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February 18, 2016

The meeting was called to order at 11:10 a.m. by President Pio Ieraci at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

Board Members present: : Ieraci, Berkowitz, Hamaker, McBride, Nesbitt, Abruzzino, Adams, Bazerghi, Bibace, Cella, Fernandez, Friedman, Goldstein, Hale-Florez, Hashek, Katz, Larson, Matsas, Pohan, Solewin, Tripoli, Vega and Wenberg.

Guests present: Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Bruce Roberts; Fort Lauderdale Police Department Galt Mile Liaison Officer Tom Gestal.

Approval of Minutes - Minutes of the January 21, 2015 Advisory Board Meeting were approved.

Old and New Business/Guests

  • Pio introduced Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Bruce Roberts:

    • Discussed permitting issues.

    • A Police Department forum will be held on Thursdays from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. at the Beach Community Center beginning on March 3, 2016.

    • Spoke about the penny surtax - uses, needs, workshops/meetings being held to make a decision by May 31 in order for this issue to be included in the November elections.

    • The budget process has begun.

    • According to Forbes, Fort Lauderdale is one of the best ten places to live in the U.S.

    • The back flow preventer across from Playa del Mar was called to Bruce’s attention; it is unsightly and dangerous.

    • Asked if Broward Administrator Bertha Henry responded to City Manager Lee Feldman’s letter demanding that the current Broward Route 72 bus layover on Galt Ocean Drive be relocated to somewhere outside the City of Fort Lauderdale. Ongoing BCT driver disruptions include blocking the handicap access ramp, blocking the street, damage to infrastructure, landscaping crushed and burned by bus exhaust.

    • Discussed the ownership of metered parking spaces.

  • Pio introduced FLPD Officer Tom Gestal, who shared the following information:

    • Reported there is no crime trend in our area.

    • Stressed importance of locking doors - cars, homes, apartments.

    • Security cameras should be installed and diligently monitored in key access and egress locations around the association property; also in elevators, garage entrance, beach access, etc.

Beach Renourishment

  • Clarification regarding the height of the dunes: the dune height of 11 feet NAVD does not mean 11 feet above the beach floor, but 11 feet above sea level. The dunes will be 3 to 4 feet from the beach floor.

  • Inquiries about dunes, beach vegetation or recreational area on each association beach should be posed to Nicole Sharp or Greg Ward at Broward Natural Resources. Pio will send email stressing the importance of addressing this issue before the contractor arrives.

Galt Mile Reading Center

  • The Friends of the Galt Ocean Mile Reading Center held their annual membership program on Thursday, February 11 with a presentation featuring The Galt Players. The event drew a capacity crowd and received an overwhelmingly positive response.

Galt Ocean Mile Street Landscape - José “Chepo” Vega

  • Trucks are damaging curbs and landscaping.

  • TBuses have done a great deal of damage.

  • TMany things are being neglected along the Mile; photographs of the neglect will be shared.

Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz

  • January 2016 Website Statistics: 720,745 hits, 20,277 Unique Site Visits (First Timers)

Articles posted during the past month include:

  • January 24, 2016 - Roberts: FLPD: Vacation Rentals; NTAS - In his January / February 2016 Newsletter, City Commissioner Bruce Roberts celebrates Fort Lauderdale’s designation as a Digital City for using technology to facilitate municipal objectives, notes that the Winterfest Boat Parade snagged 9th place in the 10Best and USA TODAY’s Readers’ Choice awards for Best Holiday Festival (although he neglected to mention that Fort Lauderdale was named number 3 in the Readers’ Choice runoff for Bikini-Watching), applauds the City’s number 10 ranking in a 4th quarter 2015 Industry Report by HomeVestors / Local Market Monitor listing the Top Ten Cities for Real Estate Investment, considers a pilot program that implores smokers to desist in certain City Parks, endorses “Reality Check”, which enables FLPD officers to treat wayward juveniles with a portable version of Scared Straight, warns against “self-radicalized” terror-mongers using the internet to up their game, summarizes initial impacts of the City’s new Vacation Rental Ordinance and relishes Port Everglades’ record-breaking growth. May as well get started.

  • January 31, 2016 - January 2016 LaMarca Letter - In his opening 2016 Newsletter, District 4 County Commissioner Chip LaMarca polishes the economic halo adorning Port Everglades, including a record-breaking number of cruise passengers serviced on December 20, a decision by corporate cash cow Florida International Terminal LLC to renew its lease, and an unprecedented jump in rail freight attributable to the recently completed Intermodal Container Transfer Facility. Given his passionate concern for pets and Broward’s feral fauna, LaMarca reviews three newly approved programs crafted to abate the occupancy rate in the County’s animal shelter, and steers cat-lovers to grant recipient “Stray Aid & Rescue”, a mobile Wilton Manors spay/neuter clinic that will also vaccinate for rabies, clip an identifying ear notch and treat for debilitating feline bugs - for only $2 (a negligible co-pay to subsidize the rabies shot). LaMarca closes with an opportunity for ambitious conservationists to win $1000 for engineering and implementing a local water conservation program. For the Commissioner’s first 2016 District 4 update - read on...

  • February 10, 2016 - Return of the Bogus Estoppel Bills - During last year’s legislative session in Tallahassee, two Florida Lawmakers proposed bills in the House and Senate that would enhance the profitability of their “day jobs”. HB 611 was filed by Rep. John Wood (R - Winter Haven) while companion Senate Bill 736 was filed by Sen. Kelli Stargel (R – Lakeland). Although described by Realtors as the “estoppel certificate” bills, homeowners in more than 46,000 Florida community associations knew the legislation as “The Home Tax”. Fortunately, the bills were abandoned on April 28, 2015. Unfortunately, these wallet worms are back. Five months after the bills died on the Calendar, Wood (a realtor) filed House Bill 203 on September 18, 2015. Two months later, on November 3, 2015, Stargel (who owns and operates two Polk County Real Estate firms) filed a companion bill, Senate Bill 722. If these nest feathering bills aren't improved, prepare for a new budgetary line item in next year's spending plan.

Other Business

  • Sun Trust on the Galt is closing at the end of April 2016.

  • Issues at Fire station 54 remain unresolved.

  • Questions about domestic water billing disparities are being investigated (how we are charged).

  • Discussed the impact of dog parks in properties that allow dogs in their building.

  • Discussed the screening of tenants.

Treasurer’s Report - Fred Nesbitt

  • The Treasurer reported a balance of $16,118.44.

Adjournment - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, March 17, 2016 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

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

Fern McBride
Fern McBride, Secretary





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