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MINUTES OF GMCA ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

MAY 19, 2011


The meeting was called to order at 11:15 a.m. by President Pio Ieraci.

Board Members present: Ieraci, Berkowitz, Glickfield, Hamaker, Nesbitt, McBride, Abruzzino, Bendis, Beydoun, Bibace, Nicholson-Brown, Claire, Freismuth, Gonzalez, Katkin, Konstance, Pohan, Quintero and Santiago.

Guests present: Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Bruce Roberts and Police District 1 Acting Major Michael Gregory, Fort Lauderdale Police Department.

Approval of Minutes - The minutes of the March 17, 2011 Advisory Board meeting were approved.

Old and New Business

Pio announced that our June Advisory Board meeting will be rescheduled from June 16 to June 23 as we are invited to attend the Community Advocacy Network (CAN) Legislative Round Table on that date.

Pio introduced Acting Major Gregory, who shared the following:

  • There has been a rash of hotel burglaries on A1A and the Galt – 10 or more in the last three weeks. FLPD believes that they are finally under control.

  • A Memorial Day celebration is planned on the beach as a salute to municipal pioneers and Fort Lauderdale celebrities. A1A will be closed with limited access from Las Olas to Bay Shore.

  • Spoke about Hurricane Season preparations: free-standing generators, impact windows and hurricane rated shutters, stocking emergency supplies, awareness of evacuation routes, information regarding re-entering our area after a hurricane. There was discussion about whether a pass was still available that enabled local residents and vendors to enter a previously evacuated area.

Pio thanked Major Gregory for the bicycle registration event. This will be repeated in February at a location closer to Galt Ocean Drive – perhaps the Galt Mile Library.

Pio introduced Bruce Roberts, District 1 City Commissioner:

  • He stated that the Mayor’s excellent State of the City address on May 18 was positive.

  • Fort Lauderdale has the second lowest millage rate of large cities in Florida.

  • The Mayor has eliminated many long-unfilled positions, however, our police and fire services remain fully staffed.

  • Lee Feldman has been selected as our new City Manager. Bruce was very impressed with his energy and communication skills throughout the selection process. His contract is being negotiated.

  • The Sun Trolley route is being extended to include access to the Galleria.

  • The Bahia Mar Project is going ahead. Key to the negotiations is its continued support for the boat show, an event which annually brings a half billion dollars into the area.

  • After a discussion about gun ownership for unstable association members, Bruce was asked for any legislative guidance useful for preventing a potential tragedy.

  • Ralph Hamaker asked questions about code enforcement that Bruce agreed to investigate.

  • During his “walk through” with Chepo, they discussed striping, oil tracked from association dumpsters onto the street, the type and placement of trash receptacles.

Pio thanked Bruce for balancing the City’s street improvement plans with Southpoint’s critically important AC repairs.

Beach Renourishment

New County Beach Administrator Eric Meyer sent a letter about surveying Galt Mile beachfront property/bulkhead in preparation for Beach Renourishment. Pio will contact Eric Meyer to ascertain whether it could compromise association ownership rights.

Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz -

  • April 2011 Web Site Stats: 797,546 Hits, 14,252 Unique Site Visits (first timers)

The past month’s articles:

  • April 20, 2011 - 2011 Galt Mile Food Drive Final Results - The food drive was over. In celebration of another successful effort, Executive Director Scott Woodburn of the Cooperative Feeding Program sponsored an April 12th awards event at the St Lawrence Gallery on A1A. Earlier in the day, he sent email reminders to team captains, Association volunteers and other local program supporters that were instrumental in delivering the most impressive result in the Galt Mile Food Drive’s 5-year history. Through the Food Drive’s final week, donations were lagging behind last year’s record collections. In the last few days, competing associations pulled out all the stops, blazing to a statistically unprecedented finish. Curious about your Association’s competitive standing? The final statistics are chock full of surprises!

  • April 28, 2011 - Roberts: Bus Hop, Website, Jog with Jack - In Commissioner Bruce Roberts’ May 2011 Newsletter, he updates the rapidly narrowing field of City Manager candidates, summarizes a new Sun Trolley “Hop On Hop Off” excursion service, announces the City’s new website, invites District 1 residents to trot along with Mayor Seiler and seeks to fill vacancies in four undermanned Advisory Boards/Committees. Among the three remaining City Manager candidates is Michael Levinson, the award-winning former Coral Springs City Manager who mysteriously left a post where he was both successful and popular, a rare dual achievement for a City Manager. Talk in Coral Springs City Hall suggests that Levinson left to avoid retaliation by two mudslinging Coral Springs Commissioners who blamed him when they were caught and prosecuted for violating the Government in the Sunshine Law. If so, Fort Lauderdale may have lucked out!

  • May 6, 2011 - Chip LaMarca’s Galt Library Rescue Plan - On April 28th, residents from every Galt Mile association ignored the mid-afternoon soup-like humidity and streamed to the Galt Mile Reading Center. They ostensibly went to celebrate a successful campaign to bolster membership for Herman Gardner’s “Friends of the Galt Ocean Mile Library” support group. In fact, it was a strategy meeting called to prevent the county from closing the popular mini-Library. Following brief addresses by Plaza South’s Terry Claire and Commodore’s Leann Barber, District 4 County Commissioner Chip LaMarca stepped to an apprehensive audience. When LaMarca informed attendees that he planned to forego collecting thousands of petition signatures, eliciting dozens of association and civic resolutions and/or flooding the commission Chamber with Galt Mile residents at the final budget meeting, the audience was stunned. In contrast with former Commissioner Ken Keechl’s convulsive strategy, LaMarca said he would implement a political solution. Herman Gardner commented “I’m delighted - do you think it will work?”

  • May 13, 2011 - Lessons from a Galt Mile Tragedy - Last year, veteran Building Manager Jim Beard of the Ocean Riviera called Private Investigator Jim Rigney, a retired New York City Detective who lives in The Regency Tower. Rigney’s agency, Pelican Group International, does background checks of prospective buyers or tenants for several Galt Mile associations. Rigney headed south to Beard’s building and picked up a file containing a screening application for the Ocean Riviera Condominium Association. Making the most of the $100 maximum mandated by the State for background checks, the bad news uncovered by Rigney was off the charts. Since it also confirmed the savvy manager’s instincts, the association rejected the prospective tenant - and a boatload of trouble. Undeterred, a highly medicated Brian Krebs moved into an alternative building on Galt Ocean Drive and wrecked the unit during a tantrum. Days later, he was arrested for murdering a musician and stabbing four people in a bar across the street. Stunned Galt Mile association boards and managers scrambled to firm up historically lax tenant screening procedures; their best opportunity to keep wolves out of the henhouse.

Galt Mile Merchants - Ralph Hamaker

There is increased commercial activity on 33rd Street and 34th Street is slowly being filled with new merchants. La Dolce Vita is a new restaurant on 33rd Street.

Treasurer’s Report - Leah Glickfield

The treasurer reported that we have a balance of $10,728.66. The treasurer stated that the Roving Patrol has nothing to do with the Galt Mile Community Association. The GMCA annual bill of $250 will be sent on June 1, 2011.

Eric Berkowitz made a motion that the annual Galt Mile Community Association dues remain the same for 2011-2012. The motion was seconded by Ralph Hamaker and unanimously approved.

Next Advisory Board Meeting - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, June 23, 2011 (not June 16) at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:00 p.m.

Fern McBride
Fern McBride, Secretary

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