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APRIL 18, 2013

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, Glickfield, Hamaker, Nesbitt, Oppert, McBride, Aschner, Bazerghi, Bendis, Bindler, Casier, Cella, Dawson, Freismuth, Hale-Florez, Hashek, Katkin, Katz, Kessler, Konstance, Leduc, Lyons, Quintero, Pyatt, Solewin, Swanson, Vanek.

Guests present: District Director John Newstreet of Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca’s office; Officers Tom Gestal and David Soika, Fort Lauderdale Police Department.

Approval of Minutes - Minutes of the March 21, 2013 Advisory Board meeting were approved.

Old and New Business

  • Pio introduced Officer Tom Gestal, Fort Lauderdale Police Department, who stated that crime is down 50 percent on the Mile; reminded everyone to not leave visible items in vehicles and to be careful when walking and carrying purses.

  • Pio introduced John Newstreet, Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca’s District Director:

    • Beach sand project is going well

    • Still waiting for the Feds to reimburse the County $12 million for the Segment III renourishment in Hollywood

    • Our Segment II renourishment will begin in November/December

    • Discussed beach easement letter (with Pio); this is a serious property rights issue

    • Ralph asked about the 34th Street light – John will check on this

    • Gave update of various bills in the legislative session

    • The FP&L Port Everglades power plant is scheduled for demolition in July

Galt Ocean Drive – Speeding

Pio asked if members perceived a speeding problem along Galt Ocean Drive. Consideration of a recommendation to install speed bumps was postponed until after the Fort Lauderdale Police Department had a chance to monitor the block and assess the extent of the problem.

Minutes amended during May 16, 2013 meeting - Discussed modifying the traffic signals - some members suggested making the currently manual traffic signals automatic. A few years earlier, the Advisory Board voted to place the automatic traffic signals under manual control. Since it would be irresponsible to intermittently switch between automatic and manual controls, it was suggested that further changes should only be considered if supported by an overwhelming plurality.

Galt Roving Security Patrol

Discussed collection issues; members disparaged the few associations that don’t contribute to the patrol yet reap the benefit of a lower crime rate by exploiting their neighbors who pay for the service and subsidize the deadbeat associations’ security.

Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz

  • March 2013 Web Site Stats: 622,545 hits; 14,300 Unique Site Visits (First Timers)

Articles posted during the past month include:

  • March 15, 2013 - Bad Bill: Negligence & the Rabbit Hole - In 2010, 2011, and again this year, Palm City Senator Joe Negron filed bills that seek to legally immunize Design Professionals (architects, engineers, landscape architects, interior designers & surveyors) to damages resulting from their own negligence. An outraged public convinced former Governor Charlie Crist to veto this anti-consumer gremlin in 2010 and lawmakers marooned it on the calendar in 2011. With design professional trade association lobbyists greasing a smooth ride in vetting committees, Senate Bill 286 is sliding through the legislative gauntlet. No other class of professional has ever been so completely financially insulated from the legal repercussions of malpractice, wrongful acts, or misconduct. Until now - along with doctors, lawyers, and accountants - these licensed professionals have been prohibited by statute from limiting exposure due to their own negligence. Once enacted, if an engineer designs a defective roof, oversees and signs off on construction deliberately peppered with building code violations, when it collapses later that day, the association would not even be legally entitled to an apology. This bill is a prime candidate for the 2013 session’s “Shaft the Public” award. Read why...

  • March 28, 2013 - What Were They Thinking? - While closely monitoring a handful of high profile association bills during the legislative session, politically active Common Interest Communities and their advocates tend to overlook scores of bills that, although targeted to other purposes, adversely impact their interests. The following two needles in the 2013 legislative haystack will not only harm unit owners, the underlying rationale for their existence strains credibility. Fueled by political “quid pro quo” and cruising below the media radar, these thinly veiled pork piñatas stand an excellent chance of becoming law – while we sleep. One is an “in your face” patronage bill masquerading as an attempt to shield Homestead Exemptions from abuse. The other is a “pro-bank” wolf in “pro-association” clothing. See for yourself - read on...

