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MINUTES OF GMCA ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

JUNE 19, 2014


The meeting was called to order at 11:20 a.m. by President Pio Ieraci at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

Board Members present: Ieraci, Berkowitz, Hamaker, Nesbitt, McBride, Abruzzino, Adams, Bazerghi, Bendis, Cella, Claire, Freismuth, Friedman, Hashek, Katkin, Katz, Kessler, Larson, Lyons, Pohan, Rollo, Santiago, Solewin, Sunday, Tripoli, and Vega

Guests present: Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Bruce Roberts, Commission Aide Kate Wesner of Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca’s office; Robert Wolfe, Broward County Property Appraiser Media Liaison; Ben Lap, Candidate for Broward County Commission, District 4.

Approval of Minutes - Minutes of the May 15, 2014 Advisory Board Meeting were approved.

Old and New Business/Guests

Pio thanked Robbi Uptegrove, Commissioner Roberts’ Assistant, for her diligence and swift action while addressing submitted Galt Mile problems.

  • Pio introduced Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Bruce Roberts, who spoke of the following:

    • Roberts agreed to convey our gratitude to Commission Assistant Robbi Uptegrove

    • He offered no additional information about the A1A project.

    • A preliminary budget report will be released by City Manager Lee Feldman at the July 1, 2014 City Commission meeting. New revenues are being generated from downtown buildings. The City economy is doing well.

    • The city has received several awards.

    • Roberts fielded ongoing concerns about the infamous intersection of Galt Ocean Drive and A1A

    • Pio observed that the vegetation on the Oakland Park Bridge needs help.

    • Terry Claire spoke about traffic problems near Plaza South.

  • Pio introduced Ben Lap, a candidate for District 4 Broward County Commissioner. He spoke about his qualifications, etc.

  • Pio introduced Kate Wesner of Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca’s office:

    • Shared/distributed a June 10, 2014 memo from Chip LaMarca regarding updates of the beach renourishment project.

    • Gave update on various County activities.

  • Pio introduced Bob Wolfe, Media Specialist with the Broward County Property Appraiser’s Office:

    • He assists resident with exemption issues at the Beach Community Center on the last Friday of each month from 10:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.

    • Wolfe distributed an information flyer from the Property Appraiser’s office.

Council of Fort Lauderdale Civic Associations - Fred Nesbitt & Richard Bazerghi

  • The City website can be accessed with a free mobile APP.

  • Hurricane Expo will be held June 21.

  • Crime Stoppers telephone number is 954-493-TIPS are anonymous.

Legislative Report - Pio Ieraci

  • Effective date for new Florida laws is July 1, 2014.

  • Pio thanked George Moraitis for filing legislation on our behalf.

Galt Ocean Mile Street Landscape - Chepo Vega

  • Chepo showed pictures of much improved trees near Playa del Sol.

  • He shared pictures of “weeds” that should be pulled, not trimmed to limit growth

Galt Mile Reading Center – Terry Claire

  • Reviewed special library programs scheduled during the summer months.

Galt Mile Security Patrol

  • Fred Nesbitt commented that there are numerous complaints involving the homeless.

  • After some discussion, members entertained a suggestion to send the daily patrol reports to the owners.

Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz

  • May 2014 Web Site Stats: 508,440 hits; 22,728 Unique Site Visits (First Timers)

Articles posted during the past month include:

  • May 12 2014 - Roberts: Chlorine; Wind Power; Crime - District 1 City Commissioner Bruce Roberts opens his May 2014 Newsletter with optimistic news about the falling crime rate, describes Mill Pond Park as the City’s “in situ” laboratory for a tech-enhanced sustainable power source, reveals a new email address for Commission meeting input, notes a scheduling change for the Sun Trolley’s Galt Mile route, updates progress towards realizing the projected Schlitterbahn Waterpark, announces a cyclical chlorination cleanup of the City’s Water System, welcomes an improved Lauderserv Citizen Request Management System powered by QAlert technology and applauds a new study that cites Fort Lauderdale as the number 3 municipality in the nation for foreign-born tech entrepreneurs (after Miami and San José, California). While chlorinating the water system is largely a beneficial and safe process, the City should reveal the potential health risks to those with compromised immune systems or undergoing dialysis. For Roberts May 2014 constituent update, Read on...

