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May 18, 2017

The meeting was called to order at 11:20 a.m. by President Pio Ieraci at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

Board Members present: Ieraci, Berkowitz, Hamaker, Nesbitt, Surdovel, McBride, Abruzzino, Bendis, Bibace, Cintron, Claire, Cuneo, Hashek, Johnson, Katz, Kessler, Larson, Madgett, Mancke, Neill, Pescosolido, Sacca, Sarkisian, Short, Soucy, Tripoli, Wenberg.

Guests present: Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Bruce Roberts; Fort Lauderdale Police Department Liaison Officer Tom Gestal.

Approval of Minutes - Minutes of the April 20, 2017 Advisory Board Meeting were approved

Old and New Business

  • Sprinkler Retrofit – ELSS: A request has been made for the Governor to sign the ELSS opt-out bill into law at the Beach Community Center - no response as yet. Important: Once the bill is enacted, affected associations will need to opt out by a 2/3rd vote of the full membership. The procedure should be organized and overseen by the association attorney. Discussed possible future changes to questionable regulatory concessions made to insure the bill’s survival. A suggestion was made to invite George Moraitis and Ellyn Bogdanoff to our June meeting.

  • Pio thanked City Commissioner Bruce Roberts and Robbie Uptegrove for their unwavering help with Galt issues. Pio introduced City Commissioner Bruce Roberts who spoke about the following items: the fire station contract has been vetted and the project is going forward; landscape, sidewalks, roads, etc. will be approved, the funds have been allocated; Bayview Drive improvements (re-surfacing) will begin in 2019 and end in 2022 from Sunrise to Commercial at a cost of $4.3 million. A traffic study will be done on Sunrise Blvd. from the Gateway Plaza to Sears Town. An infrastructure committee will create a plan to upgrade deteriorating drainage system; Pio said that the Galleria project has been withdrawn.

  • Pio introduced Fort Lauderdale Police Officer Tom Gestal, who discussed the following issues: Be aware of surroundings; additional unmarked patrols are policing the area; our crime statistics in this area are favorable; bank follow-outs are a problem throughout the country; if you are uncomfortable about a situation you see or are involved in, call the police; homeless activity still a problem - help is offered but assistance is often declined; solicitations at an intersection are illegal.

  • Galt Drive Street Landscape: John Jors provided information: There are 60 uplights out as well as many other issues which the City of Fort Lauderdale is responsible for. A plan is needed to redevelop entire lighting system. Discussed the need for new lights, landscaping, sidewalks, etc..

  • Galt Mile Reading Center: - Terri Claire - Programs continue during the summer months; flyers of library schedule are sent to Pio and Eric monthly to be shared with all buildings; contacting Chip LaMarca regarding renovation schedule. A motion was made by Ed Hashek and passed to donate $250.00 to the Friends of the Galt Mile Reading Center.

Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz

  • April 2017 Website statistics: 531,063 Hits, 23,675 Unique Site Visits (first timers)

Articles posted during the past month include:

  • April 15, 2017 - ELSS: April 2017 Legislative Update - When a skewed interpretation of the Florida Fire Prevention Code (FFPC) was implanted in a May 4, 2016 Declaratory Statement, it authorized local Fire Marshalls to demand that thousands of Florida high-rise associations retrofit a $multi-million Emergency Life Safety System (ELSS). Angered by a scheme that relegated the intent of the legislature, Representative George Moraitis filed House Bill 653, which would provide associations with the right to opt-out of the costly ELSS. Since members of the Fire Marshall's union openly employed by the Sprinkler associations are fighting to preserve their anticipated windfall, Association Advocate Ellyn Bogdanoff - who sponsored the 2010 Sprinkler opt-out legislation - is lobbying on behalf of Moraitis’ bill. On April 8, 2017, former State Senator Bogdanoff sent a message to GMCA officials to help update thousands of Galt Mile residents threatened with this questionable $multi-million assessment. Her week 5 review of the bill’s progress recounts the obstacles that were overcome and those that remain. See where we stand...

  • April 25, 2017 - A Fat & Healthy Beach - When construction vehicles rolled into north Broward beachfront staging sites on January 4, 2016, two decades of mind-numbing frustration began melting away. Although thousands of Galt Mile residents are delighted with the restored beach, their twenty-year ordeal provided first-hand insight into the structural consequences of tidal erosion. While watching the new sand migrate south along the coast, many are understandably apprehensive about County intentions to maintain the newly widened beach. To this end, Broward beach boss Nicole Sharp is overhauling the County’s Beach maintenance protocols. After projects in Port Everglades and Segment III stabilize the Broward coast, Sharp’s plan to surgically address “Hot Spots” eviscerated by Mother Nature may not be a walk in the park - but it will help keep the beach fat and healthy, while postponing a return to the regulatory rat’s nest from which we recently emerged.

  • May 3, 2017 - April 2017 LaMarca Letter - In his April 2017 constituent update, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca uses a pictorial roadmap to demonstrate how the Broward Convention Center will evolve into a full blown Exposition Community featuring a Headquarters Hotel surrounded by venues for entertainment, shopping, dining, and recreation - for both visitors and residents, announces the precursor to a lucrative long-term agreement between Port Everglades and Royal Caribbean Cruises, invites constituents to share in a rebate for promoting water conservation to our friends and neighbors and details how a newly installed State-of-the-Art Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) system will expedite emergency response times countywide - and help convince stakeholders that the Broward County Office of Regional Communications and Technology (ORCAT) and the Broward Sheriff's Office (BSO) can work together without a 15-round Smack Down.

  • May 10, 2017 - Broward E-911 Runs a Gauntlet - Ever since Broward County agreed to fund a consolidated emergency 911 dispatch, the County Board and system operator BSO have been locked in a struggle for control of the County-wide system. Instead of replacing a departed former system Director, the County allowed subordinates and backup personnel to run an untested regional emergency dispatch operated by trainees who were admittedly poorly prepared. When stakeholders threatened to bolt, the County Board hired consultant Fitch & Associates to fix the fast deteriorating system. As Fitch recommendations were implemented and new technology installed, the slowly improving network convinced stakeholders to postpone their departure long enough to determine whether the County would adhere to certain critical Fitch guidelines - limit County management to governance, allow BSO unfettered operational control, and incorporate input from public safety officials - the first responders who are placed at risk when the system craps out.

Other Business

  • Fred Nesbitt: Observed that the fire boat which has been assigned to Fort Lauderdale, the only fire boat in the area, is in need of staffing.

  • A1A Issues: If people have issues, contact Pio so he can forward information to Bruce Roberts.

  • Pio reported on a meeting of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance where data and statistics were shared about area jobs and the local economy, which is thriving.

  • Memo confirming water billing formula revisions has not yet been received - Pio will follow up on this matter.

  • Mel Kessler suggested that we support Galt area merchants on A1A.

  • Discussed speed bumps on the Galt, and traffic issues after A1A is completed.

Treasurer’s Report - Fred Nesbitt

  • The Treasurer reported a balance of $11,607.03.

Adjournment - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, June 15, 2017 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant

The meeting was adjourned at 1:15 p.m.

Fern McBride
Fern McBride, Secretary





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