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MINUTES OF GMCA ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

FEBRUARY 20, 2014


The meeting was called to order at 11:22 a.m. by President Pio Ieraci at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

Board Members present: Ieraci, Berkowitz, Hamaker, Nesbitt, Surdovel, McBride, Abruzzino, Bazerghi, Casier, Cores, Correa, Hashek, Katkin, Kessler, Konstance, Korn, Mercado, Neill, Quintero, Rollo, Solewin and Wassman

Guests present: Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Bruce Roberts; Commission Aide Kate Wesner of Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca’s office; Officer Chris Sousa, Fort Lauderdale Police Department.

Approval of Minutes - Minutes of the January 16, 2014 Advisory Board Meeting were approved.

Old and New Business

  • Pio introduced Commission Aide Kate Wesner of Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca’s office, who reported:

    • Although a biological opinion from NOAA Fisheries (AKA National Marine Fisheries Service) about the Segment II Beach Renourishment is expected today, the project will probably not begin until November.

    • Discussed the benefits of asking Galt Mile residents to solicit Beach Renourishment “assistance” from Congresswoman Lois Frankel as well as Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio.

    • Questioned whether existing permits will expire before November.

    • Improvements to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport’s Terminal 4 and the new South runway are proceeding as planned.

    • Still looking for an eligible early voting site; electrical and parking problems preclude Ocean Manor

  • Pio introduced Chris Sousa, our representative from the Fort Lauderdale Police Department:

    • Crime statistics in our area are comparatively favorable.

    • Discussed vehicles towed from association properties; opening an account with a towing company will facilitate the removal of unauthorized vehicles

    • Feel free to call him anytime we see a problem.

Legislative Report

Pio reported on the following:

  • Bill regarding elevator updating.

  • Bills (SB 440 & HB 425) that increase Safe Harbor limits applicable to units in foreclosure.

  • Verify that association Declaration provisions are consistent with current law.

  • Banks are requesting more information when units are purchased.

  • Discussed how the Dodd-Frank overhaul of U.S. financial regulation prompts lenders to carefully scrutinize fiscal viability of mortgage applicants.

Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz

  • January 2014 Web Site Stats: 638,158 hits; 17,763 Unique Site Visits (First Timers)

Articles posted during the past month include:

  • January 23, 2014 - Roberts: Algorithms; NCIP; New Bridge - Commissioner Bruce Roberts opens his February 2014 newsletter by rolling out the welcome mat to new constituents from Laudergate Isles and Bal Harbour who were shifted into his jurisdiction - after the 2010 Census documented a sizable population disparity in the City's four Commission Districts. The Fort Lauderdale Police Department’s decision to beat back a rising crime rate with predictive analytics represents a paradigm shift in local law enforcement. Instead of beleaguered Police analysts pouring through thousands of reports in criminal justice databases to uncover crime connections, an IBM algorithm will crunch the data almost instantaneously. In every City where the technology was implemented, the crime rate plummeted. While it doesn't predict crime, as occurs in the Sci-Fi epic “Minority Report”, it substantially increases the opportunity for Police Officers to be in the right place at the right time to either disrupt criminal activity or make quality arrests. Listed among the planned NCIP projects in the Commissioner's newsletter, a replacement of sidewalks throughout the Galt Mile neighborhood has been approved by the City, although it has neither been scheduled - nor funded. Read on for the whole update...

  • January 30, 2014 - LaMarca: 2013 - The Year in Review - In his first Newsletter of 2014, Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca takes us on a 12-month jaunt through the challenges he faced in 2013. Long concerned for the wellbeing of Veterans, LaMarca opens by radiating satisfaction for having engineered a free Broward Bus Pass for low-income Vets and participating in many of last year’s Fleet Week events - despite the Fleet’s conspicuous absence due to cost-cutting measures in the Military. LaMarca outlines his involvement in municipal events across his District 4 domain - including a mid-Summer Resource Fair in Deerfield Beach, the redevelopment of Atlantic Boulevard in Pompano Beach (and thwarting the planned departure of its popular Beach Library from the Barrier Island), the evolution of a Culinary Arts District in Oakland Park, a “bridge to Pier” revitalization project along Commercial Boulevard in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, and the reclamation of storm-damaged A1A in Fort Lauderdale. Touching on Beach Renourishment and Port Everglades, LaMarca also revisits his commitment to enhancing the County's critical infrastructure while celebrating a limited victory against the often fatal practice of texting while driving. Read on for 2013 - the Year in Review!

