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FEBRUARY 21, 2013

The meeting was called to order at 11:13 a.m. by President Pio Ieraci at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

Board Members present: Ieraci, Berkowitz, Hamaker, Nesbitt, Oppert, McBride, Abruzzino, Bazerghi, Bindler, Casier, Dawson, Freismuth, Katkin, Kessler, Korn, Laverdure, Oser, Prickett-Zenni, Pyatt, Rollo, Solewin, and Vanek.

Guests present: Commission Assistant Robbi Uptegrove, representing City of Fort Lauderdale District 1 Commissioner Bruce Roberts; District Director John Newstreet of Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca’s office; Officer Tom Gestal, Fort Lauderdale Police Department; V.P. Laurie Madenfort and President Linda Leduc, Galt Ocean Mile Merchants Association.

Approval of Minutes - Minutes of the January 17, 2013 Advisory Board meeting were approved with one correction. The last sentence of the Legislative Update should be “D&O” insurance coverage, not “B&O”.

Old and New Business

  • Pio introduced Fort Lauderdale Commission Assistant Robbi Uptegrove, representing Commissioner Bruce Roberts. Robbie shared information:

    • The City Commission has approved a development plan for the old American Golf Course that was found favorable by neighborhood residents. Proposed changes include building a 37-home development on a 21.8-acre portion of the 66.7- acre property, giving 4 acres to the city for a park and turning the remaining open space into a golf practice facility for Coral Ridge Country Club. Four acres along Federal Highway are designated for commercial use.

    • The Commissioners are working with the FDOT to build the new bike lanes, a turn lane, the interred metal sheeting separating the street from the beach, and other features of the short term recovery plan from 14th to 18th Streets on A1A.

  • John Newstreet, Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca’s District Director, expanded on Robbi Uptegrove’s A1A progress report, explaining that the sand would soon be transported to the eroded beach and that the timetable is sharply limited by the onset of Sea Turtle Nesting Season. The short term fix should be completed by April 15th.

  • Officer Tom Gestal, Fort Lauderdale Police Department Neighborhood Action Team, advised:

    • While crime is down in our area, it has increased in surrounding areas; larceny cases are up.

    • Suggested that we should always be aware of our surroundings, park in well-lit areas and go out with two or more people.

  • Officials Laurie Madenfort and Linda Leduc of the Galt Ocean Mile Merchants Association spoke about their objectives for sidewalks, trees and buildings in the neighborhood.

Legislative Report

Pio reported that many positive provisions are included in the Omnibus Association Bill – HB 73 – filed by District 93 Representative George Moraitis. Eric reviewed House Bill 87, the third bill filed in the past four years by Naples Representative Kathleen Passidomo to expedite foreclosures by equipping associations with a right to serve a Show Cause Order on the court.

Galt Mile Wine & Food Festival

Members discussed the importance of Galt resident participation in the event. If it is successful and made into an annual event, a portion of the profit will be placed in a dedicated neighborhood improvement fund directed by the Advisory Board.

Pio wlll see that promotional flyers are delivered to all the buildings. Since Pio will be out of town on March 2, Eric will oversee event.

Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz

  • January 2013 Web Site Stats: 746,011 hits; 23,611 Unique Site Visits (First Timers)

Articles posted during the past month include:

  • January 17, 2013 - Sarasota Senator’s Mercenary Squealers Brigade - On June 17, 2010, as a two-hour Advisory Board meeting with Broward County Property Appraiser Lori Parrish came to a close, GMCA President Pio Ieraci expressed concern about a notice sent by Parrish to Galt Mile associations requesting that they “turn over any information about unit owners that may have improperly applied for a Homestead Exemption.” Pio said “I am disturbed by this request. Not only are we being asked to do your job, I believe that it’s wrong to violate the confidentiality of our members’ information.” Following a heated defense of her request, Parrish relented, conceding that associations are obligated to safeguard their residents’ confidentiality, while casually observing that “Nobody likes a rat.” Two and a half years later, Sarasota Senator Nancy Detert (District 28) is looking for a few good rats. On January 7, 2013, she filed SB 182, legislation drafted to deter abuse of Florida’s local homestead exemptions. While the legislation’s objectives are laudable, its provisions range from poorly conceived to openly dangerous. By using a bounty to incentivize mercenary snitches and forcing association’s to rat out their members, the bill would unproductively overwhelm the Property Appraiser’s limited verification resources while immersing associations in a maelstrom of legal jeopardy.

