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MINUTES OF GMCA ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

March 19, 2015


The meeting was called to order at 11:10 a.m. by President Pio Ieraci at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

Board Members present: : Ieraci, Berkowitz, Hamaker, Nesbitt, McBride, Abruzzino, Bazerghi, Bendis, Casier, Cella, Claire, Correa, Fox, Friedman, Hashek, Katz, Kessler, Korn, Larson, Lewandowski, Mercado, Neill, Pohan, Pyatt, Sclafani, Sanders, Solewin, Tripoli and Vega

Guests present: Fort Lauderdale Police Department Officer Thomas Gestal

Approval of Minutes - Minutes of the February 19, 2015 Advisory Board Meeting were approved.

Old and New Business/Guests

  • Pio cited having received many complaints about three loud advertising planes flying low in formation over the beach before making a turn over the neighborhood for another pass. Officer Gestal will look into this.

  • Pio introduced Fort Lauderdale Police Officer Tom Gestal (FLPD liaison to the Galt Mile), who shared the following:

    • Homeless at the Galt Library continues to be addressed.

    • Police will walk the beach/sidewalks; their presence seems to be positive.

    • It was suggested that the shower at the Oakland Park Boulevard beach access near L’Hermitage be turned off in the evenings to discourage inappropriate use by homeless and others.

    • Crime rate statistics for the Galt Mile neighborhood are excellent.

    • Spring Break is almost over.

    • Discussed issue of dogs on the beach and rules governing fishing on the beach (i.e. City ordinance dictates time constraints while State regulations promulgated by Florida Fish and Wildlife controls if and when licensing is required).

    • In view of the positive response to FLPD Officers patrolling the neighborhood on foot, a suggestion was made to thank the Police District One Captain and Beach area Sergeant for authorizing such foot patrols along Galt Ocean Drive. Will work with Pio and Eric to forward appropriate emails.

Galt Mile Wine & Food Festival

  • Pio reported that although beleaguered by high winds and rain, the Festival was successful despite the difficult circumstances.

Beach Renourishment

  • Pio shared the text of a message from Commissioner Chip LaMarca stating that the Federal permit has been issued and Broward can now take bids from prospective contractors and commence project preparations

  • Discussed prospects for a 24/7 working schedule; all agreed that this would benefit project. It was suggested that each building prepare a letter approving this type of schedule, indicating that association would cooperate with County to actualize expedited timetable. Pio will send a sample letter for consideration by Advisory Board members. It was also suggested that residents should be informed about when the project will begin.

Galt Ocean Mile Street Landscape - Chepo Vega

  • Shared many photos showing various problems, such as bent tree trunks and branches leaning over sidewalks, new trees being planted too close to sidewalks, ineffectively thin bamboo stakes being used to support trees, messy flower beds, sidewalk panels that look like multi-colored patchwork quilt, etc.

  • A meeting will be held with Pio and Eric to determine what to present to our Commissioner and City Parks Department Personnel to more effectively resolve longstanding problematic landscaping issues. One suggestion was the use of Palm trees and other native plants.

Galt Mile Reading Center - Terry Claire

  • Programs are excellent and very well attended.

  • The annual membership drive for Friends of the Library is going well.

  • Mystery writer Elaine Viets volunteers at the library; has written a book entitled “Checked Out” which will be available soon. The forward of the book mentions our librarian’s name (Marlene Barnes) as well as other employees.

Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz

  • February 2015 Web Site Stats: Unavailable - Data corrupted by Host server.

Articles posted during the past month include:

  • February 20, 2015 - Chepo: Cutting the Galt Mile Canopy - In early November, 2008, Commodore resident José “Chepo” Vega emailed a complaint to the Galt Mile Community Association about the “precarious” state of landscaping along Galt Ocean Drive. A few days later, he followed it up with an offer, exclaiming “While I was walking in front of my building, I saw someone walk into a low hanging tree limb. It could have blinded him. Why doesn’t the City pay attention to the landscaping on our block?” Since Advisory Board members were fed up with a decades-long cycle of neglect and block-wide brownouts followed by unconvincing apologies by Parks officials, when Chepo volunteered his time and horticultural acumen, he was appointed as the neighborhood's first Block Maintenance Liaison. Chepo has pressed, pushed, pulled and prodded City, County and association officials to whip the block into shape. While annually amputating dangerous low-hanging branches, Chepo observed that half the block's trees are gnarled, twisted and puny, resembling runted cartoon mutants. Here's why...

  • March 5, 2015 - LaMarca: March 2015 in District 4 - In his March 2015 Newsletter, Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca reviews a regulatory benchmark for Port Everglades, record passenger traffic at Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport, Broward’s environmentally friendly commuter mini-buses, tax incentives for expanding businesses, an FP&L solar energy pilot program, a County adoption program for homeless pets, a Centennial celebration of the 13th Annual Broward Water Matters Day and a County event commemorating National Women’s History Month. Given his unrelenting support for Port Everglades, it’s no coincidence that LaMarca’s March message to constituents opens by applauding a long-awaited Federal green light for infrastructure improvements that will cement the Port’s future as a regional economic powerhouse.

  • March 18, 2015 - Galt Presidents Council Kicks Off 2015 - On February 2, the Galt Mile Presidents Council convened its first 2015 meeting at Fountainhead Condominium. The agenda, traditionally packed for the year’s inaugural meeting, addressed a threat to the Galt Mile Sun Trolley, a media driven controversy over the City’s Homeless policy, and a predictable outburst during a Beach Renourishment update. Ordinarily, Presidents Council meetings are kept confidential, ostensibly to promote a free exchange of ideas (which range from revelatory to hysterical). Since many of the issues undertaken at the February meeting are of critical concern to all Galt Mile residents, traditional “discretion” will be set aside. See for yourself...

Other Business

  • Fred Nesbitt shared that the “Turtle People” have been coming late, which creates association maintenance scheduling problems (i.e. raking the sand cannot be done until after the Sea Turtle nest observers have inspected the beach)

  • Eric Berkowitz said that the computer he uses for the Galt Mile Newsletter is broken and cannot be repaired. Pio made a motion to reimburse Eric for the purchase of a replacement computer, seconded by Chepo; unanimously approved.

  • Mel Kessler asked if anyone knew what percentage of our member associations had installed impact windows. Discussion indicated that each of the buildings are at some stage of replacing its windows with impact glass. Mitigation greatly affects insurance costs.

Treasurer’s Report - Fred Nesbitt

The Treasurer reported a balance of $15,240.78.

Treasurer information is now printed on the reverse side of the monthly agenda.

Adjournment - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, April 16, 2015 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:35 p.m.

Fern McBride
Fern McBride, Secretary

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