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MINUTES OF GMCA ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

SEPTEMBER 18, 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, Surdovel, McBride, Abruzzino, Adams, Bazerghi, Bendis, Bibace, Cameron, Claire, Friedman, Gallagher, Katkin, Kessler, Larson, Lewandowski, Pyatt, Rollo, 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; Broward County Natural Resources Administrator-Beach Program Manager Nichole Sharp

Approval of Minutes - Minutes of the June 19, 2014 Advisory Board Meeting were approved.

Old and New Business/Guests

  • Pio introduced Fort Lauderdale District 1 Commissioner Bruce Roberts, who spoke of the following:

    • The FY 2015 City budget has been approved without an increase to the millage rate; Roberts thanked Fred Nesbitt for his contributions to the Budget Advisory Board. (Fred remarked that budget includes FLPD funding for enforcement of new solicitation ordinance).

    • Gave an update on the Galt Ocean Mile A1A project.

    • Gave update on commission meeting of 9/16/14 (the final City Budget Public Hearing), which includes expanded enforcement of new solicitation ordinance, a deterrent to camping out (sleeping) in parks, panhandling and soliciting, while also providing increased homeless assistance.

    • Suggestion made that when there are changes in Police District 1 personnel, it would be appropriate to introduce them at one of our meetings.

    • Edgewater Arms shared incident that occurred in their parking lot.

    • Member associations in the Coral Ridge Towers Complex expressed concern about roadway deterioration along 36th Street and 34th Street. Bruce explained that the MicroPAVER Pavement Management System was implemented to correct this problem.

    • Wielding a water utilization graph demonstrating Fort Lauderdale as the largest consumer, when Pio requested an explanation, Bruce agreed to investigate and report his findings.

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

    • Passed out a campaign brochure supporting LaMarca’s candidacy. If interested in volunteering, please contact Kate. Chip was unable to attend today’s meeting as he is at the opening of the new airport runway.

    • Fred asked about elevator inspections; Kate will follow-up on this.

  • Pio introduced Nichole Sharp, who replaced now retired Eric Myers as Broward County Natural Resources Administrator and Beach Program Manager:

    • Updating the Segment II renourishment project, Nicole confirmed having the State Permit, and anticipated securing the Federal permit upon receipt of a biological opinion from NOAA Fisheries.

    • The County is in negotiations with contractors

    • The project is still expected to begin this winter.

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

  • Council discussed budget increases.

Galt Ocean Mile Street Landscape - Chepo Vega

  • Good news - Maria is back!

  • Hedges need to be trimmed evenly; please email Chepo if you see low branches – he requested help with checking these.

  • The dead fronds from poorly trimmed tall palm trees are blown to the ground.

  • The area in back of the grates needs to be filled in. Chepo reported that Mark Almy (of the City of Fort Lauderdale) advised that since the job was too costly for the city, individual associations could perform the work. Since associations are precluded by City ordinance from making such changes to the City right-of-way, this enigmatic “advice” will be brought to Bruce Roberts for clarification.

Galt Mile Reading Center – Terry Claire

  • Reviewed various library programs and activities scheduled during the summer months and throughout the year.

  • At a 40th Year Celebration of Broward County Libraries, Chip LaMarca presented a proclamation to the Friends of the Galt Reading Center.

  • The Galt Mile Reading Center received a Cultural Programming Award for the third consecutive year.

  • Terry thanked members for distributing flyers, verifying that they are posted in each association and for otherwise supporting the Library.

Galt Mile Security Patrol

  • A motion was made by Fern McBride to donate $200.00 towards the fundraiser for the medical needs of Ryan Ogden, son of FLPD Sergeant Darren Ogden (who serves on the Galt Mile Security Patrol). The motion was seconded by Marlene Katkin and unanimously approved.

Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz

  • August 2014 Web Site Stats: 606,103 hits, 26,223 Unique Site Visits (First Timers)

Articles posted during the past month include:

  • August 6 2014 - A1A: Final Fix and Facelift - Shortly after Superstorm Sandy mangled 4 blocks of A1A and sliced away much of the Galt Mile beach, on December 10, 2012, more than 300 local residents, their elected City, County and State officials and Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) bureaucrats converged on the Beach Community Center. Since our future, both individually and as a community, hinges on the fate of our beach, we needed to know what remedies were being considered to restore Fort Lauderdale’s devastated coastal infrastructure. FDOT District Secretary Jim Wolfe explained how a turn lane and a greenway would be added to the 2-lane thoroughfare that was hastily carved from the roadway’s 2 surviving southbound lanes. After outlining plans for the $8.3 million short-term fix that was subsequently completed in June 2013, Wolfe said that the long-term solution would feature an elevated roadway bookended with bike lanes, and structural protections that would immunize A1A to future storm damage. Following 18 months of navigating its statutory construction process, FDOT kicked off the final plans to restore A1A on July 28. Here’s how they are currently rebuilding Fort Lauderdale’s Ocean Highway ...

  • August 14, 2014 - A Galt Mile Secret Weapon - Unless association officials are familiar with what neighboring associations are paying for security personnel, maintenance staffers, bookkeepers, receptionists, department supervisors, general managers, landscapers, etc., the association risks allocating too much or too little to fill open positions. Every competent association Treasurer is keenly aware that poorly managed compensation will skyrocket annual unit owner maintenance assessments. In 1996, Galt Mile Community Association (GMCA) officials explored the benefits of building a database that member associations could use to better manage labor costs. While saving Galt Mile associations untold $millions in the following 18 years, the annual Presidents Council Wage & Salary Survey evolved under the radar. It’s time to let in some sunshine. Here’s how it works...

  • September 1, 2014 - Docs vs. Glocks - During a July 21, 2010 medical interview with 26-year-old Amber Ullman, Ocala Pediatrician Dr. Chris Okonkwo asked the Summerfield mother of 3 girls about child-proofing her home. Consistent with 1983 TIPP protocols established by the American Academy of Pediatrics, medical director Okonkwo of Children’s Health of Ocala routinely asks if stairways and backyard swimming pools are gated with childproof locks, if each child has a car seat and bicycle helmet, whether smoking parents do so in the house and if driving teenagers have cell phones. When the physician asked if guns were kept in the home, Ullman went ballistic, prompting Okonkwo to end his tenure as her pediatrician - and triggering a series of cosmic showdowns. Within months, Florida lawmakers passed a law that criminalized free speech in the examining room, as Florida physicians who ask gun owning parents if they store their guns safely can be fined $10,000 or lose their license. Welcome to the Gunshine State!

  • September 10, 2014 - Roberts: Hurricanes, Bus Link, Firehouse - In his September - October 2014 Newsletter, City Commissioner Bruce Roberts exhorts District 1 constituents to adequately prepare for hurricane season, announces a recently launched Uptown Bus Link that more conveniently connects destination sites in the business district along the Cypress Creek corridor, reveals a new city telephone number for non-emergency public safety calls, acknowledges three Fort Lauderdale beach resorts named in Florida’s Top Ten by travel website “emantravels.com”, applauds recognition by Firehouse Magazine that Fort Lauderdale’s Firehouse 2 was the second busiest in the state and its Engine 8 was the busiest in Florida and number 10 in the nation, asks that constituents protect themselves by exercising prudent public safety measures and concludes with a list of upcoming civic events. His opening reference - a reminder to prepare our families for hurricane season - should disturb some Galt Mile associations - since they haven't updated their hurricane preparedness plan in almost a decade. Here’s a test. Do you know anything about your association's Hurricane Plan?

Other Business

  • Fred Nesbitt gave construction progress report for new fire station, which is expected to be completed by October 2015.

  • Pio stated that the Galt Mile A1A Project will go forward shortly.

  • Pio shared the names of the buildings that have not returned the Presidents’ Council Wage & Salary Survey.

  • Kate Wesner announced a Meet and Greet for Chip LaMarca and Florida CFO Jeff Atwater on Friday, October 10 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Beach Community Center

  • Fred Nesbitt spoke about FHA Reverse Mortgages. Associations must meet FHA certification standards to qualify, some of which would compromise operations. As such, few associations are eligible.

  • Discussed 2013 Broward County “human rights” ordinance that discriminates against associations. To date, complaints are negligible.

  • Jack Friedman spoke about psychotic outbursts by unit owners. After discussion, Pio suggested that anti-bullying laws might be applicable under certain conditions.

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

The Treasurer reported a balance of $19,054.78.

All but one (1) association has paid their dues.

Adjournment - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, October 16, 2014 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

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

Fern McBride
Fern McBride, Secretary

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