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MINUTES OF GMCA ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

SEPTEMBER 20, 2012


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, McBride, Nesbitt, Oppert, Surdovel, Adams, Bazerghi, Bendis, Bibace, Bindler, Bronzini, Claire, Ezzeldine, Freismuth, Friedman, Gonzales, Hale-Florez, Katkin, Kessler, Lyons, Quintero, Rollo, Short, Solewin, Tripoli and Vega.

Guests present: Bruce Roberts, City of Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner, D. Ryan Saunders, Commissioner LaMarca’s Office, Tom Gestal, Fort Lauderdale Police Department, Garrett Pingol, Fort Lauderdale Fire-Rescue.

Approval of Minutes - Minutes of the June 21, 2012 Advisory Board meeting were approved.

Old and New Business

Tom Gestal, Fort Lauderdale Police Department, reported the neighborhood’s crime statistics. He warned that we should exercise reasonable caution to protect against theft. When shopping, keep our cars locked. Members expressed appreciation for the expeditious police response to area calls.

Pio introduced Bruce Roberts, City of Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner, who discussed issues regarding:

  • Utility graffiti issue – the pilot project that could impact the state. City Manager Lee Feldman has asked the City Commission to pass an infraction “deterrent”. Contractors who elicit One-Call violations will be precluded from bidding on City projects. Pio gave an update on this project; Joining a team of volunteer One-Call monitors recruited by Eric (Eileen Bendis, Fern McBride, Donna Oppert & Chepo Vega), Ralph Hamaker agreed to monitor the 33rd Street area)

  • The enormous areas marked off around turtle nests.

  • Metropolitan Planning Association – has been fully funded for the future

  • Fire station 54 update; a potential property swap may benefit the City.

  • Budget – a balanced budget was passed; operational millage rate remains unchanged. He thanked Fred Nesbitt for participating on the Budget Advisory Board

Garrett Pingol, Fort Lauderdale Fire-Rescue, spoke to the following:

  • School assessment has been completed

  • Knox boxes – will expedite Fire-Rescue response to incidents in Condos by pre-consolidating relevant condo information

  • Building inspections – Annual Fire inspections coordinated with Fire Alarm vendors

  • Upgrading Emergency 911 will save lives (asked why 2 units answer a call: response – you get 5 people rather than 2)

  • AED (Automated External Defibrillators) training – budgetary constraints eliminated free classes for residents

Pio reported on the status of the Galt Mile Wine & Food Festival, a 4-hour event scheduled for 5 p.m. on Saturday, January 26, 2013. The Continental Group, Katzman Garfinkel & Berger (Donna Berger’s law firm) and an unnamed CPA firm have each contributed $5,000 to hire a professional organizer to structure and operate the festival.

Pio announced that Katzman Garfinkel & Berger will hold a town hall meeting on October 12 to review the 12 amendments that will appear on the November ballot. It is important that we are aware of and informed about these amendments.

Galt Mile Street Landscape - Chepo Vega

Problems discussed:

  • Vendor Dumpsters and porta-potties damage to landscaping

  • Broken glass in bicycle lanes

  • Businesses in Galt Ocean Marketplace that back onto Galt Ocean Drive across from Playa del Mar are unsightly – garbage, etc. Pio will contact management company that operates the shopping mall and if the problems aren’t corrected, contact code enforcement.

Beach Renourishment

Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca’s Commission Aide D. Ryan Saunders stated that his office is tracking the renourishment project. Starting in 2013, work on the beach would only be possible from November to May to avoid interfering with sea turtle nesting season.

Galt Mile Security Patrol

As there were new Advisory Board representatives present, Pio explained to the group how the patrol functioned.

Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz

  • August Web Site Stats: 647,398 hits; 13,735 unique site visits (first timers)

Articles posted during the past month include:

  • August 12, 2012 - GMCA, City & One-Call to Zap Graffiti - For more than a decade, the Galt Mile Community Association (GMCA) fumbled enforcement of a City promise to maintain in a “Disney-like manner” the self-funded landscape and hardscape assets included in the 1993 Galt Mile Improvement Project. In late 2008, the GMCA Advisory Board unanimously appointed José “Chepo” Vega to perform an ongoing review of these features along Galt Ocean Drive and the surrounding area. Despite Chepo’s mythic success in stabilizing erratic neighborhood maintenance via his dogged pursuit of City and County officials, Chepo was flummoxed by “Utility Graffiti”, the markings used to locate underground utility elements in anticipation of nearby excavation. When the GMCA met with Sunshine State One-Call (the State-sponsored agency responsible for protecting the interred utilities) last year to develop a methodology to remove markings for completed projects, the process crashed and burned. On August 6, 2012, a second bite at the apple succeeded. If it works, it will become standard practice in neighborhoods throughout Florida.

  • August 29, 2012 - Saving a Species: Lighting or Lawyers? - At the May 17, 2012 GMCA Advisory Board meeting, among the issues that City Commissioner Bruce Roberts pledged to address over the summer was an inconsistent and imbalanced enforcement policy for beachfront turtle-safe lighting. At a subsequent Presidents Council meeting a few weeks later, City officials vowed to revive a previously successful compliance process that fell prey to late 2010 personnel changes in City government. When association officials were given the floor, it became evident that the enforcement issue veiled a Pandora’s Box of frustration and animosity that had grown exponentially over the sea turtle nesting season. A series of ill-conceived policies enacted by Fish and Wildlife in Tallahassee had systematically alienated beachfront homeowners whose cooperation is critical to the program’s success. After mandating a tenfold expansion of the area surrounding each nest site and blocking the removal of rotting seaweed that admittedly generates toxic concentrations of bacteria and fungi, complaints that rolled in from coastal communities across the state finally snagged their attention.

  • September 6, 2012 - Roberts: Next Door, Vision & Dispatch - In his first message to constituents following the summer Commission hiatus, District 1 Commissioner Bruce Roberts serves up an eclectic buffet of events and initiatives. Along with a curiously sadistic methodology for encouraging the removal of illegal signs by torturing scofflaws with “robocalls” and a new venue for participating in the visioning process, he outlines an innovative Police Department tactic that utilizes Nuisance Abatement procedures to deter criminal activity. The Commissioner also describes a new technology installed along Broward thoroughfares that will expedite traffic information and a new high speed rail connection between Orlando and Miami. However... the Commissioner opens his newsletter with cryptic assurances that negotiations to implement an integrated Public Safety Dispatch System will not jeopardize our neighborhood, despite an impending litigation. If his presumption about your familiarity with “the ongoing dispute” is misplaced, here’s how a county-wide effort to comply with a decade-old voter mandate degenerated into the political equivalent of “Monday Night Slammo!”

Treasurer’s Report - Leah Glickfield

The Treasurer reported that we have a balance of $14,420.00.

Buildings should receive their statements by the end of May. Leah thanked Franci Bindler for sending out the statements.

Next Advisory Board Meeting - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, October 18, 2012 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.

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

Fern McBride
Fern McBride, Secretary

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