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MINUTES OF GMCA ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

JUNE 18, 2009


The meeting was called to order at 11:20 a.m. by President Pio Ieraci.

Board Members present: Ieraci, Berkowitz, Glickfield, Guttman, Hamaker, McBride, Abruzzino, Alfano, Bazerghi, Bindler, Claire, Gilligan, Gonzalez, Mayer, Nesbitt, Nicholson-Brown, Quintero and Vanek.

Approval of Minutes - The minutes of the April 16, 2009 an May 21, 2009 were approved.

In recognition for years of dedicated service to the community, Pio presented Rose Guttman with a gift from the Advisory Board. She is leaving South Florida and joining her family in Arizona. Ralph Hamaker made the following motion: In view of the incredible contributions Rose has made and her unfailing decades-long commitment to the neighborhood, the first meeting of the Galt Mile Community Association Advisory Board be designated as “Rose Guttman Day.” The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.

Lorraine Alfano brought a delicious chocolate cake for Rose’s recent birthday, which was shared and enjoyed by all after the meeting.

Galt Mile Reading Center

Terry Claire and Eric Berkowitz shared the following:: It is not true that the libraries are no longer in jeopardy of being closed. The Galt Mile Reading Center will remain “at risk” until the Broward Commissioners pass a budget that doesn’t sacrifice the Library. This decision will be made during the September 22nd Broward Budget meeting. Terry will distribute a template letter, a contact list and a fact sheet to member associations that residents can utilize to demonstrate support for the Reading Room. Along with the signed petitions and association and civic resolutions, the letters will be sent to the Commissioners in compliance with Broward Vice Mayor Ken Keechl’s recommendation.

The escape clause built into the recently signed library lease clearly intimates the continued threat to the Galt Mile Reading Center.

Legislative Update – Pio Ieraci

  • The Governor understands that associations across the State are angry about his having vetoed Senate Bill 714.

  • Ellyn Bogdanoff is seeking to fill Jeffrey Atwater’s District 25 Senate seat and Senate President Jeffrey Atwater is running for Florida CFO. They both appear to have enough support to meet their objectives.

  • The Board discussed SB 714 and the possibility of a veto override. If a special session is convened to ratify a gaming agreement with the Seminole Tribe, we may need to mobilize broad support for reversing the veto. A successful outcome will certainly require the support of Ellyn Bogdanoff and Jeffrey Atwater.

Galt Ocean Drive Street Landscape

Jose Chepo Vega is scheduled to meet with Commissioner Bruce Roberts, GMCA President Pio Ieraci and Parks Department officials on Monday, June 22nd at 10:00 a.m. at the Greek Islands Restaurant to tour the Galt Mile and identify landscaping deficiencies. If you have landscaping problems on the sidewalk or Street in front of your building, contact Chepo or Pio, not the City.

We are pleased to see that Marie Torres, a Parks Department employee with a long history of maintaining Galt Mile landscaping, is back working on the Mile.

Beach Renourishment – Pio Ieraci

The County has hired a lobbyist for Segment II. Hopefully, the permit date with the Army Corp of Engineers will be extended.

As reported in previous minutes, there remains a possibility that the FCCE (Flood Control & Coastal Emergencies Program) will allow the Army Corps of Engineers to dump sand off Lauderdale-by-the-Sea which would move south via tidal erosion to supplement the disappearing Galt Mile beaches.

Galt Mile Security Patrol

The annual invoices will be going out soon.

Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz -

Eric reported that the newsletter had ceased production. After considering a merger with several local newspapers, Eric proposed a new plan to publish the newsletter with UPS as a corporate sponsor.

  • May Web Site Stats: 860,581 hits; 8,907 unique site visits (first timers)

The past month’s articles:

  • May 22, 2009 - Galt Mile Sun Trolley Adapts to Survive - On April 16, 2009, Sun Trolley Executive Director Les Hollingsworth updated the Galt Mile Community Association Advisory Board about an ongoing struggle to salvage the Galt Ocean Mile Sun Trolley route. Most of the Sun Trolley’s routes have already fallen victim to budget-based funding shortages. Despite the implementation of an aggressive marketing campaign, recruitment of corporate sponsors, cultivation of alternative revenue streams from advertizing and renting the Sun Trolley’s 14 flashy vehicles for birthdays, weddings and other private events - flat ridership plagued the neighborhood bus. Thanks to Hollingsworth and City Commissioner Bruce Roberts, the Galt Mile route survived, although in a markedly less robust format. Read on to review the remaining service...

