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Three Legal Opinion Affecting Associations

Three legal opinions from Poliakoff Backer law firm provide important updated information for association in their operations.  The three issues deal with:

#1 – Court Invalidates Amendment Reducing Vote Requirement

#2 – Court Holds that Code Enforcement Liens Do Not Bind Condominium Units or Common Elements

#3 – Federal Corporate Transparency Act RULED UNCONSTITUTIONAL — This is a new federal law that would require all associations to register with the federal government.

If you have any questions on these legal matters, please consult with your legal counsel.

Click here to read the legal opinions.



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Our Wonderful Library

Look at all the wonderful events happening at our Galt Ocean Mile Reading Center during the month of April 2024. Walk on over and enjoy these FREE events and activities. There is something for everyone.

The monthly activity calendar for the Galt Ocean Mile Reading Center is always posted on our Facebook page:  facebook.com/galtmilecommunity.


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Eric Peter Berkowitz

We are saddened to report the passing of Eric Berkowitz, our friend, colleague, and long-time advocate on behalf of the Galt Mile.  Eric passed away on March 15, 2024.

Eric served on the Galt Mile Community Association Board of Directors and as Vice President of the Board.  He was the driving force behind the Galt Security Patrol, whereby associations joined to hire off-duty Fort Lauderdale police officers to patrol the beach and streets.

Having lived in both Ocean Manor and Southpoint before serving on the Regency Tower Board of Directors, Eric Peter Berkowitz developed a unique perspective of the Galt Mile. Eric created and served as webmaster of the Galt Mile Community Association web site, one of largest and most comprehensive in South Florida. As editor of the “Galt Mile News”, the Association’s newsletter, he kept community residents and neighborhood merchants informed about issues critical to their rights, homes and lifestyles.

A prolific writer, Eric relates Association policy as formulated by the Board, the Advisory Board and concerned residents. Always active, Eric’s organizational skills were critical to Fort Lauderdale’s inclusion in the beach renourishment project, the installation of Automated External Defibrillators throughout the neighborhood, the successful promotion of practical fire safety regulations and myriad other challenges.

Eric also served as the community’s eyes and ears, alerting the neighborhood to positive and negative political impacts emanating from Fort Lauderdale’s City Hall, Broward County, Tallahassee and Washington DC.

Eric was my “eyes and ears on the Galt,” stated Galt Mile President Fred Nesbitt. “He always told me, ‘I have your back” and my job is to keep you out of trouble.”  He did that with perfection.  “The Galt has lost an advocate and a person with unlimited knowledge about our past – never forgetting a single detail or name.”  That history has been lost with Eric’s passing.  We will miss you my friend.



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Light Up The Galt – Huge Success on a Beautiful Night

The 2023 Light Up The Galt event was attended by hundreds of neighbors and guests who enjoyed fantastic weather, holiday activities, and the restaurants and bars on the Galt Mile.  The evening began with the reopening of Fire Station 54, followed by the lighting of the holiday tree and holiday festivities.  Pictures in front of the beautiful tree are (l-r) Commissioner John Herbst, Commissioner Steve Glassman, Mayor Trantalis, Commissioner Pamela Beasley-Pittman, State Representative Chip LaMarca, Fred Nesbitt – President of the Galt Mile Community Association, and County Commissioner Lamar Fisher.

We also welcomed our new Chief of Police, Bill Schultz, and Fire Chief Stephen Gollan.  They were joined by several police officers and the firefighter. We also want to thank the tremendous efforts of the Fort Lauderdale Parks and Rec Department – who staged the entire event and we welcome the new Director, Carl Williams.  Oh by the way, Santa Claus was there too.


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How to Avoid Current Internet and Phone Scams

Presentation by Salena Coler, Community Library Manager of the Galt Ocean Mile Reading Room

Every day, cyber criminals are developing new ways to commit fraud, access sensitive personal information, and steal people’s identities and money. This presentation will provide information about some of the current Internet and phone scams that have taken place within the last year.  Learn how to avoid commons scams and what you should do if you are scammed.

Click here to see the full presentation.


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State Legislative Session Begins January 9

The Florida State Legislature will convene for their 60-day session on January 9, with adjournment on March 8. A number of bills have already been introduced that deal with associations.  The legislative tracking chart shows this information:   bill topic, bill number (with link), description, sponsor (link), text of bill (link), status, and our position (support, oppose, no position).

The first two bills – SB278 and HB979, would prohibit associations from charging for estoppel certificates – making them free to owners.  This bill will fully shift the financial responsibility for the estoppel from the buyer or seller right on over to the association. “The issuer of the estoppel could end being financially responsible for the shortage, and they could be subject to, among others, Federal Fair Debt Collection Practice Act claims due to a mistake,” stated attorney Jeffrey Rembaum (Kaye Bender Rembaum).  Rembaum concludes, “This legislation will fully shift the responsibility for the estoppel fees, from that of the requesting party, to all the owners that already live in the association’s community and who have nothing to do with the transaction at all.”

There is already a cap on how much associations can charge for estoppel letters.  If enacted, this would flood the association offices with requests (anything free is always in demand) and then the association would have to absorb the full costs or pay someone else (perhaps a management company or lawyer) to generate the letters.  I could see a unit up for sale and there could be many requests for estoppel letters – all adding costs to the associations.

We need to let all state legislators know we are opposed to these two bills:  SB278 (contact senators) and HB979 (contact representatives).

Click here for the state legislative chart dated 1/01/2024

 


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Latest Issue of On The Galt Mile

On The Galt Mile is a newsletter about our community and neighborhood for our residents.  In this issue, the topics discussed include:

Renovation of Galt Ocean Drive – a check presented by Rep Chip LaMarca for $500,000 toward the cost.

Dead Fraud is Real – free program offered by Broward Property Appraiser Marty Kiar to protect against it.

Marty Kiar shared with us information on property tax exemptions and how our property is assessed.

Galt Mile Community Association celebrates 55 years old.

Local Leader Updates:  Rep Chip LaMarca, Senator Jason Pizzo, Mayor Lamar Fisher and Commissioner John Herbst.

SUPPORT our Galt Mile Businesses:  D Fit Training Studio, Spud’s Coffee, and Bio Reference Lab

Click here to read the full issue of On The Galt Mile

 


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Galt Ocean Drive Renovation

Rep Chip LaMarca presented a check to the Fort Lauderdale City Commission from the state in the amount of $500,000 for the design costs of the Galt Ocean Drive Renovation. We thank Rep Chip LaMarca for his efforts to get this funding in the 2023 state budget, and to keep it there. We appreciate all that Chip has done for us on the Galt Mile and this is just one more example of his commitment to our neighborhood.

We also express our appreciation for the support given to this project by Commissioner John C. Herbst and former Commissioner Heather Moraitis. Both played keys roles in getting this project underway and especially the funding of the project.

We look forward to seeing the design plans and turning over the first shovel of dirt to improve the Galt Ocean Drive.

In the picture (l-r) are Mayor Dean Trantalis, Commissioner John C. Herbst Galt Mile President Fred Nesbitt, and Rep. Chip LaMarca