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MINUTES OF GMCA ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

April 19, 2018


The meeting was called to order at 11:18 a.m. by President Pio Ieraci at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

Board Members present: Ieraci, Berkowitz, Hamaker, Hashek, McBride, Nesbitt, Surdovel, Abruzzino, Adams, A., Adams, B., Adjemian, Barickman, Bazerghi, Bendis, Bibace, Blythe, Claire, Cous, Cuneo, Ellison, Garcia, Gounis, Hamilton, Harris, Johnson, Katkin, Kessler, Kochanowski, Korn, Larson, Madgett, Mosais, Mosher, Mullan, Papineau, Santiago, Sarelakos, Sarkisian, G., Sarkisian, S., Short, Weinberg, Young

Guests present: Florida State Senator, District 34, Gary Farmer, Jr.; Fort Lauderdale District 1 City Commissioner Heather Moraitis; Melissa Coningsby, Assistant to Commissioner Moraitis; Jennifer Gottlieb, Legislative Assistant to Senator Farmer; City of Fort Lauderdale Police Officers Gestal, Ryan, Levin and Lau.

Approval of Minutes - Minutes of the March 22, 2018 Advisory Board Meeting were approved.

Old and New Business

  • Pio introduced. Florida State Senator Gary Farmer and Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Heather Moraitis.

  • Commissioner Moraitis addressed the following issues:

    • Lighting Up The Galt Holiday in December

    • Shrubs - irrigation issue

    • BCT Bus Layovers on Galt Ocean Drive

    • Playa del Sol – excavation damage by vendor, possibly Verizon

    • Doggy bags – 4 Pet Stations have been installed

    • Sun Trolley survey distributed

    • Water/Sewer Rate Study

  • Senator Farmer shared his background and experiences as a newly elected State Senator, explaining the vast amount of legislation that is addressed and passed in the Senate. He also introduced his Legislative Assistant Jennifer Gottlieb.

  • Pio responded to and addressed the following issues:

    • ELSS: Attorney Barry Richard and Attorney Michael Moody are being retained. A note from Attorney Moody dated 4/3/18 was shared. It was noted that 770 Florida associations legally opted out of the Fire Sprinkler retrofit following the passage of former State Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff’s 2010 legislation. The goal is to demonstrate that the fire marshals’ effort to circumvent State Law is unconstitutional. Senator Farmer agreed this to be an extreme burden on the condos and will support our efforts; would like Attorney Richard to keep him informed. (See more below.)

    • Doggy bags: 4 pet stations have been installed to test and evaluate their effectiveness. Locations: Plaza South, Playa del Sol, Playa del Mar, South Point. Buildings will replace the disposable plastic waste collection bags and should post relevant information for residents.

    • Landscaping along A1A was to begin on April 1; to be completed by October.

    • BCT Bus Blockage: Pictures were sent to Chip LaMarca showing bus area - broken pavers and sidewalks. He was asked to see about repairing this damage. The City Commission and Manager were told that we do not want any buses on Galt Mile. It may be necessary for us to attend a County Commission meeting. The blocked wheelchair access ramp is causing a dangerous situation.

    • Water/Sewer Rate Study: Fred & Pio - The water/sewer rate study was approved at the commission meeting; it is to be completed in 90 days. There is an inequity between condos and single-family homes. Storm water could be an extremely expensive issue. Fred explained issue of increased cost of water, storm water and sewers. We will know more in July.

    • Robbi Uptegrove: A note was received from Robbi thanking us for her card and gift. She shared her adventures - the cold, the snow, her travels.

  • Galt Patrol: Officers Gestal, Ryan, Levin, Lau

    • There are no significant crime trends to report

    • Spring Break - there was a huge crowd but no problems

    • Reminder to lock cars not leave anything of value in sight. Unlocked vehicles are broken into.

    • Discussed handicapped parking issue.

  • Galt Ocean Drive Street Landscape: Ed Hashek reported for John Jors.

    New environmentally compatible replacement trees have been planted. The test to see which trees will work best will take a year, at which time all the Silver Buttonwoods will be replaced. New City Arborist Mark Williams is overseeing project.

