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MINUTES OF GMCA ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

June 16, 2016


The meeting was called to order at 11:15 a.m. by President Pio Ieraci at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

Board Members present: : Ieraci, Berkowitz, Hamaker, Nesbitt, McBride, Abruzzino, Adams, Bazerghi, Bellino, Bendis, Bibace, Cella, Claire, Czwazka, Friedman, Goldstein, Hashek, Katz, Korn, Larson, Madgett, Neill, Quqa, Sacca, Solewin, Soucy, Tripoli and Vega.

Guests present: Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Bruce Roberts; Fort Lauderdale Police Department Officer Tom Gestal; Charlotte Rodstrom, Fort Lauderdale Mayoral Candidate.

Approval of Minutes - Minutes of the May 19, 2016 Advisory Board Meeting were approved.

Old and New Business/Guests

  • Pio introduced Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Bruce Roberts, who shared the following:

    • Bahia Mar redevelopment plan still hasn’t been approved.

    • Sites for redevelopment of Fire Station 49 by Bahia Cabana discussed.

    • Explained “CRA” (Community Redevelopment Area).

    • Discussed infrastructure surtax on the November Ballot

    • City Budget is being finalized.

    • “Vision Zero” - spoke about reducing the city’s unusually high rate of pedestrian/bicyclists deaths.

    • Galt Mile A1A restoration project is on schedule. Discussed dangerous conditions at some A1A intersections due to the project and the need for improved signage, traffic lights, etc.

    • Discussed Bokamper’s area.

    • Announced that an Orlando Memorial Service is planned for June 17, 2016 at the Parker Playhouse.

  • Pio addressed the following topics:

    • Pio shared a letter sent from the Galt Mile Community Association to the U.S. Department of Justice re: COPS Office FY2016 COPS Hiring Program Application, Fort Lauderdale Police Department. Fort Lauderdale Police Officers Gestal and Brandner were informed of the letter, which addresses the hiring of 8 additional officers to enhance the capability of the Community Resource Unit.

    • Water Bills: Fred Nesbitt, Eric Berkowitz and Pio Ieraci met with City personnel regarding water bill issues, such as inexplicable invoice spikes, disparity in the block rates charged to single family homes vs. multi-family structures (condos, coops, etc.). The objective is to achieve billing parity for both condominium and single family homeowners.

    • Pio, Eric and Fred met with Fire Marshall Jeff Lucas regarding sprinkler retrofits component to a code-mandated Emergency Life Safety System (ELSS). To help insure that opt-out votes in Galt Mile associations have been properly conducted and recorded, member associations should send Pio a copy of their opt-out vote documentation.

    • Shared information from a statement issued by Fire Marshall Lucas in response to a recent Declaratory Statement about sprinklers inherent in emergency life safety systems.

    • Pio recently attended a meeting of the Broward Beach Coalition.

    • The Tortuga event brought in $55 million.

    • Spoke about a Sea Turtle HCP (Habitat Control Program) in Fort Lauderdale – and applying for an ITP (Incidental Take Permit); explained that program implementation will take time and effort to accomplish.

  • Pio introduced Fort Lauderdale Police Officer Tom Gestal who reported that there were “0” breaking crime during the last reporting period.

Galt Ocean Mile Street Landscape - José “Chepo” Vega

  • Chepo shared several photos showing dead palm fronds, the need for trimming; monuments that need broken lights repaired and new landscaping; weeds overwhelming foliage. However, the work is proceeding.

Galt Mile Reading Center - Terry Claire

  • Terry Claire reported on the activities being presented at the Reading Center, which will include a full summer program.

Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz

  • May 2016 Website Statistics: 576,499 hits, 19,753 Unique Site Visits (First Timers)

Articles posted during the past month include:

  • May 24, 2016 - Roberts: Galt A1A, E-911, Body Cameras - In his May / June 2016 Newsletter, City Commissioner Bruce Roberts alerts constituents to the City’s preliminary exploration of an independent Emergency 911 (E911) service, applauds the ISO Certification merited by the City’s Strategic Management System and strong Water and Sewer Bond Ratings assigned by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investor Services, summarizes the progress of FDOT’s rehabilitation of A1A along the Galt Mile, updates FLPD’s planned approval of a Body Camera Program, solicits requests to investigate Properties that may be unregistered vacation rentals, and invites constituents to attend two FDOT public meetings - a May 24 review of planned improvements to the I-95 interchanges at Commercial Boulevard and Cypress Creek Road and a May 25 discussion about the Wave Streetcar Project. Roberts' message to constituents cloaks a costly message to the County, which may save your life!

  • June 6, 2016 - George Moraitis: 2016 Homeless Update - Despite Florida’s fetid reputation as a mine field for the homeless, Fort Lauderdale maintains one of the State’s most effective homeless safety nets, as roving teams of Homeless Advocates and FLPD officers annually make roughly 8,000 referrals to critical services for anyone who stumbles over the question “Where did you sleep last night?” In 2009, the City implemented a new weapon against this crippling epidemic. $1.5 billion made available in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 fueled the creation of Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Programs (HPRP) in participating jurisdictions, including Fort Lauderdale. Impressed with its significant impact on the City’s chronic homeless population, Representative George Moraitis has evolved into a passionate program advocate, and applauds the legislature for allocating $500,000 to continue housing those whose survival would otherwise be questionable. For his take on the City’s progress, read Moraitis’ May 2016 constituent update.

  • June 16, 2016 - May 2016 LaMarca Letter - In his May 2016 constituent Newsletter, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca snapshots the Segment II Beach Renourishment and outlines a planned 2020 Segment III South County beach fix. LaMarca also reviews recently expanded services at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, examines County progress in transforming the Greater Fort Lauderdale - Broward County Convention Center from a local meeting venue into a world class conference magnet, details how a May 14 Hurricane Preparedness Open House at the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center helped frame links between planning and survival, and explains how SWIM Central, a County program that teaches kids how to swim, befits May’s designation as National Water Safety Month. Now that the Galt Mile Beach has reclaimed its robust 1960’s zeitgeist, Nicole Sharp is exploring measures to prevent the beach from melting back into the sea.

Other Business

  • New Board Members should be encouraged to take the classes for Board Members that are available.

  • Ralph Hamaker reported on the North Beach / Galt Ocean Shoppes.

Treasurer’s Report - Fred Nesbitt

  • The Treasurer reported a balance of $18,633.88.

  • Dues statements have been sent out; fifteen (15) buildings have paid their annual dues.

  • Shared thank you letter received from the Galt Mile Reading Center for the $250.00 contribution.

Adjournment - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, September 15, 2016 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:10 p.m.

Fern McBride
Fern McBride, Secretary

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