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MINUTES OF GMCA ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

MARCH 18, 2010


The meeting was called to order at 11:10 a.m. by President Pio Ieraci.

Board Members present: Ieraci, Berkowitz, Glickfield, Hamaker, Songer, Nesbitt, Oppert, McBride, Abruzzino, Alfano, Bazerghi, Bibace, Nicholson-Brown, Casier, Dawsen, Drews, Friedman, Vega, W. Jordan, F. Jordan, Konstance, Miller, Quintero and Vanek.

Approval of Minutes - The minutes of the February 18, 2010 meeting were approved.

Old and New Business

Pio gave an update on House Bill 561 – “Sprinkler Retrofit Relief Bill”:

  • The emails, letters, phone calls to the Governor are having a positive impact. Although the focus of the Town Hall Meeting with Senator George LeMieux was health care, HB 561 was discussed following the meeting.

  • The Governor’s aide called Pio to set up a meeting with the Governor while he was in Fort Lauderdale to serve as Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Pio, Eric and Donna Berger met with him at the Riverside Hotel. He seemed favorably disposed to the bill and suggested arranging another town hall meeting following the Legislative session (such as the Calypso meeting).

  • Assuming that HB 561 and SB 1196 both pass, the merged bill will then be placed on the Governor’s desk at which point he has 15 days to sign, veto or do nothing.

  • We need to continue sending emails, etc. as Buddy Dewar of the National Fire Sprinkler Association is aggressively promoting another agenda.

  • Commissioners Keechl and Roberts have both been very supportive, as have several municipalities and counties in Florida.

Pio introduced Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Vice Mayor Bruce Roberts who shared the following:

  • He recognized the fine job that Pio is doing.

  • Municipal lobbyists in Tallahassee are working hard.

  • The St. Patrick’s Day Parade was a big success, drawing 15,000 to 20,000 attendees. Volunteers and city staff worked very hard and everyone is looking forward to doing it again next year.

  • Applying for a Galt Mile landscaping grant.

  • The Sun Trolley is receiving a good response from the community. Holy Cross Hospital is cooperating as well as several other destination vendors; the outlook is optimistic.

  • He stressed the importance of responding to the census questionnaire and suggested that we encourage our owners to do so.

  • To address the proliferation of questionable pain clinics, the City Commission temporarily froze further licensing. Currently filed legislation in Tallahassee could tighten up regulations.

  • The city is working on legislation for underground cables – burying overhead wires. (Pio explained the history of the undergrounding project on the Mile) Communities and the city would benefit from the lines being relocated underground.

  • The budget is taking up a great deal of time.

  • Questions were asked about red light camera enforcement and which jurisdiction sets the timing of traffic lights. While implementing the red light camera enforcement project, the City is carefully monitoring relevant legislative and judicial impacts. Depending on whether the street is a local or State road, the timing of traffic lights is set by Broward County or the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).

Pio introduced Bob Wolfe of the Broward County Property Appraiser’s Office:

  • He spoke about the tax roll. We are facing a 16% decrease in taxable value this year in Fort Lauderdale.

  • New budget/assessments will be announced on June 1st.

  • He lamented the loss of revenue from delinquent and defaulting property owners.

  • BCPA Appraisers are available to provide assistance at the Beach Community Center on the last Friday of each month from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Sun Trolley

A Sun Trolley flyer was passed out for a meeting on April 15th at the Galt Ocean Mile Reading Center.

Beach Renourishment

Pio gave an interview to a reporter from the Sun Sentinel. However, when the article was published, the facts were not reported accurately or positively.

Galt Ocean Drive Landscaping

Chepo Vega reported that the sidewalks are being power washed. The leaning trees will be taken care of when the high winds abate. The trash containers will be relocated and he is looking into the newspaper machines. Each building should monitor the area in front of their property to prevent damage caused by contractors.

Galt Mile Roving Security Patrol

As of this date, there are still two buildings that have not paid. Pio will find out if signs can be posted saying that we have the roving patrol; will check with insurance companies about liability implications.

Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz -

  • February 2010 Web Site Stats: 906,635 hits; 13,110 unique site visits (first timers)

The past month’s articles:

  • February 20, 2010 - Keechl Clarifies Courthouse Tax Catch - Given the monthly flood damage from deteriorating plumbing, employee lawsuits for a mold infested working environment and a growing litany of structural defects, the Broward Board of County Commissioners approved replacing the County Courthouse by a 6 - 3 vote on February 2nd. An appointed Courthouse Task Force determined that replacing the dilapidated structure with a scaled down new building would be less costly than a commercial relocation, continuously patching the existing courthouse or spinning off courthouse tasks to satellite locations. Irked by local media reports that characterize the action as an unnecessary tax burden, Mayor Keechl's March Newsletter reveals deliberately omitted fiscal factors that soften the tax consequences and otherwise justify the Commission vote.

  • February 28, 2010 - Pre-session Foreclosure Relief Landscape - During 2009, the agenda of nearly every association board meeting along the Galt Mile was footnoted with the current and future impact of foreclosures on association finances. This year, Tallahassee will host another round of attempts to somehow engage banks in paying their fair share of maintenance costs for units in various stages of foreclosure lock-down. Responding to constituent pressure to “DO SOMETHING,” lawmakers have pulled the tires from last year’s failed bills and are bravely pushing this year’s retreads uphill. Having been burned by unanticipated and costly consequences of their procrastination policy, the juggernaut Bank Lobby in Tallahassee might lift the industry’s foot from the legislature’s neck long enough for one of this year's bills to squeak through. The following is a review of the pre-session line-up. ALSO...

    How YOU Can Stop the Retrofit Ripoff - Shortly after professing support for Representative Bogdanoff's sprinkler retrofit relief bill, Governor Crist executed one of his classic "flip-flops", revealing at a news briefing that he might again veto legislation that returns the decision about installing sprinklers in unit foyers to the homeowners who must live with and pay for that decision. The Governor's political handler's want to determine if the huge assessment will translate into lost votes. This campaign diagnostic provides us with an opportunity to avoid this unnecessary $multi-million assessment. Please take sixty seconds and register your concern or prepare to soak the household budget for an additional $8,000 to $18,000 for this pork monument.

  • March 11, 2010 - Roberts: Oil, Oxycontin & Opt-Out - In his March Newsletter, District 1 Commissioner and Vice Mayor Bruce Roberts shines light on several high-impact issues that resonate across district, city and state lines. Roberts opens by decrying a legislative attempt to open our beaches to the predations of big oil and applauding City employees for their generous contributions to Haitian relief. Aspiring to derail a $multi-million burden facing high rise association homeowners, the Vice Mayor also spearheaded a resolution supporting the sprinkler retrofit relief bill (HB 561) sponsored by Statehouse Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff. Roberts addresses noise complaints from neighborhoods adjacent to Executive Airport, short-term home rentals that threaten a neighborhood's residential integrity, the explosion of Pill Mills that export death across the country and preparations for next year's intimidating budget exigencies. Check it out...

  • March 18, 2010 - Bogdanoff on Broward Ethics Bill - For two decades, federal investigators surgically removed a battalion of crooked politicians - along with enabling lawyers and lobbyists - from Miami and Palm Beach, leaving Broward to stew in its own juices... until now! The Broward Ethics Commission finally formulated the ethics code mandated by Broward voters in 2002 and 2008. At its heart is an Inspector General empowered to issue subpoenas, take testimony under oath and investigate any reasonable suspicion of misconduct. To accomplish this, the Broward Delegation asked Republican Ellyn Bogdanoff and Democrat Ari Porth to file the legislative basis for asking Broward voters to decide whether an inspector general should look into complaints of waste, mismanagement and abuse by public officials and refer violations to the state attorney’s office. After filing House Bill 1425, delegation members in cahoots with elements of the Broward Commission tried to sink the bill in partisan sludge. In her early session update, Bogdanoff confirms her intention to see this through, as desperately sought by Broward residents. Read on...

Other Business

  • Fred Nesbitt suggested placing The Galt Mile News on the 8th floor of City Hall; other community newsletters are on a table there.

  • Franci Bindler fell and broke a knee; Leah has sent a card to her from the Galt Mile Community Association.

  • Discussed bi-directional antennas. A meeting will be held regarding changing frequencies on the Galt

  • Discussed OSHA; information had been sent out.

  • Letter from Donna Berger (Community Advocacy Network) with legislative session information was distributed.

Treasurer’s Report - Leah Glickfield

The treasurer reported that we have a balance of $9,437.54.

Next Advisory Board Meeting - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, April 15, 2010 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:00 p.m.

Fern McBride
Fern McBride, Secretary

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