March 2012 General

Council of Fort Lauderdale Civic Associations
General Meeting
March 13, 2012
City Hall- 8th Floor Conference Room

1. Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by President Doug Sterner at 7:35 pm followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

2. Attendance: First Vice President Marilyn Mammano took the roll and declared a quorum.

3. Minutes: The minutes of the February 14, 2012 general meeting were unanimously approved upon a motion and second

4. Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer’s Report showing a balance as of February 1, 2012 of $7,859.67 was unanimously approved upon a motion and second.

5. Law Enforcement Reports: FLPD Captain Detrick provided this month’s report announcing that the Fort Lauderdale Air Show would occur on April 28 and 29. 2012. There is a new promoter and a different footprint for the event which will be air only – no marine acts. Flight hours will be from 12 to 4 pm. The event will coordinate with Fleet Week. Chief Joanne Lorber (fire rescue paramedics and emergency management services) reminded the meeting of the “See Something – Say Something” campaign being run through the FDLE. Recording Secretary Donna Mergenhagen distributed flyers at the request of FLPD Captain London with tips on how not to be a victim.

6. City Manager Feldman addressed the meeting stating that city staff was working very hard and he hoped they were responsive to the neighborhoods. He thanked the Council for its support and invited the members to feel free to come and talk to hi. He stated that he is starting the budget process.

7. Guest Speaker: City Forester Gene Dempsey has been with the City for over 15 years . He was invited to speak about the recent outbreak of the Rugose Spiraling Whitefly (or Gumbo Limbo Spiraling Whitefly) that has moved north from Miami and is infesting trees and plants in Fort Lauderdale. He said that the City was treating this Whitefly by releasing native black lady bugs who eat the whitefly. It will take 2 to 3 years for this treatment to run its course and residents should not panic. He discussed different types of treatments a resident can take if a tree is infested in his/her property that is causing inconvenience. There is more information on the City’s website and Mr. Dempsey is available to speak HOA meetings or to individuals. In October he moved from parks and recreation to city works. His number is 954-828-7704. There was praise for the City’s “Adopt a Tree” program and a lively discussion about how trees could be planted in swales without the cooperation of the landowner. South Middle River has planted over 2,000 trees in its neighborhood but still ran in to some resistance. Ms. Mergenhagn suggested that the Council create a committee to keep track of how the program can best be implemented by neighborhoods.

Broward School Board Member Katy Leech spoke at the meeting. She praised the new School Board Superintendent for his efforts to evaluate the budget and make cuts without impacting services and redirecting money to improve programs. In response to a question about charter schools in Fort Lauderdale, she stated that there are good and bad points to charter schools. She said there would not be any new schools in Fort Lauderdale because Fort Lauderdale is under enrolled.

8. Committee Reports:

• Centennial Time Capsule: Corresponding Secretary Donna Mergenhagen reported that the Council would need to sell 1,000 envelopes to break even. The Council has already missed opportunities to market the Time Capsule at recent City events. Given the City’s preferences for pricing and the timetable, she stated that she did not believe the Council’s continued efforts would result in a successful fundraiser for the Council.
A motion was made and seconded and unanimously approved for the Council to withdraw its support for the Centennial Time Capsule.

• Membership: Ms. Mammano stated that second notices for membership registration have been sent. There are over 60 recognized City neighborhoods and as of March 13, there are 35 paid members. April 1 starts the new fiscal year. There was a discussion about how we can improve the number of neighborhoods that become members. District Reps will call neighborhood presidents to encourage them to become members. If they say “no”, it will be helpful to understand why. Charles Kindred from the Landings talked about getting the word out about why it is beneficial for a neighborhood to be a member of the Council. Various members talked about sharing information to solve common problems, and the power of a united organization to get things done as compared to a single neighborhood acting alone. Ms. Mammano and the District Reps will work on a new updated more comprehensive “press package” for the Council.

• Mr. Kindred raised the issue of how a neighborhood could deal with boats and trailers in driveways and front yards. Steve Gillespie of Coral Ridge told him that there are already city codes in effect to handle that issue and advised him to contact code enforcement.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:05 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Rochelle Golub
Recording Secretary