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MINUTES OF GMCA ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

SEPTEMBER 15, 2011


The meeting was called to order at 11:00 a.m. by President Pio Ieraci.

Board Members present: Ieraci, Berkowitz, Glickfield, Hamaker, Nesbitt, Oppert, McBride, Abruzzino, Adams, Bazerghi, Bendis, Bibace, Bindler, Claire, D’Ambrosio, Erb, Friedman, Katkin, Katz, Lyons, Mayer, Vanek and Vega.

Guests present: Fort Lauderdale District 1 City Commissioner Bruce Roberts, District 4 Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca w/ aide Ryan Saunders, and Robin Cross, SunTrust Bank.

Approval of Minutes - Minutes of the June 23, 2011 Advisory Board meeting were unavailable.

Old and New Business

Pio introduced District 4 Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca. Commissioner LaMarca reported results from the 9/13/11 Broward budget hearing (the first of two September public hearings annually mandated to finalize the budget process):

  • The parks and libraries are safe.

  • The County Millage Rate will remain the same.

  • Addressed beach renourishment funding.

  • The second and final Broward budget hearing is scheduled for 9/27/11.

  • Although property values were down, the decline was nominal.

Pio requested that our County Commissioner fully update the membership about the beach renourishment process, which he characterized as a critically important issue.

Pio introduced Bruce Roberts, Fort Lauderdale’s District 1 City Commissioner:

  • Roberts thanked Chip LaMarca for his part in protecting the Galt Mile library.

  • City Manager Lee Feldman’s tenure began on 6/13/11.

  • The Millage rate will not be increased in the FY 2011 – 2012 City Budget.

  • Neither will Fire assessment fees be increased.

  • City Manager Feldman consolidated the 17 municipal departments into 9.

  • One new department was created: the Department of Transportation & Mobility.

  • The budget shortfall was partially addressed by eliminating unfilled positions.

  • Roberts recognized how well the Budget Advisory Board was working together.

  • While improvements to A1A are scheduled for 2012; greenway incorporation will begin in 2016.

  • The new plan for Fire Station #54 is in progress.

  • The City is negotiating with the “Lauderdale Air Show” for a 2012 event.

  • City is also planning an Indy race event on the beach in 2013.

Plans to close illicit Pain Clinics were discussed by both Commissioners.

Pio thanked Bruce for resolving the Greek restaurant problem.

Fred Nesbitt applauded City Manager Lee Feldman’s performance to date.

GMCA Appointment

Pio made a motion to appoint Donna Oppert as the GMCA representative to the CFLCA. Marlene Katkin seconded the motion, which was unanimously approved.

Galt Ocean Drive Street Landscape – Chepo Vega

Chepo shared information about:

  • Pressure cleaning in front of Playa del Mar.

  • Safety – height of hedges; Parks employees on the Galt are concerned and cooperative.

  • Faded traffic lines need to be restriped.

  • The stripes on casually inserted manhole covers fail to align with those on the street (showed pictures).

  • A curb repair in front of Playa del Sol needs to be properly completed.

Galt Roving Patrol

This needs to be revisited after meeting with Major Diaz.

Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz -

  • June Web Site Stats: 706,298 hits; 14,910 unique site visits (first timers)
  • July Web Site Stats: 637,274 hits; 16,118 unique site visits (first timers)
  • August Web Site Stats: 784,929 hits; 15,695 unique site visits (first timers)

The past month’s articles:

  • July 4, 2011 - Homestead Express - 2011 - The Florida Constitution provides all legal Florida residents with a tax-saving exemption on the first and third $25,000 of the assessed value of their owner/occupied homes, condominiums, co-op apartments, and certain mobile home lots if they qualify. The exemption is contingent on the property being a permanent residence of the owner or a dependent (legal or natural) as of January 1st. Homesteaded properties are eligible for the protective “Save Our Homes” tax cap. Also available are host of traditional and new exemptions for seniors, veterans, widows/widowers, active military, the blind, disabled persons and properties with build-outs for Mom, Dad, Grandma and/or Grandpa. BCPA sponsors an outreach program (Beach Community Center), online applications, re-assessment requests and even a “homesteads-on-wheels” for house-bound applicants. Learn about the 2011 incarnation of the Homestead Express!

  • July 18, 2011 - Air Show About to Take Off! - “Look... up in the sky. It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No it’s... Bryan Lilley and Ramola Motwani!” The Fort Lauderdale City Commission intends to breathe life into a 2012 variation of the devolved Air & Sea Show. Until a few years ago, the annual mega-event drew record breaking crowds to the Fort Lauderdale beach, delighted a nationwide television audience and tickled millions of viewers in 144 countries around the planet. The talented whack job that ran the show for 13 years self-destructed in 2008. Since then, would be impresarios have over-promised and under-delivered on commitments to restore the long-missed extravaganza. Finally, a group has stepped up that’s competent, experienced and adequately flush with cash to revive the City’s signature event. You might want to dig out those old ear plugs. On July 12th, the City Commission gave promoter Bryan Lilley and real estate magnate Ramola Motwani the green light for the 2012 Lauderdale Air Show!

