June 2013 General Mtg Minutes

General Membership Meeting

June 11, 2013

City Hall, 8th Floor Conference Room

  1. Meeting was called to order by President Mammano at 7:32 p.m.
  2. 1st Vice President Ron Centamore called the roll and declared we had a quorum.
  3. Minutes from the April and May General Meeting were adopted as presented.
  4. The Treasurer’s Report was read by President Mammano.  The ending balance was $8255.13.
  5. John Bertino the representative for Tim Ryan was introduced and Donna Opert from Galt Ocean Mile was welcomed.
  6. Police Report was presented by Captain Alvarez.  Overall crime in Fort Lauderdale was down 7%.  He did note that there is usually an uptick at the end of June.  The Police Games begin on June 15th and continue through the 22nd.  The complete schedule is available on the City Website.
  7. Guest Speakers from the Broward Public Schools included Dr. Desmond Blackburn – Chief School Performance Accountability Officer and Charles Webster – Liason to the Educational Advisory Board of Fort Lauderdale.

Schools are not changing at the same pace as the rest of the world.  There is a gap to overcome.  Change comes with mixed emotions.  Sunland Park Elementary School, Lauderdale Manors and Arthur Ashe Middle School  were three failing schools.  The options that were available were to change them to charter/private schools, close the schools, or turn them into a turnaround school.  Typically the turnaround option is chosen.  The schools facilitated community outreach meetings and internal meeting with educators.  Rigorous programs, technology increases, increase partnership with colleges and universities were all explored.  The focus is to fix these problems early before the third grade, focus on early learning in the community (33311) and enhance quality of life for adults that are the caregivers of these children.  Social / financial/ immigration options to be considered.  Don’t want to be saddled or required to access a particular school, want options close to work and or relatives.  Overall the school district has 30,000 empty seats.

Sunland Park Elementary – will become a preK to 3rd grade school.

Lauderdale Manors –  will turn into a community service center with social services, clothing bank , referral services.

Arthur Ashe – will become an Adult Career and Technical School starting with day courses and will have child care on site.

Dillard High School is one of the finest schools whose principal is Cassandra Robinson.  The aim is to create a K-12 fine arts – emergent technology magnate school.

There is a capital deficit in the district.  We need to reinvest in the schools and upgrade technology.  Dillard High School will be getting a 1 million dollar upgrade.  Sunland Park and other surrounding schools will get the money for reading, technology, mentor based skype programs.  Dillard’s emphasis will be on entrepreneurial education.  Lauderhill Middle Schooll will become a 6-12 partnership with Broward College and will be a Boutique High School.  In state compliance terms Lauderdale Manors and Arthur Ashe are considered closings. Sunland Park and Lauderhill are considered Hybrid options.

All taxpayers should be concerned with the 30,000 empty seats, there are no new monies coming in and we are paying for more than we generate.  The quality of the entire system is called into question and the taxpayers should be demanding greater efficiency.

Montessori Model is very expensive(Virginia Schuman) and requires parental partnership.

Workforce Education is excellent.

Level of service, eliminating portables, the western part of the county is busting at the seams, they could force parent to send children to different schools however parents are into choice.  Work with municipalities to use portables effectively.  Non performing children can’t/won’t get to high school, we are losing kids by the 2nd or 3rd grade.

Charles Webster:  5 schools in Broward County in top 100 in the United States.  Dillard High School is one of them.  Perception vs. Facts  The school district is the largest employer in the County.  We have to work on welcoming people, Disney is serving as a consultant.  Promise Neighborhood Grant was missed by 3 points this year, they will try again next year.  Partnerships, parents and supporting parents will be a key focus.

7. New Business:

Nominations for Recording Secretary duties include taking minutes, keeping all records.  Betty Shelley nominated Shannon Harmeling from Lake Ridge with Ron Centamore seconding the motion.  Nominations were closed by President Mammano and Shannon Harmeling was elected with a unanimous vote.

President’s Report:

All Aboard Florida and FEC RR Partner are two private companies.  There will be an Environmental Impact Statement.  Federal RR Administration was sent letter of concerns also to Broward MPO and commissioners.  Broward County  MPO is going to vote to deal with quiet zones to allow us to spend our own money.  The meeting is on Thursday.  The money is not coming from private companies.  More information will be forthcoming.  There are 24 members on the MPO including Commissioner Romney Rogers and Vice Mayor Bruce Roberts.  AAF trains approximately 50 per week.  Port Everglades Freight trains once Panama Canal Expansion is completed will be doubled additional FEC Commuter Rail adds up to a lot of trains.  Proposals to move trains west.

President Mammano met with City Manager Lee Feldman.  He was not aware that the Neighborhood Development Review Criteria was not moving forward.  He does not have the staff.  Will go back and review.

Input was solicited for the Better Meetings Committee.  Topics that were brought up that were of interest included, By Law Guidance and Standardization, Common Insurance Policies, FAU is available for other topics, How to get people to come to meetings.

President Mammano brought up whether or not to hold the July General Meeting.  Shannon Harmeling made a motion to cancel the July meeting, seconded by Betty Shelley and it was unanimous vote to cancel the meeting.

8. The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda Nugent, Corresponding Secretary

For Donna Mergenhagen, Recording Secretary