkler Retrofit Relief Bill SB1196 requires clarification.

  • Pio wished everyone a Happy Holiday.

Treasurer’s Report - Leah Glickfield

The treasurer reported that we have a balance of $11,934.38.

Next Advisory Board Meeting - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, January 20, 2011 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

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

Fern McBride
Fern McBride, Secretary

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