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MINUTES OF GMCA ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

February 16, 2017


The meeting was called to order at 11:07 a.m. by President Pio Ieraci at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

Board Members present: : Ieraci, Berkowitz, Hamaker, Nesbitt, McBride, Abruzzino, Bazerghi, Bendis, Bibace, Cave, Cintron, Claire, Epstein, Goldstein, Hashek, Katz, Kessler, Korn, Larson, Madgett, Mercado, Mullan, Pohan, Tripoli, Short, Solewin, Soucy, VanDyke, Wenberg and Young.

Guests present: Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Bruce Roberts; Fort Lauderdale Police Department Officers George Brandner, Roy Goderstad, Tsz Lau; Bob Wolfe of the Broward County Appraiser’s Office; Executive Director Robyn Chiarelli of the Downtown Fort Lauderdale Transportation Management Association (DFLTMA)..

Approval of Minutes - Minutes of the January 19, 2017 Advisory Board Meeting were approved..

Old and New Business

  • Engineered Life Safety System (ELSS): Pio shared an article dated February 14, 2017 by Ellyn Bogdanoff entitled “Why the Florida Legislature needs to fix condo sprinkler-system problem.” Pio also spoke about Representative George Moraitis’ House Bill 653, which would enable associations to opt-out of retrofitting an ELSS. 27,000 Florida associations need to be informed about this critical legislation. See relevant article on Galt Mile website and February 2017 Galt Mile News.

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

    • At last Commission meeting, discussed relocating the Convention Center to the downtown area to sidestep security issues related to adjacent Port Everglades..

    • Transportation issues affect building on the beach and the port.

    • Discussed plans to effectively update municipal infrastructure.

    • Concerns posed to the Commissioner about the renovation of A1A along the Galt Mile include: BCT Bus layover is still blocking traffic and a handicap ramp, parking meters, the need for traffic light on Federal Highway at the entrance to Trader Joe’s.

    • Pio: Completion of A1A construction is still projected for 7/17 (on schedule). The north end of the Galt is scheduled to be reopened within 2 weeks Discussed sidewalks.

  • Pio introduced Fort Lauderdale Police Department Officer George Brandner, who reported:

    • The unit was increased from 4 to 6 officers.

    • The neighborhood action team is attending community meetings, etc.

    • Crime rate statistics are dropping.

    • Cars with luggage are being targeted for theft.

    • Given the local proliferation of devices that can hack a fob to remotely access and/or start a vehicle, car owners with fobs are advised to avoid leaving them in their vehicles.

    • Warned us to be leery of “gypsy dent” scams and crimes based on distraction.

    • Benches have been removed from Lifshey Park to deter aggregation by potential predators – or as sleeping quarters for homeless drifters

  • Fred Nesbitt is representing Galt Mile interests to the security patrol’s Lauderdale Beach sponsors.

    • Foot patrols along the Galt Mile have generated positive feedback.

    • A Lauderdale Beach homeowner has generously funded two new security patrol vehicles: a “mule” – which can be driven on the beach or the street – and a golf cart.

    • The patrol’s gatehouse headquarters is being expanded at a cost of $40,000. This expense will not impact the frequency or duration of future patrols.

    • Association officials from the Coral Ridge Tower Complex will be contacted to explore participation in the Security Patrol.

    • Patrol schedules for visiting participating associations will remain random and unpublished.

  • Pio introduced Robyn Chiarelli, Executive Director of the Downtown Fort Lauderdale Transportation Management Association (DFLTMA), who spoke about Sun Trolley service on the Mile. She offered to visit member associations to discuss the community bus service.

  • Pio introduced Bob Wolfe from the Broward County Property Appraiser’s Office, who discussed improvements planned by newly elected Property Appraiser Marty Kiar.

Galt Mile Reading Center - Terry Claire

  • Approval has been received for the Reading Center renovations planned for February 2018. Thanked Pio and Eric for their continued support.

Galt Mile Landscaping

  • A walk-through will be scheduled. John Jors, who replaced recently retired “Chepo” Vega, will be attending these meetings.

Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz

  • January 2017 Website statistics: 541,328 hits, 22,794 Unique Site Visits (First Timers)

Articles posted during the past month include:

  • January 10, 2017 - December 2016 LaMarca Letter - In his December 2016 LaMarca Letter, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca highlights some of Port Everglades 2016 benchmarks, topped by Congressional approval of a funding venue for the Port’s Master Plan improvements. By paving the way to deepen the port's channel and expand its turning notch, the new Federal law will enable the port to share in a post-Panamax economic jackpot. LaMarca also applauds Broward County for out-pacing most of the State’s other metro areas for job growth, noting that District 4 is the statewide leader for creating jobs in the fields of trade, transportation, and utilities. LaMarca closes his message by enumerating the health benefits of bike sharing - a sort of testament to Broward B-Cycle on its fifth Birthday, when it became the fiscal ward of health insurance carrier AvMed. After being rescued, the bikes were rebranded. See How...

  • January 19, 2017 - Roberts: Body Cam, FLPD Chief, Sunny TV - In his January / February 2017 message to constituents, District 1 City Commissioner Bruce Roberts updates A1A roadway improvements bordering the Galt Mile neighborhood, describes a new online app useful for locating permit data, briefly bios Rick Maglione, appointed interim Chief of Police when Frank Adderley relocated to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, applauds the “Cops 4 Kids” program for providing schoolchildren with mentoring and positive role models, reviews the final stage of the Segment II Broward Beach Renourishment, notes improved graduation rates for traditional high schools in the Broward County Public School System and reports the launching of Hello Sunny TV, which streams live coverage of events, on demand content and realtime local beachcams to laptops, tablets and smartphones. To protect FLPD officers and the public by enhancing transparency and accountability, Roberts announces the long awaited implementation of an FLPD body worn cameras pilot program. For Roberts' 2017 kickoff message, Click Here

  • January 30, 2017 - Hi-Tech CarJacks & Publix Robberies - With the exception of a summer hiatus, the Galt Mile Community Association (GMCA) hosts an Advisory Board meeting on the third Thursday of each month. Among the monthly agenda items is a security report. In their capacity as law enforcement liaisons to the Galt Mile Community Association, FLPD Officers Tom Gestal and George Brandner provide the Advisory Board with a snapshot of local crime trends and recommendations for protecting local residents against emerging threats. Since September, they have been updating the Advisory Board about a spike in car thefts that predominantly impact several models of Infiniti. Unlike the standard smash and grab tactics that leave windows broken, or keylocks ripped from car doors, Gestal and Brandner noted how vehicles that were stolen or plundered were left undamaged. In January, Gestal warned about a series of violent robberies that victimized supermarket shoppers. To avoid becoming a target... Read Gestal’s advice...

Other Business

  • Ed Hashek will look into a worthy expression of gratitude to Chepo for his work and dedication.

  • Gratitude was expressed to Eric Berkowitz for his extensive work on our behalf.

Treasurer’s Report - Fred Nesbitt

  • The Treasurer reported a balance of $15,830.71. Two buildings have not paid their annual dues: Il Lugano and Coral Ridge Towers North.

Adjournment - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, March 16, 2017 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:15 p.m.

Fern McBride
Fern McBride, Secretary

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