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MINUTES OF GMCA ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

MARCH 20, 2014


The meeting was called to order at 11:30 a.m. by President Pio Ieraci at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

Board Members present: Ieraci, Berkowitz, Hamaker, Nesbitt, McBride, Abruzzino, Adams, Bazerghi, Bendis, Casier, Claire, Correa, Freismuth, Friedman, Hashek, Kessler, Konstance, Korn, Larson, Mercado, Morton, Pohan, Quintero, Solewin, Tripoli and Vega

Guests present: Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Bruce Roberts, Commission Aide Kate Wesner of Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca’s office; Officer Chris Sousa, Fort Lauderdale Police Department.

Approval of Minutes - Minutes of the February 20, 2014 Advisory Board Meeting were approved.

Old and New Business

  • Pio introduced Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Bruce Roberts, who spoke of the following:

    • A1A Project: FDOT is moving forward with the Galt Mile Association’s avid support. The design package will be received by December. The improvement project should begin in April/June 2015 and will take roughly 12 to 18 months to complete.

    • A public meeting is scheduled on March 27 at 6:00 p.m. at the Community Center to meet the Fire Chief and the Police Chief.

    • Spring Break issues: We are having an active Spring Break season this year.

    • All Aboard Florida issues: bridge over Middle River, Broward MPO is planning to designate quiet zones at crossings along the FEC Corridor.

    • A Top Ten Livability survey ranked downtown Fort Lauderdale #7 nationwide.

    • An ordinance is being drafted to more effectively manage homeless issues.

    • No further news regarding the fire station; it will be completed in 2015.

  • Pio introduced Commission Aide Kate Wesner of Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca’s office, who reported:

    • The Segment II Beach Renourishment still awaits a biological opinion from NOAA Fisheries (AKA National Marine Fisheries Service) in order to proceed.

    • The County has finally collected some of the long overdue Federal reimbursement for Segment III and State funding for Segment II has been approved.

    • Revealed a County marketing poster promoting Broward beaches that is being posted in Tallahassee during the Legislative session.

    • Distributed booklet @Your Service – Resident Guide to Services of the Broward County Commission.

    • The Broward Commission has approved a 5-year lease renewal for our Galt Ocean Mile Library/Reading Center.

  • Pio introduced Chris Sousa, our representative from the Fort Lauderdale Police Department:

    • Spring Break is “Dynamic” – A different school is on break each week, necessitating a large, rotating police presence, especially on weekends. No drinking on the beach is being enforced and police dogs help deter marijuana use.

    • January and February crime stats went down from 9 to 6.

Galt Ocean Mile Street Landscape - Chepo Vega

Chepo reviewed a January neighborhood walkthrough with Supervisor Mark Almy, Commissioner Bruce Roberts and GMCA President Pio Ieraci; he is pleased that trees were subsequently trimmed.

Galt Ocean Mile Merchants - Charles Morton (BB&T)

  • This organization was formed to bring the merchants together.

  • They presently have 10 to 15 members and hope to increase this number.

  • Pio requested their support for the A1A project.

Galt Mile Reading Center – Terry Claire

  • Described the heightened activity at the Reading Center, as membership grows and programming expands.

  • Spoke on the importance of contributing to “Friends of the Galt Ocean Mile Library,” the local library advocacy group that sponsors many of the activities. Pio will send information out regarding the Friends, how to join, etc.

Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz

  • February 2014 Web Site Stats: 700,751 hits; 18,182 Unique Site Visits (First Timers)

Articles posted during the past month include:

  • February 16, 2014 - Winn-Dixie: Frog Becomes a Prince - Until recently, the Galt Mile Winn-Dixie has struggled to shed a reputation for sub-par service, product lines befitting a third world banana republic and an environment more conducive to changing tires than handling food. Notwithstanding divergent opinions about the store’s customer service and product availability, raw convenience prompts almost every Galt Mile resident to cruise the aisles on a regular basis. After decades of failed attempts to improve the store, a rupture in natural law elevated the Galt Mile Winn-Dixie into a viable competitor for shoppers long loyal to Publix and Whole Foods. While implementing a marginally successful post-bankruptcy reorganizational comeback, former Winn-Dixie CEO Peter Lynch experienced a revelation. Instead of performing long overdue modest repairs to badly deteriorated stores that ran $1 to $2 million per store, Lynch would spend $5 to $6 million to completely gut the store's shell, and build upscale, attractive markets with product lines tailored to the community - a process called “Transformation”. Since the company began developing Transformational stores in 2010, each new store turned a profit. Fortunately, the Galt Mile store was one of a handful selected for this process each year. In short, we lucked out. Check it out - you will not believe your eyes!

