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MINUTES OF GMCA ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

MAY 20, 2010


The meeting was called to order at 11:10 a.m. by President Pio Ieraci.

Board Members present: Ieraci, Berkowitz, Glickfield, Hamaker, Nesbitt, Oppert, McBride, Abruzzino, Bazerghi. Bibace, Bindler, Nicholson-Brown, Freismith, Jennings, F. Jordan, W. Jordan, Quintero and Vanek..

Approval of Minutes - The minutes of the April 15, 2010 meeting were approved.

Old and New Business

Pio introduced Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner and Vice Mayor Bruce Roberts, who shared the following:

  • The budget process is underway.

  • There are over $30 million in untapped user fees (permitting, fire response, swimming pools, etc.) that could help diminish the tax burden.

  • The City Commission hopes to avoid raising the millage rate.

  • The County is asking municipalities to pay for services previously provided at no cost.

  • Fort Lauderdale is financially strong.

  • Regarding the status of City Manager George Gretsas, the Commissioner stated that his contract will not be renewed in June; an interim manager will be installed until a nationwide search yields a permanent replacement.

Gulf Oil Spill

  • This disaster requires a combined Federal, State and County response.

  • A plan of action is being developed. A consulting/engineering firm (PBS & J) is being hired.

  • No one can predict the extent of the damage or how it will impact our beaches and tourism. We need to broadcast a positive message to reassure potential visitors that our beaches remain pristine and unblemished by the oil spill.

Pio announced that Senate Bill 1196 – the “Sprinkler Retrofit Relief Bill” was delivered to Governor Crist on May 17th. The Governor has until June 1st to sign, veto or ignore the bill (in which case it will be enacted into law)

Bob Nichols, running for Circuit Court Judge Group 22 was introduced. He told us about his background, experience and his desire to give back to the community.

Heidi Berkowitz, a Galleon resident and attorney who is running for District 13 County Court Judge was introduced and spoke of her experience.

Galt Ocean Drive Landscaping

250 new plants have filled in bald spots. The City is grinding sidewalks that are not level. A question was raised regarding removal of tree braces.

Beach Renourishment

The third quarter update from the Biological Resources Division should be received shortly.

Galt Mile Merchants

The Sunset Blue street fair will continue to enhance 33rd Street on the third Sunday evening of each month.

Galt Mile Roving Security Patrol

Major Raul Diaz is back in town; following a meeting with the Major, meetings will be arranged with the three buildings in default (Southpoint, Playa del Mar, Regency South).

Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz -

  • April 2010 Web Site Stats: 909,337 hits; 13,517 unique site visits (first timers)

The past month’s articles:

  • April 17, 2010 - 2010 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 9th 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 4-year history. Although pleased that Galt Mile contributors statistically exceeded his expectations, he was particularly taken aback by their having done so amid this crippling economic environment. Woodburn knew that much of this year’s collected food wasn’t pulled from donors’ shelves, but from their tables. Curious about your Association's competitive standing? The final statistics are chock full of surprises!

  • April 24, 2010 - Mr. Keechl Goes to Washington! - Within hours of being appointed by his peers to spearhead the County in 2010, Broward Mayor and District 4 Commissioner Ken Keechl declared next year’s budget his overwhelming priority. Keechl has long lamented an imbalance between the staggering consignment of Broward tax dollars that travel north to fuel state and federal enterprise and a significantly less impressive ration of reciprocal resources. Our fiscally disciplined “Blue Dog” Mayor spent a healthy part of March and April lobbying Tallahassee and Washington D.C. officials, primarily to insure that we receive at least as much as we shovel into state and federal coffers. In his April 2010 Newsletter, Mayor Keechl enumerates which programs will benefit from the federal government bouncing some of our tax dollars back to us.

  • May 1, 2010 - Will Tallahassee Cure Utility Graffiti? - Since Commodore volunteer José “Chepo” Vega was charged with performing pro-active oversight of the hardscape and landscape features along Galt Ocean Drive, the City has never come closer to fulfilling its contractual obligation to maintain the Galt Ocean Mile in a “Disney-Like Manner”. At Chepo’s request, Vice Mayor Bruce Roberts looked into the proliferation of an aesthetic irritant that Chepo characterized as “Utility Graffiti,” street and sidewalk markings applied to deter an excavator from inadvertently damaging interred utility elements. The City exclaimed that legislation recently filed in Tallahassee might resolve this legal vandalism. A closer inspection of the bill revealed that Chepo might want to hang onto his Excedrin.

  • May 7, 2010 - Roberts: Budgets, Bills & a Beach Bash - Framing the recessionary dilemmas threatening next year’s budget, Vice Mayor Bruce Roberts’ May 2010 Newsletter clarifies the distinction between budget expenses fueled by self-sustaining Enterprise Funds and those supported by General Fund revenues. General Fund beneficiaries are funded primarily by property taxes. The Budget Advisory Board is conducting Departmental reviews to identify potential savings, thereby lightening the burden on taxpayers. The Vice Mayor also reviews legislation in which the City holds a stake, including the Sprinkler Retrofit Relief Bill, a Bill opening the beach to oil drilling, red light camera enforcement legislation and statutory constraint of “Pill Mill” proliferation. After addressing the upcoming “Great American Beach Party”, Roberts makes a pitch for volunteers to fill open seats on key Municipal Advisory Boards.

  • May 14, 2010 - Bogdanoff: Galt Mile Legislative Update - A few days after the Sergeants-at-Arms of the Florida Statehouse and Senate simultaneously dropped their handkerchiefs in celebration of the session-ending Sine Die ceremony, Statehouse Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff addressed the May 3, 2010 Presidents Council meeting at the Commodore Condominium. Having made the 6-year transition from timid rookie Representative to Statehouse flamethrower, Bogdanoff ran down a summary of the session’s new legislation, focusing on the bills with greatest local impact. The former Majority Whip and candidate for the District 25 Senate seat reviewed the State budget, the Broward Ethics bill, the “Pill Mill Bill”, Red Light Camera Enforcement, offshore oil drilling, the Seminole gambling pact and the long-awaited sprinkler retrofit relief, insurance fixes and foreclosure cap increase in her omnibus association bill.

Other Business

  • Pio announced that the Ocean Sky Hotel will be joining the Galt Mile Community Association.

  • A question was asked about the Continental and Maracay condominiums, which were invited to join the Neighborhood Association last year. No response was forthcoming to the invitations mailed by Pio. Patricia Quintero volunteered to follow up.

  • Property Appraiser Lori Parrish will attend the June Advisory Board Meeting.

  • Pio shared a letter from the Property Appraiser’s Office (brought by Dott Nicholson-Brown) regarding a request for information about rentals, homesteads, foreclosures, etc. The request is a veiled attempt to induce associations to divulge private information about their members. Staff should be informed that they should decline to cooperate with this surreptitious request.

  • Pat Quintero brought up some problems with the census.

  • Fred Nesbitt asked about fire inspection.

  • Ralph Hamaker spoke about property insurance; getting a refund because building was originally placed in the wrong category. There was discussion about renewal policies increasing.

  • Solar Panels: Financially not feasible at this time.

Treasurer’s Report - Leah Glickfield

The treasurer reported that we have a balance of $9,806.47.

Next Advisory Board Meeting - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, June 17, 2010 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

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

Fern McBride
Fern McBride, Secretary

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