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MINUTES OF GMCA ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

SEPTEMBER 20, 2007


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

Board Members present: Ieraci, Berkowitz, Glickfield, Gill, Guttman, Hamaker, Songer, McBride, Alfano, Baker, Bindler, Nicholson-Brown, Comis, Creal, Freismuth, Gilligan, Leeds, Lipszyc, Mayer, Vanek and Weck.

Approval of Minutes - The minutes of May 31, 2007 were approved.

Old & New Business

President Ieraci asked for a moment of silence to recognize the passing of Dick Tymeson.

President Ieraci welcomed and introduced Broward County Commissioner Ken Keechl. He explained that Broward County Mayor Josephus Eggelletion, Jr. appointed Commissioner Keechl to serve on several committees, including the Broward Alliance, the Downtown Ft. Lauderdale Transportation Management Authority (DFLTMA), the Public Safety Coordinating Council and the Value Adjustment Board. Commissioner Keechl provided an update about the Broward County Beach Renourishment Project, the Broward Budget and how it was affected by the property tax reform legislation:

  • Presentation material was distributed from Commission Workshop on Beach Erosion held on May 3, 2007

  • The 18-month data is in and being compiled; no fatal flaws are expected

  • Since the ratio of rock to sand at the existing “Borrow Sites” was altered by the Segment III renourishment, a new sand source is being sought for Segment II.

  • Since the project’s financing is intact and there are no major environmental obstacles, the Commissioner believes that the project should continue as planned, albeit with certain delays.

  • Spoke to Steve Higgins about outfall pipes; which should be removed as part of project. However, buildings must install replacement technology in preparation for their removal.

  • Regarding property taxes: Mr. Keechl restated his commitment to vote against raising taxes. While Broward’s 5% statutory reduction was offset by an increase in the School Board’s assessment, we are headed in the right direction.

  • He opposes passage of the Constitutional Amendment in January, anticipating its failure. Polling data shows support is only in the 40% range.

  • He reviewed his rationale for opposing an incremental sales tax that would threaten businesses with “double taxation”.

  • He was asked “Where are we going with global warming?” He responded, “While the Broward County Commission members have a “green eye”, the County considers this to be a national and international issue.

Agenda Input from Members – Pio Ieraci - President Ieraci asked members to submit suggestions about which issues should be undertaken by the neighborhood association. It was suggested that a survey form be sent to each association to more effectively collect this input. GMCA members can then prioritize the respective issues and decide which of these should be incorporated into the agenda.

Galt Mile Memorial Walk - We are applying for an NCIP matching grant (due 9/21/07) to help stretch financing for the memorial project. Eric will bring a design storyboard to the next meeting.

Il Lugano – Ralph Hamaker - Hilton has pulled out and Il Lugano will be converted into a regular hotel. Condos will occupy the top four floors, instead of the top two floors. Extended stay unit deposits have been returned. There will be a small restaurant on the lobby level. The City would not release a certificate of occupancy until everything is done, including the landscaping. This means the cement “build-outs” on 34th Street that impede entry and egress for Coral Ridge Towers and Coral Ridge Towers South should be removed. Since they also interfere with access by Fire-Rescue Vehicles, this is a safety issue as well. Rose Guttman made a motion that we support Coral Ridge Towers with their effort to correct the problem on 34th Street. The motion was seconded and approved.

Beach Renourishment - This was discussed in Commissioner Keechl’s comments, however, it was added that Segment II would not begin until fall of 2009 because of a shortage of sand.

Community Center - We were reminded that there are many offerings available; calendars are distributed to each building.

Galt Mile Roving Security Patrol - We discussed a recent mugging incident. Crime has gone down in our neighborhood this summer as compared to last summer. Presidents/Managers of each building will receive daily activity reports by email from our beach patrol. When Dott questioned whether officers had stopped by every building to introduce themselves at beginning of project, Pio confirmed that they had. However, since they may have spoken with residents instead of association personnel, Pio will suggest this be done again.

Galt Merchants Association – Marilyn Leeds - The Galt Ocean Village Shoppes area has the most vacant shops since Hurricane Wilma. There is a new gym on 33rd Street that charges $30.00 per month for unlimited visits. Bank United would like to attend our meetings. She spoke about the LaReserve location. She mentioned the planned enhancement of area lighting and signage using part of the $100,000.to secure matching grants.

Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz -

  • June Hits: 804,395 hits; 19,748 unique site visits (first timers)
  • July Hits: 829,853; 18,434 unique site visits
  • August Hits: 739,263 hits; 14,498 unique site visits

New articles include:

  • July:

    • July 4, 2007 - Wolf is Still at the Door! - Describes how the State's Tax Reform legislation failed to accomplish its stated goal of squelching an impending recession.

