The meeting was called to order at 11:00 a.m. by President Bob Rozema.
Board Members present: Rozema, Ieraci, Berkowitz, Glickfield, Guttman, Alfano, Baker, Ellis, Freismuth, Hamaker, Lodwick, McBride, Mayer, Montross, Nicholson-Brown, Vanek, and Zolubos.
Approval of Minutes - The minutes of May 18, 2006 were approved.
Old & New Business - Rose Guttman introduced Ireland family members Andy and Kathy Mitchell and Jack Ireland, owner-operators of the Ireland’s Inn Beach Resort. They revealed that the Broward Trust for Historic Preservation was attempting to designate the Ireland’s Inn as “historic”, precluding the family from performing renovations required to make the property competitive.
President Rozema introduced and welcomed District 91 Florida State Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff.
Representative Bogdanoff shared the following:
- She is still getting emails from condo owners opposed to harsh regulations
- To better address concerns expressed by condo owners, she recommended a more pro-active strategy as opposed to reacting to attacks on our rights.
- In addressing the sprinkler bill, she questioned the effectiveness of sending emails to the Governor; she thinks that Governor Bush bases his decisions on his values instead of the popularity of an issue. She offered to call the Governor’s office in Tallahassee to check the status of HB391.
- Since Citizens Insurance was designed as a safety net, it is incapable of continuing in its current role as the State’s largest carrier. As losses are passed through to every Florida homeowner in the form of a premium assessment, the current strategy will invariably default into an inefficient form of self-insurance. Any plan to fix Citizens needs to be based on a free market, layered approach. In the absence of a national windstorm agency, only attracting commercial carriers back to Florida will ultimately re-establish a competitive residential market.
- Given the threat it poses to both homeowners and the State’s economy, Representative Bogdanoff characterized the insurance crisis as the State’s greatest obstacle. While it may take years to accomplish, only relaxing regulatory restrictions will attract insurance companies back to Florida. She plans on attending a meeting in July to this end.
- She knows who will serve as Speaker of the House of Representatives for the next 6 years. Marco Rubio of Miami will assume that responsibility next year.
- She referred to a book entitled “100 ideas”, which enumerates 100 innovative ideas for Florida’s future. A Statewide Policy Summit to develop policy solutions for the State of Florida is scheduled for August 10th and 11th in Orlando.
- The Legislature failed to pass Portability legislation. Until the concerns of small municipalities are addressed, they will continue to oppose relief for trapped homeowners.
- A tax windfall reflecting increased property values created a prosperous environment in Tallahassee. Although the State has $6 billion in reserve, there is controversy over whether the money should be returned to taxpayers, used to address the insurance crisis, used for education, law enforcement or some combination thereof.
Pio stated that since the insurance and tax issues are in crisis, we need assistance now; the State’s immediate economic survival may depend on a short term solution.
Il Lugano – Ralph Hamaker - Construction has reached the 12th floor.
Galt Mile Web Site – Eric Berkowitz - April Hits: 888,125 hits; 14,022 unique site visits (first timers)
New articles include:
- Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Break - An explanation of the terms governing Florida’s second annual 12-day sales tax holiday for hurricane preparedness. An important component of his comprehensive plan to instill a “culture of preparedness” in Florida, Governor Bush scheduled the tax break to coincide with National Hurricane Preparedness Week.
- Commissioner Jim Scott: Broward Update - Accompanied by Administrative Aide Lisa Castillo, District 4 Commissioner Scott addressed hurricane issues, Port Everglades security, Broward mass transit, the Broward budget, land use and a new extension for the Galt Ocean Drive Reading Center!
- Senator Jeffrey Atwater’s Rising Star - On May 24th, civic leader Rose Guttman invited District 25 Senator Jeffrey Atwater – one of the Senate’s most prolific legislators – to join FLPD Police Chief Bruce Roberts, former City Commissioner John Aurelius and an assortment of GMCA officials to address State and local issues over lunch at Fort Lauderdale’s Tower Club. With the Governor, Senate President Tom Lee and President Designate (and Rules Chairman) Ken Pruitt in Atwater’s corner, Tallahassee insiders have penciled him in as 2008 Senate President!
- Jeb Pulls the Plug - As if to punctuate the State’s sympathy for the toll suffered by condo owners from hurricane damage, insurance dogma, and what has become an annual attempt to legislate by anecdote, the Governor replaced controversial Condominium Ombudsman Virgil Rizzo with a 39 year-old Health Department attorney more committed to neutrality, Danille Carroll. The Governor’s underlying rationale is explored.
Correspondence - Reviewed – On the advice of Christine Teel, Bob is sending a letter to George Gretsas on behalf of Maria Torres (the hardworking Fort Lauderdale Parks employee with a long history of maintaining the Galt Mile landscaping).
Treasurer’s Report - Leah Glickfield reported $17,974.99 in our Treasury.
- Guest: Pompano Beach Mayor John Rayson elicited support as a candidate for Circuit Court judge.
- After conveying regards from Broward County Commissioner Jim Scott, Bob Wolf announced that since Scott now has an opponent, he will be campaigning to retain his seat.
- Widely considered an eyesore, questions were raised regarding status of the building on Northwest corner of 33rd Street and A1A.
- Pio expressed that buildings suffering hurricane damage should prepare for a long, hard battle with QBE to settle claims.
Next Board Meeting - THE NEXT REGULAR BOARD MEETING WILL BE HELD ON THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2006.
Meeting adjourned at 12:45 P.M.
Fern McBride, Assistant Secretary