  • May 29, 2009 - $8$ Grand from Uncle Sam - Last year, the “Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008” provided for a first-time homebuyer tax credit of $7,500. Since the terms required repayment, the tax credit was essentially an interest-free 15-year loan. In February of 2009, congress passed President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package, increasing the tax credit to $8,000 and building in an incentive for making the first 36 mortgage payments. If beneficiaries of the $8,000 tax credit hang on to their new homes for at least three years, they need not repay the tax credit. If you recently bought or are considering buying a home - and don't exceed certain income limits - you have some money coming to you - if you know how to ask for it!

  • June 2, 2009 - Fights to Save Galt Library - The Galt Ocean Mile Reading Center serves as a portal to the world for literally thousands of local residents. Broward County’s Herculean budget deficit has placed the tiny storefront branch of the huge Broward County Library System on the chopping block. In a frenetic marathon to offset the Property Appraiser’s projected 15% drop in the County’s tax base, County Commissioners are gouging away at libraries, parks, animal shelters and other “non-critical” services loosely characterized as “quality of life” expenses. County budget director Kayla Olsen projected the shortfall between $135 million and $160 million. The Galt Mile Reading Center hosts 2,390 weekly visits by local residents who check out 1695 items each week. How many $millions will the County save by turning them away? NONE! The net annual savings would be $101,168. Either county bean counters lost a few beans or this is a budget season dog and pony show. Not surprisingly, several residents noted that “By canning one big shot, we can pay for the library for the next two or three years.” The question is... which big shot?

  • June 11, 2009 - Vetoes Association 'Glitch' Bill - Popularly known as the association “glitch” bill, Senate Bill 714 (SB 714) sought to reverse poorly drafted, contradictory, expensive and/or unworkable regulations. Since Governor Crist vetoed SB 714 on June 1st, unit owners must still purchase individual property insurance with at least $2,000 of “special assessment” coverage (despite the fact that such a product does not exist). Associations can still “force place” this coverage (and assess the cost to any unit owner). Unit owners must still name their associations as additional insureds and loss payees on their insurance policies. Unit Owners are still required to insure “improvements and additions” that benefit fewer than all the owners. A long anticipated extension of the $multi-million fire sprinkler retrofit, postponing an onerous assessment from 2014 to 2025, was squashed. The Silver Lining: When this issue is revisited next year, it will not face a Governor en route to Washington.

  • June 17, 2009 - FP&L Plans to Plug Public - Go ahead, open that email from Florida Power & Light. Are your eyes playing tricks or is FP&L really lowering rates? Unfortunately, FP&L is playing tricks. The email is part of a multi-million public relations campaign to whitewash an impending rate hike that would embarrass P.T. Barnum. FP&L is spinning that “the typical 1,000 kilowatt-hour residential customer bill would decrease by an estimated $4.92 monthly, or 4.5 percent, from $109.55 to $104.63 on January 1, 2010.” Actually, a precipitous decline in fuel prices requires that they pass through a roughly $17 monthly savings to customers. Simultaneously, they are asking for the largest monthly base rate hike in history - $1.3 billion - at least $12+ each month. What’s left? $4.92!!! However, the fuel price decrease could disappear overnight. The base rate increase will survive ad nauseum! The rate hike will increase the yield to FP&L’s investors from 10.8% to 12.5%. The national average is 10.5%. You can either help prevent this increase from passing... or you can load up your equity position!

Other Business

  • Fred Nesbitt reported that his building, Playa del Mar, has formed a “Green Committee.” There are Federal and State funds available for “greening” including projects such as solar panels.

  • Buildings have received the annual Wage Survey form. Please complete and return the questionnaire expeditiously so that the results may be shared at the October Presidents Council Meeting.

Treasurer’s Report - Leah Glickfield

The Treasurer reported $15,704.00 in our Treasury.

The Treasurer reported that as of this date six buildings have not paid. She also thanked Franci Bindler for her help.

Next Advisory Board Meeting - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, September 17, 2009 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:45 p.m.

Fern McBride
Fern McBride, Secretary

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