  • February 23, 2014 - Galt Mile Wine & Food Festival - On Saturday, March 1, 2014, the 2nd Annual Galt Mile Wine & Food Festival will filter through our back yard, resurrecting last year’s blockbuster inaugural, when thousands of local residents and visitors were rewarded with a delightfully entrancing weekend afternoon. The festival is produced by BocaRaton.Com and The Bites! Network in partnership with the Galt Mile Community Association. From 4 to 8 PM, attendees will choose from scores of fine artisan wines, craft beers & spirits while enjoying distinctive food tastings; live cooking demonstrations; and authoritative insight into pairing each dish with the perfect libation - as outlined by some of South Florida’s most experienced sommeliers and brilliant Top Chefs. To otherwise sample these extraordinary signature offerings, restaurant patrons would have to visit each establishment and order its iconic fare - an exercise that would take months and cost a fortune. Instead, you can spend a lazy Saturday afternoon trying them all, one masterpiece after the other, while strolling across the street from your home. By the way, as per an understanding negotiated by the neighborhood association, attending the event will enhance the value of your home. How? Read the article...

  • March 1, 2014 - FLPD: Nailing the Bad Guys with Math - By crunching data that marries historical consumer behavior with emerging trends, Walmart and Netflix adapt how they tailor their on-shelf product mix to specific events (i.e. what they stock before a hurricane, or after a holiday). Long utilized in business, predictive analytics has now been adapted to fight crime. Using the technology to "stop crime before it happens", the municipalities of Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Memphis, Rochester, Santa Cruz and Philadelphia ascribe sizable drops in the crime rate to predictive analytics. In January 2013, the City of Fort Lauderdale teamed with IBM to adapt its proprietary advanced analytics module to crime prevention under the company’s “First of its Kind” program, wherein researchers and clients use real-world applications to shake out the wrinkles of cutting-edge technologies. After an anticipated drop in Fort Lauderdale's crime rate, the City plans to implement the technology to streamline every City Department. Welcome to the 21st Century!

  • March 8, 2014 - 2014 Pre-filed Association Bills - In 2014, the annual dog and pony show in Tallahassee began on March 4th. As always, lawmakers whose agendas are shaped by the demands of proactive constituents or score-keeping campaign contributors jump-start their legislative wish-list by filing before opening day. This year, Representative George Moraitis filed House Bill 807 (HB 807) on February 4, 2014. Two days later, Senator Jeremy Ring (D - Broward) filed companion Senate Bill 798 (SB 798) in the other chamber. The bills form the early skeleton of the 2014 Omnibus Association Bill. Several Association bills that were pre-filed seek to increase the Safe Harbor limits that enable banks to dodge paying assessments on units frozen in foreclosure limbo. Others address the statutory underpinnings of Commercial Condominiums, the termination of an association, towing junkers left in the association parking deck and long-awaited rights and protections for parcel owners in Homeowner Associations. To see how the 2014 session is shaping up... read the article!

  • March 16, 2014 - LaMarca: D4 Doings, Beach Botch, Vote - In his March 2014 Newsletter, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca opens by touring March municipal events in Pompano, Lighthouse Point (his hometown) and Deerfield Beach. The Commissioner closes with a plea to “get out the vote”. Bookended by these District 4 housekeeping pleasantries, LaMarca ignites a flare for constituent help with the long-delayed Segment II beach renourishment. The Broward Shore Protection project mandates regulatory approvals from myriad Federal, State and local agencies. LaMarca and Broward Beach Administrator Eric Myers have been religiously slugging their way through these regulatory minefields. By the end of January, one obstacle remained - a boilerplate biological opinion by NOAA Fisheries. Upon investigating why repeated phone calls, emails and official correspondences went unanswered, they learned that the documentation sent to NOAA Fisheries - a line office in the Department of Commerce - was sitting UNOPENED on a bureaucrat’s desk - ostensibly due to insufficient agency resources. Although County officials lack the juice to crack the Federal malaise, LaMarca contends that our Congressional representatives wield the appropriate political capital. That’s where you come in. WE NEED YOUR HELP!!

Other Business

  • Pio stressed that everyone must proactively support our neighborhood.

  • Fred asked about replacing the Galt Ocean Drive sidewalks (as scheduled in the City’s 5-year plan).

  • Discussed flooding issues.

  • Discussed how the increasing popularity of electrical and hybrid vehicles has resulted in a growing number of charging stations.

  • Favorable comments were made about the rebuilt Shooters.

Treasurer’s Report - Given by Fred Nesbitt for Leah Glickfield

Treasurer’s Report showed a balance of $16,074.72.

Adjournment - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, April 17, 2014 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:10 p.m.

Fern McBride
Fern McBride, Secretary

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