The meeting was called to order at 11:00 a.m. by President Bob Rozema.
Board Members present: Rozema, Ieraci, Berkowitz, Glickfield, Guttman, Alfano, Casier, Drews, Feldman, Gilligan, Leeds, Lodwick, Mayer, McBride, Montross, Nicholson-Brown, Rainey, Rossi, Songer and Vanek.
Approval of Minutes - The minutes of February 16, 2006 were approved.
Old & New Business - President Rozema introduced and welcomed Fort Lauderdale City Manager George Gretsas.
Mr. Gretsas presented a slide program giving an overview of where the City was when he arrived and where we are now. Some of the items covered were:
- Emergency Reserves: Went from $875,000 in 2003 to $30 million in 2005
- Insurance deficit: By end of 2006 will be fully reserved.
- Moody and Standard & Poors both lifted City's negative bond ratings
- Crime statistics substantially improved; Crime rate decreased
- 3,000 more units added to downtown area
- Saving money/New revenue
- Labor contracts settled with Police, Fire-Rescue, Captains and Management
- Wilma: Cost to City - $63 million; $14 million for debris alone - $5 to $8 Million after FEMA Reimbursement
- Budget 2006: Largest tax cut in many years
- Better interdepartmental coordination
- More active role in transportation issues
- Better traffic management
- Created an economic development program
- Improved beach
Click Here for full report about City Manager George Gretsas’ address to the Advisory Board. [Editor]
Pio asked about street lights on A1A and the Mile. George suggested calling FPL. Also, light fixtures will arrive April 14; then be assembled and installed. They will start planting trees next Tuesday. New trees are Sabal Palms and Simpson Stoppers.
Pio asked about permits – there is a problem on the Mile with the City not releasing permits so work can commence. George will look into this; said to call him directly if there is a problem. In response to question about permits for generators for Publix stores, he was unaware of any problem.
Sam Montross asked about flu pandemic. George stated that being prepared at this time is impractical, as are unforeseen and catastrophic events.
Discussed progress of Ireland’s Inn – George stated that it is being considered as a Historic Site. He recommended that we “monitor” the rulings of the Historic Preservation Board.
The future of the American Golf Course was discussed.
Regarding CA Day on March 15th:
- Pio related that members visited with our legislators and other public policy makers to elicit their support in opposing proposed anti-condo legislation. 160 people walked the halls of the Capitol; it was a successful day.
- Eric related conversation with Mr. Zapata and Dott suggested everyone should write to Mr. Zapata. Pio stated that our Associations should inform our members what is going on and asked what proactive way we can inform condo members.
- It was decided that each building should send/deliver a letter to Tallahassee. Since there is a short window in which to act, information will be delivered to each building with recommendations.
Opus South - There are design issues; one problem is that access to waterway was closed off.
Denny’s - Bob Rozema - A “boutique” hotel may eventually be built on the site.
Galt Mile Newsletter - Eric was complimented on the excellent newsletter articles.
Galt Mile Web Site – Eric Berkowitz - December Hits: 816,440 – 31,604 unique site visits (first timers)
New articles include: On February 21st, a summary of the February 16th Advisory Board meeting featuring Fort Lauderdale Assistant Chief of Police Stephen Robitaiile was posted. He reviewed the Department’s administrative upgrades for which he credited the diminished crime rate and improved departmental focus. District 1’s Major Mary Negrey explained that Chief Bruce Roberts’ “Traffic Enforcement Action Plan” is continuing, having already issued 1361 citations to scofflaws. An article explaining the damaging provisions of HB 1227, this year’s “Condo Killer” bill listed many of the adverse consequences inherent in the legislation. Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff also updated constituents about the progress of her legislation.
Correspondence - Reviewed
Galt Merchants - Marilyn Leed’s reported the merchants had a meeting; they discussed having events in the area and would like to get condos organized to participate and help with the events.
Treasurer’s Report - Leah Glickfield reported $15,869.25 in our Treasury.
Next Board Meeting - THE NEXT REGULAR BOARD MEETING WILL BE HELD ON THURSDAY, APRIL 20, 2006.
Meeting adjourned at 12:45 P.M.
Fern McBride, Assistant Secretary