The meeting was called to order at 11:00 a.m. by President Pio Ieraci.
Board Members present: Ieraci, Berkowitz, Glickfield, Guttman, Hamaker, McBride, Bazerghi, Bindler, Camarena, Casier, Chisholm, Freismuth, Glazer, Gonzalez, Guglielmetti, Krevy, Lecht, Mayer, Nesbitt, Orr and Solewin .
Approval of Minutes - The minutes of October 16, 2008 were approved.
Update – Old and New Business
The President introduced and welcomed District 1 Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Christine Teel and District 4 Broward County Commissioner Ken Keechl.
Commissioner Keechl shared the following:
He stated that dire circumstances are ahead of us due to the very bad economy. Although it is becoming increasingly more difficult to keep his campaign promise to not raise taxes, millage rates will not go up. He is working on increasing efficiency.
Segment II (which includes our area) of the beach renourishment project should proceed as planned. The problems of Segment III should not affect us.
The Reading Room on Galt Ocean Mile should reopen not later than March. 2009. He will get an update on the project and keep on top of it.
Having received many calls regarding foreclosures and assessments, he will be addressing these matters. When questioned about foreclosures and banks, he stated this is a state and local problem. The banks are not willing to do anything without being pressured. The Galt Mile is a stable community compared to other neighborhoods.
The courthouse is having many problems, especially the recent flooding, and is in need of restoration. The cost of restoration may be more than building a new courthouse, however, there is no money to build a new courthouse. A task force has been established to investigate alternatives.
Workshops will be held in February and March regarding bed tax money. Keechl feels these revenues should be used for the beach renourishment. Several county lobbyists want bed tax money to fund cultural endeavors.
There is also a need for new jails – they are currently 93 percent filled to capacity.
Commissioner Teel shared the following:
She agreed with the necessity for resolving the courthouse problems.
The City has funded an A1A design scope.
The Sun Trolley will continue servicing our area; probably with minibuses.
The City Commission voted to again host the Air & Sea Show in 2010. It was asked that the show avoid scheduling on the weekend before Mother’s Day. Plans are forthcoming.
Regarding public safety – Chief of Police Frank Adderley has established the Street Crimes Unit, a special task force of 40 men and women charged with targeting high crime areas. It has proven very successful.
She thanked building managers for contacting her about permit issues. However, it is very important that contractors follow through in the permit process.
We were reminded to vote in the February 10th primary. Those running for Mayor and 2 Commission seats will be happy to give presentations at individual buildings. Eric will post relevant notice on the website when alerted by email.
Gratitude and appreciation were expressed to Commissioner Teel for her continuing efforts on behalf of the community.
Calypso Project – Pio Ieraci
We continue to await notice of the final public meeting, which has not been set as of this date. The Broward League of Cities requires information prerequisite to becoming additionally involved with this issue.
Il Lugano – Ralph Hamaker
The 5 star restaurant, which features Northern Italian Cuisine, is “phenomenal.” Be sure to make reservations.
Galt Mile Security Patrol - Pio Ieraci
A meeting was proposed for January 2009 to update statistics that will be shared at the February 3rd Presidents Council Meeting.
Galt Mile Web Site – Newsletter – Eric Berkowitz -
- October Hits: 840,766 hits; 12,165 unique site visits (first timers)
- November Hits: 775,671 hits; 12,775 unique site visits (first timers)
The past month’s articles:
November 25, 2008 - Beach Project Stirs Suspicion - Most Galt Mile residents understand that the impending beach renourishment project is the single most critical improvement impacting the future of this neighborhood. According to a 2007 report by Broward beach administrator Steven Higgins, the Segment II beaches along Fort Lauderdale and the Galt Ocean Mile should start seeing new sand by the late fall of 2009. In contrast to past projects that were largely neglected once completed, the County’s strategy included a maintenance component to ensure the ongoing health of the rehabilitated beaches, thereby postponing the need for (and curbing the expense of) future renourishments. Until recently, when Beach Administrator Higgins spoke about “patching up” erosion “hot spots” in the Segment III south county renourishment completed almost 2 years ago, he would intimate that the repair wouldn’t interfere with the impending Segment II construction on the Fort Lauderdale and Galt Mile beaches. However, events of late suggest that south county political interests may have designs on the sand earmarked for our beach! A community meeting chaired by Mr. Higgins should clear up any confusion about the County’s intention.
