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MINUTES OF GMCA ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

SEPTEMBER 19, 2013


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, Nesbitt, Oppert, McBride, Abruzzino, Bazerghi, Bendis, Bindler, Claire, Dawson, Fotiadis, Katkin, Katz, Lyons, Pyatt, Rollo, Solewin and Tripoli.

Guests present: Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Bruce Roberts; District Director John Newstreet of Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca’s office; Officer Nick Rollins, Fort Lauderdale Police Department.

Approval of Minutes - There were no minutes from the June 20, 2013 Advisory Board meeting.

Old and New Business

  • Pio produced a Galt Mile newsletter from 1968.

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

    • The new City budget was approved without an increase to the millage rate.

    • The fire assessment fee was increased, thereby providing revenues adequate to freeze the millage rate. Applying the same flat fee to unit owners and single family homeowners raised concerns about its fairness to association members.

    • There will be a City of Fort Lauderdale presentation revealing plans for State Road A1A at our Presidents Council meeting on Monday, October 7, 2013.

  • Pio introduced Officer Nick Rollins, Fort Lauderdale Police Department, who addressed the following:

    • Galt Ocean Marketplace (Winn-Dixie) access from Galt Ocean Drive – although an entrance, it is often illegally used by vehicles as an exit. Stricter enforcement would help deter this infraction.

    • Dumpster diving at the Winn-Dixie

    • To deter parking lot scams at the Pompano Publix; patrons should utilize the free Publix carry out service

    • Aggressive panhandling by the “homeless” is a growing concern, particularly in front of the Galt Mile Library. Bruce suggested that Library advocate Terry Claire contact Robbie to arrange a dedicated meeting to discuss the problem.

  • Pio introduced John Newstreet, Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca’s District Director, who spoke about:

    • John reported that Chip regretted the ill-conceived anti-association Amendment to our human rights act that was passed by the County Commission

    • Budget hearing regarding raising taxes

    • Beach renourishment: The newly revised start date for the Segment II Beach Renourishment Project is January 2014. The offshore sand study revealed an abundant supply – adequate for future renourishments.

Galt Mile Merchants

Noting that their representatives seldom attend Advisory Board meetings, Pio will call and ask them what they are doing. It is felt that cooperation of a merchants association is important to any neighborhood strategy for addressing the homeless, prostitutes, etc. in the area.

Moments in Time has undergone a renovation and will be holding an open house on October 12 from 7 to 10 p.m.

Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz

  • August 2013 Web Site Stats: 571,072 hits; 14,644 Unique Site Visits (First Timers)

Articles posted during the past month include:

  • July 26, 2013 - Filling Some Big Legal Shoes - In January of 2012, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler announced that City Attorney Harry Stewart was cashing in his chips. The 72 year-old Stewart is one of 131 staffers who snapped up the early retirement buyout offered by the city. To keep the City’s legal machinery humming until an executive level search process could yield a suitable replacement, Commissioners asked the City’s highest paid employee to continue managing Fort Lauderdale’s legal affairs for 15 more months. Shortly after Pinecrest Village City Attorney Cynthia Everett outpaced a field of legal hopefuls for his vacated position, Stewart’s eleven-year tenure with the City of Fort Lauderdale ended on July 11, 2013. Since taking control of the City’s legal armory, Stewart transformed a catch-as-catch-can department that hemorrhaged money into the most formidable City Attorney’s office in the State. Want to know how?

  • August 19, 2013 - Fixing a Broken Law - On October 30, 2012, City Manager Lee Feldman convened a round table meeting to examine mitigating unintended consequences of the City’s poorly drafted 2003 Beach Lighting Ordinance. In addition to wreaking havoc on the City’s tourism industry, a policy that forced the entire beach area into darkness for 75% of the year was fatally crippling the beach neighborhood’s viability as an economic engine, imperiling drivers and pedestrians along A1A and opening serious security and safety breaches in beachfront residential communities. In beachfront hotels, management personnel reported complaints by scores of visiting tourists that “fear of crossing the street” would preclude their return. Since consequences of the ordinance that were marginalized when passed in 2003 have since mushroomed into significant threats, officials would have to reshape the ordinance to promote Sea Turtle survival without crippling the City or endangering its residents.

