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APRIL 17, 2014

The meeting was called to order at 11:15 a.m. by President Pio Ieraci at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

Board Members present: Ieraci, Berkowitz, Hamaker, Nesbitt, Surdovel, McBride, Bazerghi, Bendis, Casier, Claire, Correa, Friedman, Hashek, Katkin, Katz, Kessler, Lyons, Mancke, Pohan and Vega

Guests present: Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca; Commission Aide Kate Wesner of Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca’s office; Officer Tom Gestal, Fort Lauderdale Police Department.

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

Old and New Business

  • Pio requested two members to represent the Galt Mile on the Council of Fort Lauderdale Civic Associations, which meets on the 2nd Tuesday of each month. Ralph Hamaker and Richard Bazerghi volunteered.

  • Pio introduced District 4 Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca, who spoke of the following:

    • Faltering Sun Trolley ridership on the Galt Mile route could adversely impact scheduling frequency.

    • After months of futile exploration by LaMarca and Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes, the east side of the Coral Ridge Mall was finally approved as a convenient Early Voting site for Galt Mile voters. The Sun Trolley would provide transportation.

    • Discussed FDOT presentation of A1A repairs from Sunrise Boulevard to the Pelican Grand (south of the Galt), which are scheduled for March 2015. It will include a fortified seawall and improved drainage.

    • The recent Tortuga Music Festival was extremely successful, as security, site maintenance and traffic were well managed.

    • Reported on the Convention Center expansion, including improvements to the marina.

    • Beach renourishment: LaMarca distributed contact information for members of the Joint House and Senate Budget Committee and requested that they be encouraged to approve proposed beach renourishment funding. We are still awaiting the Biological opinion from NOAA Fisheries required to finalize the federal permit. The individual responsible for its execution is NOAA Fisheries staffer Kelly Logan, an employee of the U.S. Commerce Department. LaMarca informed Statehouse Representative George Moraitis and will pass the name to the Sun-Sentinel. The state has already approved a permit. Trucks will transport sand from central Florida mines, minimizing the environmental impact. It is critically important that whoever replaces retiring Eric Meyers be competently conversant with the scientific, regulatory and political landscape on both State and Federal levels. The Segment II procurement process has commenced (bids for trucking sand, etc.) County and State project sponsors are structuring methods for managing unanticipated problems (who to contact, etc.).

    • LaMarca distributed candidacy petitions: Since he is running for re-election to the County Board, Lamarca must either submit 1255 petition signatures or pay a $5500 fee.

  • Pio introduced Tom Gestal, our community representative from the Fort Lauderdale Police Department:

    • Investigating noise complaints at Bokampers.

    • Discussed how metered parking may improve the parking dilemma at Bokampers.

    • Shared his phone number: 954-661-5473.

    • Security Patrol Chief Darren Ogden has new cell phone number – Pio will forward it to members. 911 should always be called to report police problems. The Security Patrol should only be contacted by the association (a Board Member or Association Security), not by unit owners. For unit owners to access the security patrol, they must contact association security, which will decide whether to call 911, the Security Patrol, or both.

Galt Ocean Mile Street Landscape - Chepo Vega

Chepo complained about hedges that aren’t uniformly trimmed. He will discuss this at a meeting with Mark Almy, while recommending that the back part of grates be filled with mulch – and other concerns.

Galt Mile Reading Center – Terry Claire

  • Reviewed the library’s monthly event programming.

  • Suggestions were made to hold a fundraiser

  • Terry was asked if “Friends of the Galt Ocean Mile Library” could elicit a web site that could be linked to the Broward County website, as have the “Friends” of neighboring libraries.

  • Ed Hashek made a motion that GMCA donate $1,000 to “Friends of the Galt Mile Library”. The motion was seconded and passed.

Galt Security Patrol

Pio reported that during the last Board meeting of the Lauderdale Beach Homeowners Association (which administers the security patrol), it was agreed to add 10 hours to the security patrol’s weekly schedule, concentrating on the Oakland Park Boulevard public beach access (near L’Hermitage), the site of multiple recent disturbances.

Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz

  • March 2014 Web Site Stats: 657,745 hits; 23,777 Unique Site Visits (First Timers)

Articles posted during the past month include:

  • March 25, 2014 - Flood Insurance Wack-A-Mole - When recovery efforts following Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy saddled the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) with a $24 billion debt, the U.S. House and Senate scrambled to pass The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12). Along with extending the program's shelf life by five years, it tightened operational protocols, mandated a plan to repay the Katrina debt, modernized mapping technology and otherwise enhanced its actuarial credibility. Using faulty FEMA affordability projections, bill provisions that eliminated rate subsidies veiled a fiscal time bomb that later triggered homeowner hysteria in 20,000 communities across the Country and mass apoplexy on Capitol Hill. To avoid rate-shocking homeowners with annual premium increases of $2000 to $10,000, and crippling the recovery of tenuous housing markets, Congress fast-tracked relief legislation to the White House. When President Obama signed the bipartisan Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 into law on March 21, 2014, thousands of Broward homeowners dodged a bullet!

  • April 4, 2014 - Florida Home Grown Flood Insurance Fix - As the Feds mop up the flood insurance nightmare they catalyzed two years earlier, some Tallahassee lawmakers are promoting legislation that would supposedly provide a “robust, competitive, private market alternative to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).” Senate Bill 542, sponsored by Florida Senator Jeff Brandes (R - St. Petersburg), rolls out a welcome mat to private insurers willing to write residential flood policies in Florida. Built on the belief that flexibility will breed competition, Brandes’ bill would provide policyholders with menu options for selecting benefit amounts and deductibles, allowing homeowners to decide how much or how little coverage they want or need to purchase – ranging from a property's full replacement cost to the residual balance on a mortgage. It would also enable carriers to offer a buffet of insurance products from which policyholders can pick and choose, parceling coverage for contents, living expenses, secondary structures, etc. If the bill performs as marketed, it will be rubber-stamped by grateful lawmakers in other States with threatened flood plain communities. If not, the fiscal fate of those constituencies will remain hostage to the kneejerk eccentricities of a conflicted Congress.

  • April 18, 2014 - Roberts: NextDoor, Quiet Zones, Bus Link - In his April 2014 Newsletter, District 1 City Commissioner Bruce Roberts looks at the progress of local Bridge Repairs, a new bus link that better integrates the City’s economically burgeoning uptown neighborhoods, a Broward MPO effort to quell growing concern about a serious obstacle to the proposed All Aboard Florida high-speed rail link connecting South Florida and Orlando, availability to District 1 residents of the free NEXTDOOR social networking software (the potential backbone of a virtual “Neighborhood Watch”) and recognition by the National Complete Streets Coalition of Fort Lauderdale’s 3rd place national ranking for having successfully implemented the program's policies. Although most South Florida residents are aware of the All Aboard Florida (AAF) rail project, familiarity with “Quiet Zones” - as referenced in the newsletter - is largely limited to residents in communities exposed to a daily blast cacophony by locomotive horns. Unless local MPOs along the project’s planned route find some grant money, taxpayers will have to fund Quiet Zones to protect adjacent communities. They aren’t cheap! Read on...

Other Business

  • Discussed busses driving in the bicycle lane on A1A.

  • Jack Friedman mentioned regarding an article in the Sun-Sentinel about LED Concepts, a vendor that sells lighting fixtures claimed as “turtle-safe”. Eric cautioned that specific products are never unilaterally acceptable, as their approval depends on a variety of factors that include their specific location, the light source wattage, direction and color, whether the light source is visible from the beach, and their integration into a lighting plan approved by Florida Fish and Wildlife.

  • Marlene Katkin reported a fire in The Fountainhead caused by an old air conditioner. It was suggested that associations proactively verify that aging a/c units are still safe. Andy Surdovel stated that Plaza South inspects A/Cs and water heaters and notifies owners when units are in poor condition.

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

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

Dues invoices will be going out shortly.

Pio has a roster of beach patrol defaults, which will be respectively added to a delinquent association’s annual invoice.

Adjournment - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, May 15, 2014 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:55 p.m.

Fern McBride
Fern McBride, Secretary





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