  • January 24, 2013 - Roberts: Beach Fix, Parker, Lien Deal - After opening with evidence of the City’s improving economic outlook, Commissioner Bruce Roberts’ January 2013 newsletter jumps to Beach Renourishment, summarizing progress of the City - County - State (FDOT) short term A1A recovery plan before concluding with a confirmation that resonates with every Galt Mile resident - exclaiming “that we are on schedule for the long overdue Phase II beach renourishment project.” He then describes a lien amnesty program that will incentivize the rehabilitation of homes long frozen in disrepair by upside down mortgages and enable the sale of abandoned properties currently buried in code violations. A follow-up on State-wide efforts to criminalize the ever-changing chemistry of designer drugs bespeaks Attorney General Pam Bondi’s December 11, 2012 emergency rule outlawing 22 new synthetic variants. Dwarfed by these well publicized, high profile updates is a less noteworthy item about a service to help drivers find parking spaces in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Actually, the nascent technology that enables this service could change the way cities worldwide operate in the immediate future.

  • February 1, 2013 - Fast-Track Foreclosures: Round III - Last year, Naples Representative Kathleen C. Passidomo filed House Bill 213 - the Fair Foreclosure Act. She anticipated prodding lenders into reviving stalled Florida foreclosures and lifting 368,000 properties out of hopelessly clogged dockets and into the market. The huge backlog of Florida foreclosures mired in judicial limbo burdened communities with 1.7 million deteriorating vacant structures while banks were left holding portfolios filled with bad paper. Killed by the banking lobby, Passidomo is reviving the bill in 2013. On January 3, she filed House Bill 87. In addition to providing associations with a vehicle that will finally force lenders to recycle frozen properties currently draining association budgets, the bill should shrink the 858 days that the average foreclosure case will gobble up before being finalized in one of Florida's 20 Circuit Courts. Non-judicial states with comparably astronomical foreclosure rates, like California and Nevada, complete the same ordeal in 4 months. Without legislative relief, Florida’s recovery will remain hostage to this bloated backlog of bad loans.

  • February 8, 2013 - LaMarca: County Wish List to Tally - On January 8, 2013, the Broward Board of County Commissioners approved a 2013 State Legislative Program. The 29-page legislative libretto features a buffet of proposals with widely varying impacts, ranging from critical appropriations to concessions for paper-thin local special interests (regulatory requirements for competitive eating contests, standardized parasailing guidelines, etc.). Given the County’s Democrat voting plurality, eight of the County’s nine governing Commissioners are Democrats. As the sole Republican on the Broward Board, Chip LaMarca’s stock goes up every January, when tagged to carry Broward’s wish list to the State Capitol. As promised, Beach Renourishment tops the list, followed by the financial fuel to complete time-critical infrastructure improvements in Port Everglades - as well as texting while driving and early voting site expansion.

  • February 15, 2013 - 2013 Omnibus Association Bill - The beneficiary of wisdom filched from a legislative catharsis, on December 28, 2012, District 93 Statehouse Representative George R. Moraitis filed House Bill 73. Building on the momentum of his successful 2011 Omnibus Association Bill (HB 1195), Moraitis and former Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff teamed up last year to file House Bill 319 and its companion legislation, Senate Bill 680. The third of three consecutive bills assembled from the combined wish lists of Condominiums, Cooperatives and Homeowner Associations across the State, the bills whizzed through vetting committees in both houses en route to an anticipated soft landing on the Governor’s desk – when disaster struck. When conflicted attorneys slipped a pro-lender amendment into the legislation, it enraged association supporters. During a subsequent series of events reminiscent of episodes from the Three Stooges, the legislation self-destructed. Having learned the hard way, a regretful Moraitis refiled for the 2013 session – without the scam amendment.

Other Business

  • Pio spoke about the sand and warned members that no association should sign an easement letter that would legally surrender ownership of its beach, as have been received by several of our member buildings.

  • Discussed the new fire station and Kim Bokamper’s Restaurant; the sports themed restaurant is scheduled to open for business is September.

  • Kaluz, a new restaurant that replaced the old Roadhouse on 3300 E. Commercial Blvd. at the intracoastal, is now open.

  • Fred Nesbitt spoke about the 40-year building safety inspection program.

  • Pio reported on the celebration held at the library on February 14 and commented on how well used our library has become.

Treasurer’s Report - Leah Glickfield

The treasurer’s report showed a balance of $12,885.00.

The following buildings have not paid their annual association dues: Caribe, Plaza East, Royal Ambassador and Il Lugano. The Tides at Bridgeside Square (a new member association) has been sent a statement.

Next Advisory Board Meeting - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:55 p.m.

Fern McBride
Fern McBride, Secretary





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