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MINUTES OF GMCA ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

FEBRUARY 17, 2011


The meeting was called to order at 11:05 a.m. by President Pio Ieraci.

Board Members present: Ieraci, Berkowitz, Glickfield, Hamaker, Nesbitt, McBride, Nicholson-Brown, Abruzzino, Bazerghi, Casier, Dawson, Freismuth, Gonzalez, Katkin, Katz, Krevy, Short, Vanek and Vega.

Guests present: City of Fort Lauderdale Assistant City Manager David Hebert and FLPD District 1 Acting Major Michael Gregory.

Approval of Minutes - The minutes of the January 20, 2011 Advisory Board meeting were not available.

Old and New Business

Pio introduced David Hebert, Assistant City Manager – City of Fort Lauderdale:

  • Passed out information sheets entitled “City of Fort Lauderdale News and Notes” which detailed local events, activities, etc. planned for March.

  • He is currently negotiating employee contracts and organizing Public Safety dispatch personnel.

  • Crime remains low.

  • Candidates for the City Manager position must submit applications by the middle of March.

  • His primary responsibility as Assistant City Manager is Public Safety (fire-rescue and police).

  • He volunteered to support and assist us as needed.

  • He agreed to review a cost-sharing plan for the beach patrol.

  • He discussed recent updates to the Central Beach Master Plan.

In recognition of Michael Gregory’s exemplary performance as District 1 Acting Major, Mr. Hebert was asked if Police Chief Frank Adderley might consider making Gregory’s position permanent. While agreeing that a promotion is merited, Hebert explained that there are currently no departmental openings for the position of Major.

Pio introduced Fort Lauderdale Police Department District 1 Acting Major Michael Gregory:

  • Despite its failure to meet budget projections, Gregory supports the red light camera enforcement system because it deters traffic accidents and saves lives. In contrast with the system’s successful implementation by Miami-Dade and Palm Beach County municipalities, Broward politicians opposed to the system’s division of revenues have used Broward courts to undermine its functionality.

  • While Part 1Crime has decreased, there is a significant increase in identity theft, extortion and fraud, especially as it impacts the vulnerable elderly.

  • Spoke about the COM center history and infrastructure equipment.

Hoping to address the danger posed by vehicles exiting association properties that lack stop signs by the street egress, a walk around will be organized to identify the block’s most dangerous exits and investigate liability for associations without stop signs.

Galt Roving Patrol

Pio reported that the following four buildings have not paid this year’s dues: Playa del Sol, Edgewater Arms, Ocean Club and Ocean Manor. Additionally, the following have not paid last year and this year: Playa del Mar, Regency South, Royal Ambassador and Southpoint.

Galt Ocean Drive Street Landscape – Chepo Vega

  • He gave a package of photos to Commissioners Roberts and LaMarca at the February 7th Presidents Council Meeting.

  • He has planned another walk-through with Commissioner Roberts.

  • He met with the new Winn-Dixie manager regarding ongoing shopping cart problem. (Acting Major Gregory explained that stealing a grocery cart is a 3rd degree felony.)

  • Spoke about oil spills marring the street from dumpster pick ups. He recommended that building employees place trash containers in pick-up areas and keep those areas clean. Would like information sent to every building; this will be sent to Eric and Pio for transmittal.

  • Utility Graffiti: Pio suggested reaching out to utility companies in an effort to resolve this issue.

Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz

  • January Web Site Stats: 834,089 hits; 14,500 unique site visits (first timers)

The past month’s articles:

  • January 22, 2011 - Yellow Bulb Season on the Galt Mile - For decades, Galt Mile residents nurtured a love affair with the Sea Turtles that share their beach. When the City implemented a 2003 turtle-safe lighting ordinance in 2007, ill-conceived initial enforcement attempts precipitated a near melt-down in the City Manager's office and, by proxy, the Building Department. To defuse neighborhood concerns, Code Enforcement personnel met with GMCA officials to formulate an implementation roadmap that protected both turtles and residents. Despite destabilizing efforts by radical elements on opposite sides of this issue, they successfully balanced hatchling survival with resident safety and enacted a compliance plan that wouldn't cripple strained association budgets. Many associations have since replaced the screens and shields initially jury-rigged to achieve compliance with professional lighting plans that brighten their seaward decks without illuminating the beach. Unfortunately, some irate beachfront residents still ply local blogs with ghoulish recipes for hatchling sandwiches and turtle soup!

  • January 30, 2011 - Roberts: Countdown, Clinics & Centennial - In his opening newsletter for 2011, Commissioner Bruce Roberts reviews the annual Downtown Countdown New Year kickoff event, summarizes some 2010 achievements by the current municipal administration, updates the ongoing City Manager search and laments the stalled effort to close local pill mills. The newsletter also offers a comprehensive schedule of impending Centennial Celebration events. In closing, Roberts appeals to District 1 residents for dated photos of local landmarks, people and events for use in the Centennial Celebration’s signature slideshow. Commentary prompted by some of the issues covered in Roberts' newsletter includes the City's pension dilemma and Governor Rick Scott's enigmatic assistance to local Pain Clinics that fuel the black market drug trade. Check it out...

  • February 7, 2011 - Berger Bashes Bad Bills - Last year, powerful special interests racked up significant financial losses when lawmakers passed long-awaited relief bills. Highly paid lobbyists, hoping to rehabilitate their credibility, promised angry clients a measure of recovery. Most association members know that the Sprinkler Associations lost $billions when Senate Bill 1196 made sprinkler installations optional. Fewer know that the Fire Services Industry, the Banking Industry, the Insurance Industry and the Elevator Industry collectively lost 100's of $millions as well. Community Advocacy Network (CAN) Executive Director Donna Berger is concerned about the upcoming session in Tallahassee regressing into a forum for payback. She also fears that several exploitive bills vetoed by Governor Crist could pass this year unless associations pull together and use newly available communication networks to avoid losing their hard-earned gains and suffer the sizable maintenance increase that would follow.

  • February 14, 2011 - Galt Mile Preps for 5th Annual Food Drive - On February 4th, Cooperative Feeding Program (CFP) Executive Director Scott Woodburn notified the Galt Mile Community Association about plans for the annual Galt Mile Food Drive. While the message could be timely posted on the Galt Mile web site, it missed the February edition of the Galt Mile News by 4 days. Woodburn represents Broward County’s lead agency for the provision of services to the hungry and homeless. For 25 years, the Cooperative Feeding Program has provided counseling and support to help economically besieged families out of the throes of difficult times. This is the 5th annual Galt Mile Food Drive since Woodburn teamed with Fort Lauderdale Real Estate proprietor Domenic Faro (a past president of the Cooperative Feeding Program) and Marc Hamelsky in 2007 and convinced the neighborhood association to sponsor a friendly contribution competition among its member associations. This year's goal - exceed last year's collection totals of 20,000 points - or ten tons of food!

Other Business

  • Fred Nesbitt shared information from the City Budget meeting he attended on February 16.

  • Pio shared the stats from last years food drive.

  • Mary Short (Galt Ocean Club) asked for donations of clothing for charity, for both men and women. Please contact her if you are able to help.

  • St. Pius X Church is collecting toiletry items.

Treasurer’s Report - Leah Glickfield

The treasurer reported that we have a balance of $11,061.36

Next Advisory Board Meeting - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, March 17, 2011 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

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

Fern McBride
Fern McBride, Secretary

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