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MINUTES OF GMCA ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

MAY 16, 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, Hamaker, Nesbitt, McBride, Abruzzino Adams, Bazerghi, Bendis, Bindler, Cameron, Friedman, Gallagher, Gonzalez, Hashek, Kessler, Larson, Mercado, Rollo, Solewin, Tripoli, Vega.

Guests present: District Director John Newstreet of Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca’s office; Officer Howat Will, Fort Lauderdale Police Department.

Approval of Minutes - Minutes of the April 18, 2013 Advisory Board meeting were approved with the following addition to the section entitled “Galt Ocean Drive – Speeding”:

“Discussion followed a member’s suggestion to make the currently manual traffic signals automatic. A few years earlier, when the signals were automatic, the Advisory Board voted to install manual controls. To avoid arbitrarily switching between automatic and manual controls, it was suggested that further changes should only be considered if supported by an overwhelming plurality.”

Old and New Business

Legislative Report - Pio Ieraci

  • Upcoming events hosted By the Community Advocacy Network (CAN) include a Legislative Town Hall meeting wherein lawmakers will review output of 2013 session and a Meet the Judge event scheduled with Broward Jurists.

  • Identified association lobbyists, including Peter Dunbar and Travis Moore, who work with Association law firms (Becker & Poliakoff, Katzman Garfinkel & Berger) and advocacy groups Community Advocacy Network (CAN), Community Association Leadership Lobby (CALL) and Community Associations Institute (CAI).

  • In stressing the importance of complying with right-of-way landscaping ordinances, Pio summarized a landmark case in which $12 million was awarded to a husband and wife who lost a child in an automobile accident when their vision was blocked by hedges neglected by a Management Company.

    (Similar infractions should be reported to the City – contact Pio)

Galt Ocean Drive Street Landscape – Chepo Vega

  • Walked the “Mile” with Fort Lauderdale Beach Maintenance Supervisor Mark Almy, checking on height of hedges, leaning trees, uneven sidewalks (tripping hazards), irrigation breakdowns (broken sprinkler system near a Galt Ocean Mile sign).

  • Continues to send pictures to the City.

  • Stated that sidewalk benches need a new coat of paint, but should be done properly. (Pio will inform Commissioner Roberts.)

Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz

  • December Web Site Stats: 633,895 hits, 22,773 Unique Site Visits (First Timers)

Articles posted during the past month include:

  • 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...

  • April 17, 2013 - Roberts: BMPO, Beach Parking, Survey - In his early Spring Newsletter, District 1 City Commissioner Bruce Roberts applauds the City’s Public Works personnel in the Utilities Bureau for winning repeat accolades from the Florida Section of the American Water Works Association (FSAWWA), describes how to leverage $6 into a year of free beach area parking, delivers access to a statistical snapshot of last year’s first half condo sales and residential rental activity, and links us to feedback distilled from a December 2012 online Neighborhood Survey that may add perspective to the City’s visioning objectives. An opening article looks at past and planned projects approved by the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). Comprised of a local panel of business and political "Masters of the Universe", each County's MPO decides if, when and how transportation infrastructure improvement projects are implemented. They interact with neighboring MPOs to address regional projects. Roberts' insight derives from his service on the BMPO governing board.

  • May 9, 2013 - Association Bill Unanimously Approved - On April 26, 2013, the Omnibus Association Bill - House Bill 73 sponsored by George Moraitis - cleared its final legislative hurdle and was ordered enrolled in preparation for a trip to the Governor’s desk. Following the unanimous approval of three Committee Substitutes in two House Subcommittees, one full Committee and the full House, the bill sailed through the Senate - also without one negative vote. As statewide association advocates for Condos, Coops and HOAs offered prospective input, Moraitis concentrated on bulking up historical deficits in association law, such as the long neglected rights of Cooperative owners. Systematically omitted from Association Bills, Cooperative homeowners lack many of the statutory rights and protections enjoyed by their condominium neighbors. Having fully recovered from last year's meltdown, the bill goes a long way to mirror those provisions for Cooperatives.

  • May 17, 2013 - Roberts: Free Tree, E 911, BCPA Cop - In his May 2013 Newsletter, Vice Mayor Bruce Roberts applauds a National Softball Association of the Deaf (NSAD) decision to hold their 2014 tournament in Mills Pond Park, promotes a program that adds trees to the City canopy by utilizing online services, extolls a new Sun Trolley service that caters to tourists on a layover, discloses the financial fruits of adding a fraud-busting Fort Lauderdale Detective to the Broward County Property Appraiser’s Office, portrays the Broward B-cycle Program as an environmental success story and offers a list of important upcoming events. However, Roberts’ leads off with kudos for a County decision to assume responsibility for funding a unified Emergency 911 Service, ending an extended war of nerves between Broward County and its 31 municipalities. It also relieves our City and County officials of having to explain that our tax dollars were being used by both sides to slug out the issue in court.

Other Business

  • Pio announced that Broward County Property Appraiser Lori Parrish will be attending our June 20, 2013 Advisory Board meeting to discuss the 2013 Estimate of Taxable Values released annually by June 1st.

  • Report on Galleon rehabilitation, which includes new pavers, new landscaping, other deck repairs, signage and lighting; completion expected by September.

  • Fred Nesbitt reported on the May 15 meeting of the Budget Advisory Board.

  • Franci Bindler, a member of the Community Appearance Board, stated that the decision by merchants in the former Galt Ocean Shoppes neighborhood to reinvent itself as “North Beach” has become a source of confusion – since there is already a neighborhood called “North Beach.”

  • Discussed bicyclists who illegally ride on sidewalks in the morning, implementing traffic calming devices along Galt Ocean Drive (especially between 7 – 9 a.m. during the season), install permanent speed indicators.

Treasurer’s Report - Leah Glickfield (given by Ralph Hamaker)

The Treasurer’s report showed a balance of $12,196.05.

Pio will email spreadsheets to the Advisory Board.

Next Advisory Board Meeting - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

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

Fern McBride
Fern McBride, Secretary

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