    • July 12, 2007 - Bad Day at the Beach - Discusses two Galt Mile tragedies - a drowning death attributable to rip currents and an unfortunate incident wherein illness in a family fomented tensions resulting in a murder charge.

    • July 17, 2007 - Ellyn Bogdanoff’s July Newsletter - A summer update reviewing some of the Legislature's accomplishments.

    • July 22, 2007 - Christine Teel’s Budget Newsletter - While summarizing City Manager George Gretsas’ fiscal handiwork and the impending budget’s anticipated constituent impact, our City Commissioner's annual “Budget Newsletter” is replete with tools useful for determining how new tax reform legislation affects each taxpayer.

    • July 28, 2007 - Water Shortage on a Flood Plain? - Demonstrates how the State’s water conservation policies permitted inadequate Lake levels and oversaturation in coastal regions to result in the eerie juxtaposition of water use restrictions in areas threatened by flooding.

  • August:

    • August 3, 2007 - Comm Keechl Reviews Campaign Vows - Our County Commissioner’s Summer Newsletter detailed how his 1st year accomplishments matched favorably with the promises made while campaigning.

    • August 10, 2007 - Galt Mile Pillar Dick Tymeson Passes - After suffering from two strokes, the Galt Mile Community's Dick Tymeson died early Thursday morning on August 8, 2007.

    • August 16, 2007 - New Hurdles Slow Beach Renourishment - Broward Beach Administrator Stephen Higgins lamented a shortage of sand at the County's official borrow sites, threatening to delay the Segment II component start date through 2008.

    • August 22, 2007 - Driven to Distraction - Emails portending draconian penalties for traffic infractions initiated a neighborhood mini-panic until it was clarified that it was a hoax.

    • August 28, 2007 - BCPA Expands TRIM Season Access - BCPA media liaison Bob Wolfe notified Galt Mile residents requiring assistance with understanding their TRIM Notices that BCPA office hours were expanded.

  • September:

    • September 5, 2007 - Broward Fills Gap in Feeble Fed Drug Plan - Broward County made a FREE Prescription Drug Discount Card available to every Broward resident. It costs taxpayers NOTHING and can save you a bundle! Unfortunately, they neglected to tell anyone about it!

    • September 14, 2007 - Homestead Express - 2007 - A comprehensive review of the 2007 version of the Homestead and other Exemptions, including application details, late petitions, and outreach dates at the Beach Community Center and Jarvis Hall.

    • September 19, 2007 - County Commissioner Keechl’s Committees - Broward County Mayor Josephus Eggelletion, Jr. recently appointed District 4 Commissioner Ken Keechl to serve on the Broward Alliance, the Downtown Ft. Lauderdale Transportation Management Authority (DFLTMA), the Public Safety Coordinating Council and the Value Adjustment Board. In his September/October newsletter, Commissioner Ken Keechl reviews his assignments and discusses how each one could impact his constituents.

    • September 24, 2007 - Parking Meter Madness - Discusses how the City’s recent decision to hike parking meter rates and extend usage times is threatening some of our local businesses. While Commissioner Teel explains how some new technologies may help smooth the way, they are as yet unavailable to provide relief for the pressured Galt Mile merchants.

Treasurer’s Report - Leah Glickfield reported $20,364.31 in our Treasury. A reminder will go out to the four buildings that have not paid to date.

Other Business

  • Pio shared letter regarding parking meter rate increase that affects several areas. New meter parking has a 3-hour limit, 8:00 a.m. – 12 Midnight, Monday through Sunday. This change was done without notice, several tickets were issued, and his seriously affects businesses and residents in countless ways. Christine Teel was contacted and will be contacted again. Upgraded meters are required to utilize debit cards or SmartPark technology. Kevin Songer made a motion that we request the meters be changed back to 8:00 a.m. to 6:p.m. (not 12 Midnight). The motion was seconded and approved.

  • George Mayer distributed copies of an interesting article in the Sun Sentinel about Galt Ocean Mile dated November 28, 1970.

  • Pio shared a memo from Phil Thornburg regarding maintenance of the Mile in response to continued sidewalk complaints. The memo refers to a statement made by City Attorney Harry Stewart when asked to check into the city’s responsibility to repair Galt sidewalks. He stated that although the City is responsible for lighting and landscaping; sidewalks are the responsibility of owners of adjacent property. Christine Teel will be contacted to address confusion.

  • The Salary Survey will reflect 100% participation (all 26 buildings). Hope to have survey distributed at October President’s Council.

  • Kevin Songer stated that the newspaper boxes near L’Ambiance are an eyesore; City needs to reinforce control.

  • Information shared that Associations could save 5% on Workers’ Comp by drug testing employees.

Next Advisory Board Meeting - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, October 18, 2007 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

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

Fern McBride, Secretary

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