  • May 19, 2014 - 2014 Omnibus Association Bill - Last year, our District 93 Statehouse Representative George Moraitis teamed with State Senator Thad Altman (R - Melbourne) to pass House Bill 73, the 2013 session’s Omnibus Association bill. Broadly supported by association officials and advocates, the legislation repaired a litany of statutory glitches, erased deadlines for costly elevator and generator retrofits, forged tools to deter foreclosure-related delinquencies, simplified approval for 2-year board terms, strengthened financial reporting requirements for condominiums, approved impact glass windows for hurricane mitigation and shaped a dozen other Association improvements, many of which provided cooperatives with certain rights and protections historically monopolized by condominiums. Having pledged to continue addressing statutory shortfalls in this year’s session, in February, Moraitis and Broward Senator Jeremy Ring filed 2014 association bills with scores of new rights and benefits, including the extension of several other essential Condominium protections to cooperative homeowners. Unanimously approved in the Statehouse and Senate, READ ON for a comprehensive summary of the new association bill’s bag of tricks...

  • May 27 2014 - Assn Advocates Grease the Wheels in Tallahassee - A majority of the content in the 2014 Omnibus Association Bill was adopted by sponsors Moraitis and Ring from a legislative agenda created by collaborating association officials from across the state and tailored by Community Association advocates. Prior to the Legislative session, these association officials examined the operational pitfalls and regulatory inequities that encumber common interest communities – and characteristically inflate the financial burden on unit owners. With organizational guidance from association advocates, the issues were prioritized and compiled into a legislative wish list. For decades, legislation favorable to association homeowners was enacted once every five or six years. In the five years since 2009, four major association bills were brought to fruition via the above process. While Statehouse Representative George Moraitis (R - Fort Lauderdale) was instrumental in driving this legislative windfall, he had a secret weapon. Working with association officials and the Galt Mile's voice in the Florida Statehouse were a unique cadre of legislative catalysts who call themselves "Association Advocates." As a result of their efforts, Galt Mile residents will enjoy more than a dozen new rights and protections as of July 1, 2014. Read on...

  • June 12 2014 - Fort Lauderdale Tilts at Windmills - On February 17, 2009, President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) into law. A Keynesian response to the recessionary tar pit in which the previous administration couched our economy, the stimulus package sought to offset the loss of private spending with government spending. In addition to annually salvaging 1.6 million jobs from 2009 to 2012, the fiscal gambit helped avert a looming depression. The Recovery Act also funded a series of Department of Energy (DOE) Grand Challenges, starting with the $1/watt SunShot Challenge, which seeks to make solar power cost-competitive with electricity from fossil fuels by the end of the decade. Obama then launched the EV Everywhere Challenge, which set 2022 as the deadline for creation of a five-passenger electric vehicle that could economically and functionally compete with internal combustion engine vehicles. To help achieve this objective, after assembling a consortium likened to the Manhattabn Project for Battery Technology, the DOE funded demonstration and deployment projects across the country (including 4 electric vehicle charging stations fueled by wind turbines in Mills Pond Park). What's more, if this consortium keeps hitting its marks, our planet is in for a wild ride!!!

Other Business

  • Pat Zeiler is no longer Executive Director of the Downtown Fort Lauderdale Transportation Management Association – parent company of the Sun Trolley; she is now Executive Director of the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society.

  • Pio distributed a letter from the Friends of the Galt Ocean Mile Reading Center thanking us for our sizable contribution.

  • Congratulations were extended to Fred Nesbitt on his recent marriage to his long time partner.

  • Having checked the utility bill and trash collection cost at his building (Playa del Mar), Fred Nesbitt suggested that members review these expenses for their respective associations.

  • Jack Friedman noted the opening of a new restaurant near the Dollar Store.

  • Pio complimented Eric for all the work he does in various capacities.

  • A flyer inviting residents to a free dinner and a movie was distributed from the AMC Dine-In Theater – Coral Ridge 10.

  • Pio received call from Tom Garland of Broward County Transit about the Galt Mile Sun Trolley.

  • Pio received a complaint regarding the Dollar Store.

Treasurer’s Report - Given by Fred Nesbitt for Leah Glickfield

The Treasurer reported a balance of $20,785.05.

The 2014-15 dues have been paid, except for three member associations. Fred has sent reminders and will call.

Adjournment - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, June 19, 2014 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:00 p.m.

Fern McBride
Fern McBride, Secretary

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