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MINUTES OF GMCA ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

MARCH 17, 2011


The meeting was called to order at 11:15 a.m. by President Pio Ieraci.

Board Members Present: Ieraci, Berkowitz, Glickfield, Hamaker, Nesbitt, Oppert, McBride, Abruzzino, Adams, Bazerghi, Nicholson-Brown, Dawson, Freismuth, Gonzalez, B. Jordan, Kessler, Mayer, Short and Vega.

Guests Present: Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Bruce Roberts

Approval of Minutes - The minutes of the February 17, 2011 Advisory Board meeting were approved.

Old and New Business

Pio presented information about House Bill (HB5005), which seeks to remove the statutory provision creating the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes. He referred to a relevant article to the March issue of Florida Trends. The Community Advocacy Network is working to extract the bill language that voids the Division and deregulates CAM Managers and management companies, the two provisions detrimental to condos/homeowners.

Members recommended contacting the entire Senate and House. Log on to the CAN website, the CALL website, and/or the Galt Mile website for more information.

Pio introduced Bruce Roberts, District 1 City Commissioner:

  • Bruce thanked Mary Short for her participation in the recent Centennial parade. Centennial activities are planned for Saturday, April 26 and Sunday, April 27.

  • He is moving forward on the utility graffiti issue with the assistance of District 4 County Commissioner Chip LaMarca.

  • Police District I Acting Major Michael Gregory has been reassigned to Fort Lauderdale Police Department Internal Affairs.

  • Discussed methods of deterring speeding on the Mile; Bruce will look into enforcement options, possibly issuing warnings as a preliminary step.

Pio thanked Commissioner Roberts and his staff (Robbi Uptegrove) for proactively furthering our agenda. Several things have been accomplished. The blue boxes on the fire hydrants are gone. A meeting is scheduled today at 2:00 p.m. with Damage Prevention Liaison Sergio Clavijo of Sunshine State One-Call and representatives from AT&T, Comcast, TECO Gas, FPL (utilities serving Fort Lauderdale residents) to show them pictures taken last year of markings that still remain and explore the expeditious removal of markings that are no longer needed. Sergio Clavijo will attend the Presidents’ Council Meeting on April 4th.

Galt Roving Patrol

Discussed those buildings not paying for the Beach Patrol and how this creates a difficult situation for the police.

Galt Ocean Drive Street Landscape – Chepo Vega

The parking lot across from Ocean Manor is still unsightly. It was suggested that Chepo speak with Frank Talarico regarding this matter.

There is still a problem with dirty/oily streets. The question was raised if these areas can be power washed.

Chepo was thanked for being instrumental in the elimination of the dilapidated bus stop signs.

Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz -

  • March 2011 Web Site Stats: 759,032 Hits, 12,572 Unique Site Visits (first timers)

The past month’s articles:

  • 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!

  • February 26, 2011 - West & Bogdanoff: Big Oil & Big Insurance? - When the November elections triggered wholesale changes to the Galt Mile’s political voice box, the neighborhood association organized a February 3rd Town Hall style meeting to introduce the neighborhood’s newly elected representatives in the Florida Senate and the U.S. Congress. While District 25 Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff is no stranger to the Galt Mile Community, Congressman Allen West’s credentials as a largely unknown “war hero” fueled an abiding curiosity in both supporters and opponents of his successful campaign. After penetrating a squad of sign-wielding demonstrators from a local Democratic Club, West and Bogdanoff revealed an admittedly painful political roadmap to attending Galt Mile residents. As the initially friendly audience envisioned their beach covered in oil-soaked seabird carcasses and their insurance burdens intensify, curiosity was soon replaced by concern.

  • March 6, 2011 - Eric Myers to the Rescue - Since 2002, Galt Mile residents have staunchly supported Broward County’s plan to renourish its shrinking shoreline. Whether participating in a multi-bus caravan to a public hearing in Hollywood or jetting up to Tallahassee and testifying before the Florida Cabinet, local condo and co-op owners insured the project’s continued survival. Last year, Broward Beach officials dropped the ball and allowed the project’s Federal and State Permits to lapse. To revive the County’s coastal rescue plan, Deputy Director Eric Myers of Broward’s Environmental Protection and Growth Management Department took the reins from retiring Broward Beach Administrator Stephen Higgins. At the February 7th Presidents Council meeting at Coral Ridge Towers, Myers detailed plans to rebuild the Agency’s credibility with straight talk and provable progress. Unfortunately, the update concluded with the aggravating supposition that repairs to the Galt Mile Beach will take place in late 2013!

  • March 14, 2011 - CAI Picks the Lock - On August 13, 2010, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) proposed a regulation to ban the use of deed-based or covenant-based transfer fees. The real target of the FHFA’s new rule was an investment vehicle devised by Freehold Capital Partners of New York. After participating developers record long-term covenants for their properties, a 1% fee is paid by the seller at every closing over a 99-year period, violating FHFA regulations by artificially raising the cost of homeownership. Unfortunately, many condos and HOAs use deed based transfer fees to fund screening and document handling costs for prospective members when they close on an association unit. Unless associations were exempted from the FHFA action, they would lose Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage eligibility, rendering their units marginally marketable. The Community Association Institute (CAI) conducted a massive survey that forced FHFA to distinguish between legitimate association transfer fees and those that serve as ethically dubious income streams for developers or undisclosed third parties. Thanks to CAI, it appears that we dodged a mortgage lockout!

Other Business

  • Jim Abruzzino was appointed to speak on behalf of the Galt Mile Community Association to the managers of the buildings that did not have stop signs at their driveway exits and report back at our next meeting.

  • Bicycle registration: Pio spoke with the person in charge of bicycle registration although it has not yet been arranged. Bruce will follow up on it.

  • Mary Short passed out a flyer requesting donations of shoes, appliances, clothing, etc. to the Broward Partnership for the Homeless. She will be happy to have items picked up; her phone number is 954-566-1581.

  • Franci Bindler called Pio expressing concern about threatening people entering businesses on the Mile.

  • Commissioners Roberts and LaMarca will discuss the Galt Ocean Mile Library at the April 4th Presidents Council Meeting.

  • Ralph Hamaker thanked Eric for his extensive work for the Galt Mile Association.

  • Elevators in pools: Since condos are not public facilities, they cannot be forced to install elevators in association pools. Co-op rules may be different.

Treasurer’s Report - Leah Glickfield

The treasurer reported that we have a balance of $10,918.36.

Next Advisory Board Meeting - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, April 21, 2011 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:50 p.m.

Fern McBride
Fern McBride, Secretary

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