  • September 8, 2013 - Broward's Anti-Association Ordinance - On August 30, 2013, Executive Director Donna Berger of the Community Advocacy Network (CAN) issued an alert to association officials. She was concerned about an ordinance under consideration by the Broward Board of County Commissioners, admonishing “This proposed ordinance may have far-reaching impact on all types of community associations in Broward County – and possibly the rest of the state if other counties follow Broward’s lead.” Berger explains that the proposed ordinance would affect an association’s authority under its governing documents to scrutinize proposed leasing and sales transactions and to issue an approval or denial in connection with same. Reminiscent of the Condo Killer bills that floated through Tallahassee from 2004 to 2006, the County Board is attempting to usurp the right of Broward’s Condo, Co-op and HOA members to govern themselves.

  • September 15, 2013 - Roberts: Budget; Seaweed to Soil; CRA - Vice Mayor Bruce Roberts kicks off his September 2013 Newsletter with some eleventh hour budgeteering in preparation for the spending plan's final pit stops in September, explains how the City turns seaweed into soil, profiles the constituent calls fielded by his office, reviews the Community Redevelopment Agency's mission and current challenges, applauds City firefighters for replacing the stolen bike of double amputee Hector Picard (thereby enabling his grueling cross-country marathon trek to raise funds for an armless baby's prosthesis), updates the project progress of three City infrastructure build-outs and lists noteworthy upcoming municipal events. Mark Almy, a Parks Department supervisor charged with transforming seaweed into mulching soil (as described by Roberts), saving the City $180,000 annually, also works with Roberts and GMCA Advisory Board member Chepo Vega from Commodore Condominium to maintain Galt Mile landscaping in a “Disney-Like Manner”. For details, Read on...

Other Business

  • Ralph Hamaker is recovering from emergency pacemaker surgery two days ago and is doing well.

  • Pio made a motion to uniquely send the monthly President’s Council Agenda by email, saving money on postage. The motion was seconded by Eric and unanimously passed.

  • Winn-Dixie Plaza: Pio thanked Eileen Bendis for being instrumental in losing the “blue” at the Winn-Dixie Plaza. The entire Winn-Dixie store is also being renovated, which will prevent leakage into the underground parking garage. The roof and back of Winn-Dixie (dumpster area) will be addressed in about a month. The Plaza has a security guard. Kitson & Partners (the company that manages the Galt Ocean Marketplace) has been very cooperative. Pio spoke to the Winn-Dixie manager about shopping carts.

  • Pio spoke about the anti-association ordinance recently passed by the County Commission. He spoke to Representative Moraitis about the ordinance, which the State Attorney will be reviewing.

  • The Wells Fargo drive-thru windows have been closed (the last one on the Barrier Island). The bank telephone number is 954-765-3880 if you wish to complain about this. There will be a petition regarding this matter available in the bank lobby. Pio will send an email explaining the closure.

  • Playa del Sol: There are constantly dumpsters in front of the building from contractors working for individuals.

  • Discussed service/companion/support animals.

  • Burying seaweed on the beach: In view of the ecological anomaly that washed unprecedented amounts of Sargassum on the beach, the removal of which was prohibited by the FWC – despite admitting that it generates toxic concentrations of bacteria and fungi, Beach Raker attend our October 7th President’s Council Meeting to explain.

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

The Treasurer’s report (given by Fred Nesbitt) showed a balance of $15,998.53.

The 2013-14 dues have been paid, except for the Galt Ocean Club and the Tides.

While Leah is unavailable, Fred will be serving as Treasurer.

Adjournment - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:15 p.m.

Fern McBride
Fern McBride, Secretary

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