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MINUTES OF GMCA ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

APRIL 17, 2008


The meeting was called to order at 11:00 a.m. by President Pio Ieraci.

Board Members present: Ieraci, Berkowitz, Guttman, Hamaker, Songer, McBride, Bindler, Casier, Chisholm, Comis, Creal, Dally, Friesmith, Glickfield, Gonzalez, Gregorakis, Law, Miller, Nesbitt, Nicholson-Brown, Quintero, Solewin and Vanek.

Approval of Minutes - The minutes of March 20, 2008 were approved.

Old & New Business

The President introduced and welcomed Major Russell H. Hanstein of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, who inherited command of the Galt Mile’s Police District 1 from Major Paul Kiley.

Major Hanstein discussed the following issues with the Advisory Board members:

  • Contract negotiations: both sides are still talking and moving closer together.

  • Crime statistics: the crime rate in the Galt Mile neighborhood is down by about 6% as compared to last year; the reduction is due in part to the successful Galt Mile Security Patrol. Major Hanstein remains in close communication with Capt. Peney. The crime rate is influenced by the economy. For every 10 foreclosures, the crime rate is increased 2.3%.

  • The Major has been with FLPD for 23 years, plus 5 years as a civilian involved in police work.

  • Eric requested that the Major report on the progress of the Traffic and Noise abatement program along A1A, as previously presented by his predecessors.

Pio explained the tenets of the Galt Mile Security Patrol to representatives of our new member, Il Lugano.

Dr. Teledano’s building on corner of 35th Street and Galt Ocean Drive is undergoing renovation. By agreement with the City of Fort Lauderdale, he is contributing $1,000 to beautify landscaping on the corner. The temporary sidewalk will be removed when the project is completed. Landscaping suggestions are invited.

Galt Mile Memorial Walk - Nothing new to report at this time.

Il Lugano

  • Il Lugano representative Kelly Gregorakis visited each building’s lobby desk, distributing information. A full service Italian-inspired all suite hotel, Il Lugano features 105 suites, 23 luxury residences and 10 dockages for vessels 50 feet or less. Until their in-house restaurant is open – hopefully by the end of October – the Blue Moon Fish Restaurant will continue providing food services.

  • Kelly will follow through on Pio’s inquiry as to whether Chuck had received the letter inviting Il Lugano to join the Galt Mile Association.

  • Ralph Hamaker: The City was asked to replace single lamp street lights with two-lamp fixtures. Il Lugano spent $750,000 so far for neighborhood improvements.

Beach Renourishment - Pio reported on conversations he had with Melissa of Senator Jeff Atwater’s office. Senator Atwater is calling Mike Soul, Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, regarding information that they are sitting on the Nova report. Pio will report on the Senator’s response at the next meeting. Steve Higgins is aware of this.

Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz -

  • March Hits: 901,003 hits; 13,390 unique site visits (first timers)

The past month’s articles:

  • March 23, 2008 - Ombudsman Danille Carroll to Galt Mile - Danille R. Carroll (pronounced Danielle) is one of two Condominium Ombudsmen functioning in the United States. Florida and Nevada each created an office to serve as an educational intermediary between millions of condominium dwellers and the State bureaucracy responsible for administering regulatory guidelines. By adopting unwavering neutrality following her appointment by Governor Jeb Bush in 2006, she mitigated much of the adversarial atmosphere that surrounded the office under former occupant Dr. Virgil Rizzo. On March 10th, the Ombudsman addressed a meeting of the GMCA Presidents Council at Plaza East. About 140 attending Directors, Officers, managers and residents from almost every Galt Mile association were pleased to learn that she’s the real deal, equipped with the brains, courage, patience and stamina to fulfill her mission to “improve the quality of life for Florida condominium owners through prompt, professional and courteous service as a neutral, informative and accessible resource.”

  • March 29, 2008 - Edgewater Arms Named Grand Champion - Currently Broward County’s lead agency in the provision of services to the hungry and homeless, the Cooperative Feeding Program’s dramatic evolution reflects the burgeoning numbers and needs of the poor in our community. For the second consecutive year, the Galt Ocean Mile Community has sponsored a competitive Food Drive to help feed hungry Broward families down on their luck. 21 of our 26 member associations participated in the collection of nearly 6 tons of food and sundries to help keep the Cooperative Feeding Program’s pantry well stocked. Lightning has evidently struck twice, as Edgewater Arms (GMCA’s smallest association) surpassed 2nd and 3rd place runners-up Coral Ridge Towers South and Plaza East to again establish itself as the undisputed GRAND CHAMPION! See each association’s statistical contributions to this year’s effort. The numbers tell all!

  • April 8, 2008 - Property Appraiser Extends Hours - On April 7th, Bob Wolfe from the Broward County Property Appraiser’s office sent this information to Galt Mile residents who may have missed thr March 3rd deadline for submitting Homestead and other exemption applications. While there is a process available to apply for these exemptions after the deadline, it is somewhat complicated. Such residents may want to consider requesting assistance from the Property Appraiser to prepare the necessary petition for late filing. The Property Appraiser also extends assistance to residents expecting to take advantage of the recently passed Save our Homes portability provision. A representative from the Property Appraiser’s office is scheduled to help Galt Mile residents at the Beach Community Center (3351 NE 33rd Avenue) from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM on April 25th. Check it out...

  • April 12, 2008 - Condo & Coop Bills Tour State Capitol - The 2008 legislative session in our State Capitol is heading into the final weeks. Legislators file thousands of bills that presumably will either benefit some component of their constituency or contribute to the general welfare. If bills aren’t painstakingly researched and properly drafted, their unintended consequences are often far worse than the problems for which the legislation was designed. Some of the bills described by their sponsors as improvements to existing association law are currently being vetted by members of specialized committees in the House and Senate. Since they don’t have time to familiarize themselves with all the bills they are charged with reviewing, they often rely on their constituents for voting guidance. That means you! The article summarizes some of the Association bills that are still in play.

Other Business -

  • Legislative Concerns: While negotiations to amend the Omnibus Condominium Bill, HB 995, were underway during the last weeks of the Session, Pio and Eric remained in constant communication with Senator Atwater’s Legislative Aide Melissa Francisco, Lobbyist Travis Moore and Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff about HB 995’s progress toward acceptability. Since Speaker Marco Rubio was committed to passing a condo bill, modifying the legislation became a critical priority. Concerned Galt Mile unit owners who familiarized themselves with the bill’s pitfalls corresponded with Representative Bogdanoff and Senator Atwater. Kevin Songer made a motion that we send a letter or email to Representative Bogdanoff and Senator Atwater confirming that the Galt Mile Community Association (14,000 members) supports a corrective memo already sent by Eric regarding HB 995 and SB 2084. Dott Nicholson-Brown seconded the motion; unanimously approved.

  • Pio: Regarding the Calypso project, a letter has been sent to Governor Crist by Plaza South residents. Discussed whether another public meeting should be arranged prior to taking a position on this. The Plaza South meeting was held to inform Association officials about the project so they might relay that information to their neighbors. It was decided that we will reserve final judgment until we receive feedback from our residents.

  • Franci Bindler: An Italian deli has rented the Pomadora location.

  • After discussing legislative issues, the importance of familiarizing ourselves and our neighbors with proposed legislation was stressed. Eric reviewed the surviving association bills on the GMCA website.

Next Advisory Board Meeting - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, May 15, 2008 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

Treasurer’s Report - The Treasurer reported $13,337.12 in our Treasury.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:45 p.m.

Fern McBride, Secretary

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