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June 15, 2017

The meeting was called to order at 11:10 a.m. by President Pio Ieraci at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

Board Members present: Ieraci, Berkowitz, Hamaker, Nesbitt, Surdovel, McBride, Abruzzino, Bazerghi, Beard, Bellimo, Bendis, Bibace, Cerciello, Cintron, Cuneo, Hashek, Johnson, Larson, Madenfort, Marcus, Pohan, Sacca, Santiago, Short, Solewin, Tripoli, VanDyke and Wenberg.

Guests present: Fort Lauderdale District 1 City Commissioner Bruce Roberts; District 1 City Commission candidate Heather Moraitis.

Approval of Minutes - Minutes of the May 18, 2017 Advisory Board Meeting were approved.

Old and New Business

  • Pio introduced District 1 City Commission candidate Heather Moraitis. Mrs. Moraitis enumerated her qualifications and expressed her intention to address development, the homeless, crime, traffic and other issues relevant to the City or district.

  • Sprinkler Retrofit – ELSS: House Bill 653 was overwhelmingly approved by lawmakers and presented to the Governor. The Governor promised to support the legislation if it was amended to require approval by 2/3 of the full association membership to forgo retrofitting an ELSS. Pio explained how the London fire would provide Sprinkler Association lobbyists with an opportunity to pressure the Governor into a veto. Although the London fire was fueled by flammable exterior cladding – which renders an ELSS irrelevant, the Governor folded like a cheap suit and broke his promise – he vetoed the bill.

  • Galt Ocean Drive Street Landscape: Pio read a report from John Jors calling for the City to repair or replace broken uplights and street lamps, disparaged neglected landscaping at the north and south end of the Galt that will hopefully be addressed after the construction along A1A is completed. Fred Nesbitt spoke about the CIP budget which funds neighborhood improvements such as lighting, sidewalks, etc. Since the formula used to blend aggregate for the original sidewalks has been lost, a substitute was approved for future use on Galt sidewalks. When the new formula is next applied, Eileen Bendis will report on whether it compares favorably with the adjacent sidewalk. Sidewalk tripping hazards will be repaired along the East side of Galt Ocean Drive. Tree grates and utility lines entangled in root balls have compromised street lighting. The City is responsible for maintaining Galt Mile landscaping “in a Disney-like manner”.

  • Pio introduced City Commissioner Bruce Roberts, who spoke about the following items: a 20-year plan to replace aging infrastructure (schedule/budget), including miles of drainage lines, building a new water & wastewater treatment plant and the CIP program. The development of Bahia Mar has been approved, enabling a 30-year agreement with the Boat Show - the biggest single event in the State of Florida. Southeast Florida features the fifth fastest growing metropolitan region in the United States. The WAVE Streetcar project is going forward. A plan to fund canal maintenance by assessing adjacent property owners was defeated.

  • Fred, Eric and Pio met with Michael Burton to address equitable water and sewer rates for single family and multi-family homeowners. A memo subsequently received failed to reflect revisions agreed to at the meeting. Bruce was asked to investigate this.

  • Galt Mile Reading Center: - Mary Short commented on the importance of the library to the Galt Mile neighborhood.

Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz

  • May 2017 Website statistics: 577,274 Hits, 25,577 Unique Site Visits (first timers)

Articles posted during the past month include:

  • 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.

  • May 12, 2017 - Bogdanoff Bags The Bill - Endgame - Last May, Fire Sprinkler Association lobbyists successfully engineered a regulatory loophole to circumvent a 2010 State Law that enables high rise association homeowners to forgo spending $millions on retrofitting their home with fire sprinklers. Since then, associations that legally opted out of the sprinkler retrofit have been ordered by local Fire Marshals to install as Emergency Life Safety System (ELSS). Since an ELSS in older buildings includes a sprinkler system, when Statehouse Representative George Moraitis learned that Fire Sprinkler Association lobbyists circumvented the intent of the legislature in order to bloodlet $billions from association homeowners, he filed legislation that will allow high rise associations to also opt out of the ELSS. Given her intimate familiarity with the legislative process and the specific issues at stake, former Representative and State Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff also headed to Tallahassee. Last month Bogdanoff updated Galt Mile officials about the legislation’s progress through the first half of the session. Bogdanoff’s reports covering the frenetic second half of the session follow next, including an endgame that proved a double-edged sword.

  • May 27, 2017 - Roberts: FXE; Census Data; GABP - In his May 2017 Newsletter, City Commissioner Bruce Roberts notes how Fort Lauderdale is in one of the nation’s fastest growing metropolitan regions; celebrates the 70th birthday of Fort Lauderdale’s Executive Airport (FXE); announces new LauderWorks and LauderStreet websites that provide information about road closures, special events and Public Works projects throughout the City; honors FLPD Sergeant Monica Ferrer for facilitating Fort Lauderdale’s recognition as a Purple Heart City; invites constituents to attend The Great American Beach Party on May 27; applauds this year’s nominees for induction into the annual Fort Lauderdale Walk of Fame; and closes by welcoming participation in the upcoming 2017 “Telephone Town Hall Meetings” (speak with Roberts on June 14 at 7 p.m.).

Other Business

  • August is the new completion date for the A1A project.

  • Fred Nesbitt expressed our thanks to Pio for all he does for the Galt.

  • Pio thanked Robbie Uptegrove for responding expeditiously to Galt Mile concerns.

Treasurer’s Report - Fred Nesbitt

  • The Treasurer reported a balance of $15,615.87

Adjournment - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, September 21, 2017 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant

The meeting was adjourned at 12:15 p.m.

Fern McBride
Fern McBride, Secretary





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