  • July 26, 2011 - Senator Bogdanoff on Redistricting - In keeping with her longstanding policy of notifying constituents about projects and decisions that directly impact their lives, Florida Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff launched a campaign to engage her District 25 residents in a redistricting process that will heavily influence how political power is distributed both locally and across the state. Redistricting is the process by which district boundaries of congressional and state legislative electoral districts are redrawn to adjust for evolving demographics in different parts of the state. The process of determining which voters participate in the election of representatives to the U.S. House, State Senate, and State House has historically been the sole province of politicians who most stand to benefit from manipulating electoral results. Bogdanoff celebrates new technology that enables every Florida citizen to move from the nosebleed seats to the playing field. By using “District Builder”, a free online version of the redistricting software used by legislators, any Galt Mile resident can author a redistricting plan that’s eligible for legislative approval!

  • August 9, 2011 - Next Stop: Port Everglades Sand Bypass - When the Broward Shore Preservation Project was threatened by vested political interests in 2002, public officials from Hollywood, Hallandale and Dania Beach pleaded with neighboring beach communities for help convincing Tallahassee of the beach plan's critical importance. Grateful for substantial support received from the Galt Mile Community Association, south county officials pledged to return the favor when the north county beaches were scheduled for renourishment. When south county officials and business leaders instead tried to hijack the sand meant for the Segment II beaches (from Fort Lauderdale to Pompano) in 2008, enraged north county municipalities refused to authorize any project element that would benefit the south county beaches. The beach project subsequently slipped into limbo. By hammering home that the project’s survival depends on cooperation by all of the municipal stakeholders, new Broward Beach Administrator Eric Myers has since revived the embattled beach plan. His strategy - convince participants that the timetable for each of the various project elements should be based on science, not politics.

  • August 20, 2011 - Roberts: New Blood, Pill Mills, New Tech - To enhance their tenures, effective municipal administrators will build management teams by blending their predecessors’ residual talent with new blood. Commissioner Bruce Roberts’ kicks off his August 2011 newsletter with mini-bios of City Manager Lee Feldman’s new right and left management arms, Assistant City Managers Stanley Hawthorne from Lakeland and Susanne Torriente from Miami-Dade. The two additions to his management team collectively bring 45 years of experience to Feldman's table. Roberts updates progress by Feldman and the City Commission with the toughest budget since the 2002 municipal fiscal implosion. Drawing on a perspective shaped by his years in law enforcement, Roberts revels in Governor Scott's decision to finally allow local governments to clamp down on pain clinics that supply the $billion street trade and kill an average 7 Floridians each day. The District 1 Commissioner also reviews a newly implemented technology called Lauderserv that facilitates access to city services from your android cell phone. Actually, it’s very cool and user-friendly. Check it out!

  • September 11, 2010 - Galt Mile Winn-Dixie Ups its Game - Notwithstanding divergent opinions about the neighborhood Winn-Dixie’s service and product lines, raw convenience prompts almost every Galt Mile resident to cruise the aisles on a regular basis. When Winn-Dixie corporate sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection 5 years ago, the Galt Ocean Mile store appeared as if it was conducting a garage sale. Products were left in boxes strewn about the premises. Shelves were half empty and employees behaved as if they were nervously awaiting severance checks. Although unlikely to soon breach any supermarket “A” list, they have made a remarkable transformation. This year, corporate invested in a cart containment system that will insure availability while clearing the carts from our sidewalks, new high speed IBM checkout technology and a system for sanitizing equipment handled by shoppers. If they overcome the supernatural force responsible for their being out of whatever anyone needs at the time that they need it, we may soon be able to forego those bi-monthly “fill in” trips to Publix.

Other Business

  • Terry Claire expressed gratitude to individuals for their help with rescuing the Library and to member associations for their supportive resolutions. In turn, members thanked Terry for her persistence and dedication.

  • Winn-Dixie installed a wheel-locking cart control system to prevent carts from being taken off property without permission. CVS shopping carts are still a problem.

  • Pio will attend the signing of House Bill 1195 in Tallahassee, Representative George Moraitis’ 2011 Omnibus Association Bill.

  • Pio expressed our appreciation to Eric for the professional writing of newsletter and website articles.

  • Leah expressed kudos to Pio and Eric for their dedication and hard work for the GMCA.

  • Members discussed an accidental drowning at the Ocean Manor pool. Ocean Manor was absolved of any liability.

  • Ron Bibace of Ocean Club explained a small fire on the association roof.

  • Pio stressed the importance of insuring the accuracy of information we disseminate.

Treasurer’s Report - Leah Glickfield

The treasurer reported that we have a balance of $11,250. All but three associations have paid their annual dues.

Next Advisory Board Meeting - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, October 20, 2011 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:08 p.m.

Fern McBride
Fern McBride, Secretary

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