  • April 8, 2013 - LaMarca: Pressing the County Agenda - His boots strapped since January, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca has been shuttling between Tallahassee and Washington D.C. armed with the Broward Commission’s 29-page legislative agenda. In his April Newsletter, LaMarca summarizes his progress in the State and National Capitols. On March 13 and 14, he joined the Broward Legislative Delegation in their annual “Broward Days” promotion of County interests in the State Capitol. As “Team Leader” of the Broward Days’ International Business and Trade Committee, LaMarca spearheads County efforts in Tallahassee to insure Port Everglades’ future as an economic powerhouse by developing its competitive muscle. Having assumed the lead County role in cultivating and collecting beach renourishment resources, he chased a $20 million federally reimbursable appropriation in Tallahassee to help offset the impending $40 million Segment II project cost. In Washington D.C., he dunned our deadbeat Federal government for the $12 million it still owes the County on its $26 million obligation for the Segment III renourishment of south county beaches. To learn what else he tackled while “on the road,” read on...

  • April 17, 2013 - The Citizens Circus - After bouncing Interim Citizens President Tom Grady on June 13, 2012 – an appointee of the Governor who studied ethics under Charles Ponzi – the Citizens Board installed Barry Gilway, a 40-year insurance industry veteran from Maryland. Faced with differing rates that vary by county, Gilway observed that “Rates are not adequate within Miami-Dade, Broward and Hillsborough counties,” and surmised “If rates were taken to full adequacy in those counties, it has the potential of completely destroying both home building and retail sales.” In the next few months, Citizens implemented a bogus reinspection program that stripped statutory mitigation discounts from 250,000 windstorm homeowners, adding $200 million to their bottom line while prompting a class action lawsuit. In October, Gilway received a rate increase from OIR of 10.8%, adding another $250 million to Citizens' coffers. Hammered through vetting committees with apocalyptic visions of disaster and admittedly false data, controversial Senate Bill 1770 would explode the 10% statutory rate cap by 30% to fund expensive private reinsurance, skyrocket rates by 60% to 70% and empower a gubernatorial finger puppet to set insurance rates. Unless...

Other Business

  • Ralph Hamaker announced that insurance classes are held at the Beach Community Center.

  • Linda LeDuc, President of a newly revived Galt Ocean Mile Merchants Association is holding meetings to recruit members and will offer more information at the next Advisory Board meeting. Pio suggested that the Merchants Association consider inviting the North Beach Merchants Association to join them.

  • Eileen Bendis gave an update on the Winn-Dixie blue color issue; an alternative color may be an option.

  • A new Sun Trolley Excursion service enables visitors on a layover in Port Everglades or Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport to deposit their luggage at “Bags to Go”, travel to unlimited local destinations for $19 on the Sun Trolley or $29 on the Water Taxi before returning, retrieving their bags and disembarking. Additional information is available on the Galt Mile and Sun Trolley web sites.

  • Positive comments were shared about the success of the Sun Trolley, although it was felt that there was not enough publicity. An article published in the Galt Mile News and the Galt Mile website entitled “Back from the Brink” details how the Galt Mile Route survived imminent termination before achieving its current record ridership.

  • A motion was made, seconded and unanimously approved to raise the $8 Advisory Board luncheon cost to $10.00.

  • Doug Dawson, President of Ocean Summit, thanked Pio for his help resolving an association construction problem created by an unreasonable FDEP official.

  • Homeless persons are still aggressively soliciting at Winn-Dixie near A1A. The Galt Ocean Marketplace needs 24-hour security, not the limited security they now have.

Treasurer’s Report - Leah Glickfield

The Treasurer’s report showed a balance of $12,643.00.

All applauded when Pio announced, “We are happy to have Leah back.”

Adjournment - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, May 16, 2013 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:50 p.m.

Fern McBride
Fern McBride, Secretary





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