General Meeting Minutes
May 14, 2013
City Hall, 8th Floor Conference Room
- Call to order: President Mammano called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
- Roll call: 1st VP Ron Centamore called attendance (respondents answered by name) and declared a quorum.
- Treasurer’s Report: President Mammano read the report provided by Treasurer Golub.
- POLICE/FIRE REPORT
- Major Michael Gregory from District 2 represented the Police Department
- Promotions: Asst. Chief Williams is now in charge of all operations; many other promotions have taken place.
- Reorganization of Patrols: This will be taking place in the very near future. (Lt.’s will be moved up to shift captains/commanders) New assignments will be sent to neighborhoods as soon as they are finalized.
- Smart Water CSI: This technology is being tested in South Middle River. It will take 6 months to a year to determine if this product and program are successful. You use smart water to mark your possessions and it has an embedded code that stays on your property permanently. Currently, only the police have the equipment to detect if this product is on recovered stolen property. The signage that you purchase with the program seems to be a significant deterrent. Confiscated drug money was used to pay for the test program and equipment. You can learn more about this product at www.smartwatercsi.com .
- Captain Jo-Ann Lorber from Fire Emergency Management
- Jo-Ann reminded everyone that Hurricane Season is only 18 days away. She encouraged everyone to visit www.ready.gov which is a FEMA website for Hurricane Preparedness with comprehensive information on mitigation.
- She also reminded everyone that it is National Law Enforcement Week.
5. ANNOUNCEMENTS/GUEST INTRODUCTIONS
- Maria Sachs – State Senator District 34 was introduced. Ms. Sachs stated that she started as a leader in her community association. She wants the neighborhoods to invite her into their communities. She stated she is here to listen even if it is only to complaints. She is here to listen to your community and bring your concerns to Tallahassee. She stated that she is not a political idealog. She wanted the
Neighborhoods to know some of her priorities and the bills she introduced, which include: Educational Appropriations (she worked to increase funding to Broward Community College); Texting While Driving (as a secondary offense, it is a beginning and hopefully the governor will sign the bill); Parasailing Safety; Alarms for Daycare Vans. She encouraged the neighborhoods to give her ideas. Laura Croscenco raised the concern of safe routes to and from schools including sidewalks and bike lanes, which is an issue in Middle River Terrace. Ms. Sachs stated that she wants to take care of our communities and our children. She indicated that she raised five children in South Florida. President Mammano introduced Richard Johns who is the chairperson of the Council’s Legislative Committee. Ms. Sachs finished by stating that she did not care if a neighborhood was in her district or not, that she was interested in all concerns.
- Fort Lauderdale School Board Representative Katherine “Katie” Leach from District 3 called to indicate, that the School Board Meeting, which began at 9 a.m., was still ongoing. President Mammano indicated that we would try to reschedule for the next meeting and would also contact Dr. Rosalin Osgood the District 4 Representative and Robin Bartleman the At Large Representative. Education continues to be an important issue with the Visioning Report indicating that Fort Lauderdale is not a good place to educate your children.
- Interviews for City Attorney were held May 13th. Five candidates were interviewed, 2 internal and 3 external from other parts of Florida. Cynthia A. Everett from Pinecrest Village was the selected candidate and hopefully will be on board soon.
- Tomorrow, May 15th is the Transportation Summit, which will last all day. The FEC Railroad situation will increase train traffic and impact the entire city and its residents. President Mammano asked that an e-mail blast be sent out to remind everyone of this important event. She encouraged neighborhoods to urge their Commissioners to get Broward County to establish quiet zones. President Mammano asked Steve Stahl of Middle River to take the lead in Transportation Issues and indicated she would discuss with him after the meeting.
- Membership: 1st VP Ron Centamore indicated that we have 34 members as of tonight’s meeting. If there have been changes or updates in neighborhood contacts i.e. Representation that this information needs to be communicated to the Council and to Maxine Singh who maintains the recognized neighborhood information for the City.
- The Public Participation Ordinance was brought up for discussion. In plain speak; the revised ordinance requires developers to have a meeting with the community prior to the DRC (Development Review Committee) meeting if the proposed development is a Site Plan 3 or Site Plan 4. The public meeting must be held 21 days in advance of the meeting and the developer must send a letter or an e-mail to the President of the Civic Association(s) listed on the city website that are effected. (That means the burden is on the neighborhood to get the word out.) Prior to the DRC meeting they must present a Report Letter, which indicates yes I had a meeting, yes I notified the President, how many people attended the meeting and the issues raised. This is then given to the city and made part of the record and then they can proceed to the DRC. The members raised many concerns. The feeling seems to be that this at least sets some type of standard (now this is an informal understanding). Some believe that if this becomes policy the minimum becomes the maximum. Shelby Smith from Shady Banks indicated that the meeting place needs to be located in proximity to the community and that city staff needs to educate the resident about what is allowed. Shirley Smith from Central Beach Alliance felt that the requirement should be that the developer attends the association meeting. Shannon Harneling from Lake Ridge felt that 21 days is not enough time and that the improved draft did not take in our concerns. The June 4th City Commission Conference Meeting will hear the revised draft. The consensus is that opposition from developers will be to keep the process simple. Shelby Smith from Shady Banks then brought up the concern of the “LETTER”, does the 21 days constitute from the postmark, mail could be held. There is mistrust on both sides and the ordinance at least formalizes that we must talk to each other…it may not be the best time to push for the maximum, at least try to make sure the communication happens. If we push to far the developers will feel we want too much. Dave Parker from Sailboat Bend indicated that we need a more specific ordinance and that the education aspect by city staff is a good idea. Ron Centamore from Downtown indicated that right now there is no requirement and at least this is a step in the right direction. The Marina Lofts Developer gave no notification prior to DRC. There are instances when a developer cannot deliver what they have promised to do. Shirley Smith from Central Beach stated that there have been several Site Plan 3 and 4 projects that the Neighborhood has said no to and the Commission has voted to build it anyway. Cal Deal indicated that 21 days prior could be meaningless as sometimes there are changes to the site plans right up to days before the meeting and they are allowed, as they are not considered a “substantial change”. He indicated that their needs to be a date set for the lock down of documents. President Mammano indicated that she would be attending the Commission Conference Meeting and would speak to the Council’s concerns.
6. The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.
Linda Nugent, Corresponding Secretary
For Donna Mergenhagen, Recording Secretary