  • Engineered Life Safety Systems – ELSS:

    • Discussed funding: Will cost $20,000 to prepare law suit; $45,000 for trial litigation; $50,000 each appeal. The attorneys are flexible in receiving funds.

    • Pio explained incidents that have happened worldwide and the billions involved. A 20-story building with 200 apartments would cost millions to retrofit.

    • Attorney Richards’ agreement will be sent to each building. It is important that we move forward as soon as possible.

    • Once the legal action is filed, extensive litigation may not be necessary.

    • Discussed asking other impacted associations in Fort Lauderdale to join, as well as the 770 associations that previously opted out.

    • Pio will call each building regarding an agreement.

    Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz

    • March 2018 Website statistics: 656,933 Hits, 31,656 Unique Site Visits (first timers)

    Articles posted during the past month include:

    • March 24, 2018 - Comm. Heather Moraitis: District 1 News - After being sworn in as Fort Lauderdale’s District 1 City Commissioner on March 20, 2018, Heather Moraitis released her first constituent Newsletter - an introductory edition slipped to the media a week earlier by her rookie Commission Assistant Melissa Coningsby. In her March / April 2018 Newsletter, Moraitis outlines her general objectives for the city drawn from a recent Neighborhood Survey, summarizes the progress of 14 Current Water and Sewer Infrastructure Projects in District 1, seeks to honor the 17 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School victims by fighting for school safety and gun control, cites her intention to host District 1 Pre-agenda Meetings at 7 p.m. in the Beach Community Center and Imperial Point Medical Center – respectively on the first and third Monday of each month, and closes by providing constituents with assorted contact options for enlisting her assistance. For Moraitis’ first message to constituents as District 1 Commissioner, Read on...

    • April 2, 2018 - March 2018 LaMarca Letter - In his March 2018 LaMarca Letter, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca disparages the indefensible reaction by law enforcement to the murderous shooting spree at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School; describes how the devastation prompted Florida lawmakers to enact a school safety bill (SB 7026) comprised of gun control measures ordinarily anathematic in the Gunshine State; applauds the planned implementation of a training program to familiarize employees at Broward County's Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) with the appropriate response protocols during an emergency; explores how improvements to the airport's Terminal 4 will expedite baggage claim procedures for air travelers; welcomes Lauralei Combs as the new Director of Broward County’s Animal Care and Adoption Division; and relishes the success of a Flag Disposal Program he sponsored last year...

    • April 14, 2018 - Statutory Surgery: 2018 Association Bill - A few years ago, rampant abuses by rogue Condo Boards in Miami-Dade sparked a series of events that prompted revisions to the laws governing Florida associations. When a Miami-Dade Grand Jury issued a scathing report about the fraudulent rip-offs, it provided three Miami lawmakers with a golden fast-track to the Front Page. They crafted a 2017 bill anchored by a mandate providing that Board members who are convicted of committing crimes will be subject to Felony charges, although the legislation was rife with glitches, confusing language, and a boatload of unintended consequences. In 2018, District 93 Statehouse Representative George Moraitis filed House Bill 841 (HB 841) to resolve the statutory deficiencies while enhancing regulatory consistency in common interest communities - which is spin for applying regulations that already benefit condominiums to cooperatives and/or homeowner associations. For a breakdown of the 2018 Omnibus Association bill Read On...

  • Galt Mile Reading Center - Terry Claire

    The library renovations are scheduled to begin by July 1 and will take 2 1/2 months to complete. No program will be presented during that time, however, the library will remain open.

    Other Business

    • Eric Berkowitz is having some health issues. Please say some prayers for Eric. He does a tremendous amount of work and we want him to know how much he is appreciated.

    • Wage & Salary Survey: This service has been done for 22 years and provides essential information. It is difficult to get the survey returned from some buildings in a timely manner. Discussed the importance of the survey and when it should be sent.

    Treasurer’s Report - Fred Nesbitt

    • The Treasurer reported a balance of $11,873.73. Renewal notices will go out in May.

    Adjournment - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, May 17, 2018 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

    The meeting was adjourned at 1:20 p.m.

    Fern McBride
    Fern McBride, Secretary

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