December 4, 2008 - Galt Mile Reading Center Shows a Pulse - The Galt Mile Reading Center - a valued community “gem” - will soon be closed for approximately one to two weeks. A popular improvement project to expand the facility was repeatedly raped by Murphy’s Law during the past few years. Broward County leasing specialists rented space adjacent to the Reading Room to accommodate the expansion. Unfortunately, they forgot to check the premises. WHOOPS! The floor and one of the two ceilings were loaded with asbestos! If disturbed, the toxic cocktail would precipitate a virtual mesothelioma epidemic among Reading Center fans. After three years of paying $3500/month rent while debating an alternative strategy for safely utilizing the tainted space, a compromise renovation may actually be completed before the lease expires on June 30, 2009. If not for the Friends of the Galt Ocean Mile Reading Center and Broward Commissioner Ken Keechl, the project would still be at ground zero and the truckload of wasted tax dollars would remain a mystery!
December 13, 2008 - Windstorm Self-Insurance Trust Update - Since Galt Mile Associations participating in the Palm Beach Windstorm Self-Insurance Trust averaged six figure savings during the Trust’s first operational year, they understandably want to exercise renewals. When the Palm Beach group was granted a license following the most exigent review ever performed by the Office of Insurance Regulation, Senator Jeff Atwater characterized the event as an, “historic moment.” Enigmatically, two Agency bureaucrats spent the next year erecting capricious obstacles to the Trust's operational efficacy, repeatedly trying to undermine the intent of the new law. Although legislators that learned about this subterfuge put the program back on track, there are residual concerns about whether those two bureaucrats are working for the people of Florida or the insurance industry! The Trustees scheduled a meeting for 1:30 PM on Thursday, December 18th, at L'Hermitage II for the purpose of providing a concise report on the Trust’s operations and clarifying all issues encountered with the Office of Insurance Regulation. All GMCA association members, including “window shoppers”, are invited to attend.
December 19, 2008 - Vice Mayor Keechl Affirms Commitment - The Broward Board of County Commissioners reshuffled their governance deck in November, seating District 3 Commissioner Stacy Ritter as Mayor supported by District 4 Commissioner Ken Keechl as Vice Mayor. In his December 2008 Newsletter, our County Commissioner assures constituents that the additional challenges companion to his new office will not distract Keechl from his District 4 responsibilities. He intends to press an agenda outlined by Mayor Ritter in her November 18, 2008 acceptance speech. To start with, the new administration intends to morph the Florida East Coast rail corridor into a vital countywide transportation center, create a trucking and rail shipping hub in western Palm Beach County to service Port Everglades and promote the greening of Broward County’s carbon footprint.
Galt Merchants Association
Discussion addressed who might represent the Galt Merchants Association since the untimely passing of Dr. Alex Leeds. It was suggested that Larry Blacke be contacted and we would discuss this at our next meeting.
Pio Ieraci made a motion to support a parking variance to accommodate the new restaurant on the SW corner of 32nd Street. Ralph Hamaker seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved.
Dr. Teledano owes the Galt Mile Association $1,000.00.
A walk-through of the Galt Mile with City representatives was conducted to review the condition of trash cans, benches and the general aesthetics of our beachscape. A report will be provided by February detailing their findings and advising how to resolve any issues that were found. Pio thanked José “Chepo” Vega for his efforts to improve landscaping and moved he serve as the neighborhood association's liaison with Parks personnel fixing the landscaping problems. Motion seconded by Eric Berkowitz and unanimously approved.
Pio spoke about the importance of attending the meeting scheduled for this afternoon at ‘LHermitage II regarding the Windstorm Self-Insurance Trust.
Treasurer’s Report - Leah Glickfield
The Treasurer reported $13,398.48 in our Treasury.
Next Advisory Board Meeting - The next regular Advisory Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, January 15, 2009 at Nick’s Italian Restaurant.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:45 p.m.
Fern McBride, Secretary