  • February 9, 2014 - Help Save the Beach! - Beach renourishment projects require regulatory approvals from myriad Federal, State and local agencies and stakeholders. To comply, Broward Beach Administrator Eric Myers spent the past few years submitting volumes of required documentation, timely responding to redundant agency inquiries and endlesly tweaking project parameters. In turn, every agency with standing approved the Segment II project... except one. Despite having received all the required documentation from Myers, the National Marine Fisheries Service (AKA NOAA Fisheries) - an agency in the Department of Commerce - remained silent. Phone calls, emails and official correspondences went unanswered. Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca repeatedly went to Washington D.C., where he learned that all of Myers' documentation was sitting untouched on a bureaucrat's desk - collecting dust. During a pathetic Potomac "two-step", he was informed that the agency lacked the resources to read the documentation and return an opinion, despite having expeditiously done so for similar projects to the north and south of Segment II (Hollywood and Hillsboro). Since County Commissioners are ill-equipped to awaken dormant Federal bureaucracies, LaMarca and neighborhood association officials agreed that the logjam would only be broken if Galt Mile residents pressured our larger-fisted Federal Lawmakers to disturb the agency siesta long enough to send one lousy boilerplate opinion to the County. In short, WITHOUT YOU - OUR BEACHES WILL NOT BE FIXED!!! Read on to learn how you can help save our beach!!!

  • February 16, 2014 - Winn-Dixie: Frog Becomes a Prince - Until recently, the Galt Mile Winn-Dixie has struggled to shed a reputation for sub-par service, product lines befitting a third world banana republic and an environment more conducive to changing tires than handling food. Notwithstanding divergent opinions about the store’s customer service and product availability, raw convenience prompts almost every Galt Mile resident to cruise the aisles on a regular basis. After decades of failed attempts to improve the store, a rupture in natural law elevated the Galt Mile Winn-Dixie into a viable competitor for shoppers long loyal to Publix and Whole Foods. While implementing a marginally successful post-bankruptcy reorganizational comeback, former Winn-Dixie CEO Peter Lynch experienced a revelation. Instead of performing long overdue modest repairs to badly deteriorated stores that ran $1 to $2 million per store, Lynch would spend $5 to $6 million to completely gut the store's shell, and build upscale, attractive markets with product lines tailored to the community - a process called “Transformation”. Since the company began developing Transformational stores in 2010, each new store turned a profit. Fortunately, the Galt Mile store was one of a handful selected for this process each year. In short, we lucked out. Check it out - you will not believe your eyes!

Other Business

  • Galt Mile Security Patrol reports are being distributed regularly to member associations and scores of association officials.

  • Homeless: There are many new “Homeless” people occupying the benches and loitering at certain locations; if anyone has issues with improper or aggressive behavior, call Pio and he will inform Commissioner Roberts’ office.

  • During a recent “walk through” along the Galt Mile, Pio, Commissioner Bruce Roberts, Beach Supervisor Mark Almy and “Chepo” Vega identified landscape and hardscape problems which are now scheduled for repair.

  • Fred reported that the fire station property swap will be completed within a few days and construction of the new fire station will begin in October or November.

  • Ralph reported that the recently completed Shooters renovation is “beautiful.”

  • Discussed why parking meters on the west side of A1A need coins until 12 midnight.

  • A1A Greenway Project: Pio spoke to Bruce Roberts on the phone who stated that although certain project issues must be addressed, the outcome is promising. Pio will send message to all when further information is received. Fred stated that without a resource allocation for façade improvements similar to the funded upgrades on Atlantic Avenue in Pompano, the buildings will continue to appear run-down – in contrast with the planned improvements to A1A.

  • Pio reported that Ireland’s Inn will become an Auberge Resort; and is planning to open an onsite sales facility in the spring.

  • Galt Wine and Food Festival: Board Members and Directors who attend a pre-event “Meet and Greet” from 3:30 to 4:00 p.m. are invited to enjoy the event at no charge.

  • Ralph shared that Julian’s Restaurant, on 32nd Street, has re-opened and hosts an Edelweiss Bakery in the restaurant.

Treasurer’s Report - Given by Fred Nesbitt for Leah Glickfield

Treasurer’s Report showed a balance of $16,259.72.

Adjournment - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, March 20, 2014 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:05 p.m.

Fern McBride
Fern McBride, Secretary

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