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May 17, 2018

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, Hashek, McBride, Nesbitt, Surdovel, Abruzzino, Adjemian, Bazerghi, Bendis, Bibace, Cave, Cous, Ellison, Garcia, Gounis, Guillen, Johnson, Katz, Kessler, Madenfort, Madgett, Mercado, Mosher, Papineau, Pohan, Sarkisian, Short, Tripoli and Weinberg

Guests present: Melissa Coningsby, Assistant to City Commissioner Heather Moraitis; City of Fort Lauderdale Police Officers Tom Gestal and Tim Ryan

Approval of Minutes - Minutes of the April 19, 2018 Advisory Board Meeting were approved.

Old and New Business

  • Pio had spoken to Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Heather Moraitis about whether or not the “utility graffiti” spray painted on sidewalks along the Mile was the handiwork of a legitimate contractor. Commissioner Moraitis’ Assistant, Melissa Coningsby, was asked to check on repairs to be performed on Galt Ocean Drive sidewalk benches.

  • Fred Nesbitt spoke about meetings addressing the City budget process, which included discussions about the fire department allocation. Fred also explained the City’s CIP (Capital Improvement Program) for neighborhoods (NCIP) and businesses (BCIP).

  • Street Lighting :

    Pio reported having spoken with Parks Department Beach Foreman Mark Almy, who is in charge of landscaping along the Galt Mile. They discussed how to best address the non-functional uplights on Galt Ocean Drive, specifying problems with the underground conduit that feeds these fixtures, and the possible use of solar panels as an alternative source of power.

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

    Most of the replacement trees are doing well; with the exception of those desiccated by a lack of water. The Japanese Blueberry trees are the most popular.

  • Galt Patrol: Officers Gestal & Ryan

    • Crime is down; and there are no current crime trends - a car that was broken into in March at 1 a.m. was unlocked – as are 74% of cars that experience break-ins. Its important to lock your car and avoid leaving valuables in plain sight.

    • Fort Lauderdale Police Department plans to hire 45 new officers, as a new School Safety Statute mandates the stationing of officers in every school, including elementary schools.

    • The city’s non-emergency phone number: 954-764-4357

    • The number one crime against seniors is fraud/phone scams.

    • Discussed illegal aggressive panhandling and the homeless.

  • Buses:

    A dangerous and obstructive BCT Bus layover has finally been removed from the Galt. The pull-in “cutout” that was used by the buses was heavily damaged. Commissioner Moraitis will be informed and asked to have BCT repair the damage.

  • Engineered Life Safety Systems – ELSS:

    • All buildings need to participate in a legal action to thwart a brazen attempt to usurp the right of self-determination for association homeowners. Thus far, commitments have been received from 11 buildings.

    • Pio explained the proposed process and the possible ramifications.

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:

    • 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...

    • April 25, 2018 - Commissioner Heather Moraitis: April in District 1 - On April 17, 2018, District 1 City Commissioner Heather Moraitis delivered her second constituent Newsletter to the neighborhood association. Opening with an opportunistic plan to exploit a labor shortage in the world's fast-growing commercial airline industry, Moraitis connects Broward students with high-paying local jobs in Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE); urges constituents to nominate candidates for the 2018 Transportation Awards; equips residents near Executive Airport with the Aircraft Noise Abatement Reporting Line; lists a series of upcoming municipal events and invites District 1 residents to attend her bi-monthly pre-agenda meetings. Moraitis is also working on several Galt Mile issues. Dig in...

    • May 18, 2018 - BCT Bus Blockade Booted from Galt - When Sun Trolley Executive Director Robyn Chiarelli notified Galt Mile officials that Broward County Transit (BCT) defunded the Galt Mile Route in June of 2017, Galt Mile President Pio Ieraci informed her that “BCT is no friend to the Galt Mile,” a conclusion he reached two years earlier – for reasons unrelated to the agency’s punitive Sun Trolley action. For almost 3 years, Broward County Transit maintained an on-street bus depot - called a layover - on Galt Ocean Drive. Buses blocked a handicap access ramp, pinched off traffic, blocked association driveways, and left a trail of damages to city and private property. The bus blockade finally departed on May 7, shortly after Broward officials learned about a planned Galt Mile demonstration threatened at Broward Government Center during a County Commission meeting. What a coincidence!!! Read on...

Other Business

  • The Tides and Berkeley South are now members of our organization. Discussion was held about having more members joining that are not on the Galt.

  • Hurricane Preparation: Each building has its own plan which should be updated annually. Employees cannot be forced to remain in the building during a hurricane; discussed how this issue impacts Workman’s Compensation benefits.

Treasurer’s Report - Fred Nesbitt

  • The Treasurer reported a balance of $11,738.73.

Adjournment - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, June 21, 2018 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

  • The meeting was adjourned at 1:08 p.m.

Fern McBride
Fern McBride, Secretary





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