The 2019 Annual Meeting of the Central City Alliance was held at the Ironworkers Local on Thursday, May 16.

The initial part of the meeting served as a meet and greet with food catered by B’s Specialties as well as an open bar. Up on the screen, a video of the Craft Beer and Wine Festival with Car Show put together by Mark Hartman, played.

Tim Smith called the meeting to order, provided welcome remarks, and acknowledged Mayor Dean Trantalis’ presence. Tim explained that the theme of this year’s meeting is where we came from, where we are now, and where we are going. He showed a video from 1995 which included some footage of crime walks and Middle River Terrace building the sidewalk on Dixie Highway. He then introduced the new Central City Alliance President, Barry Curtis.

Barry welcomed everyone and then introduced the new Board. He and Mark Hartman made a few remarks about Tim Smith and gave him the Marge Anderson Award. Barry then asked the Mayor to say a few words.

Mayor Trantalis spoke about the changes to 13th Street, thanking Ken Zarulli and Abby Laughlin for their investment in the area.

Barry then asked Mark Hartman to speak about the Craft Beer and Wine Festival with Car Show. Mark explained to the audience that we had a profitable event and were able to donate $5,000 to H.O.M.E.S., Inc.

Barry discussed the grant situation and showed a slide show with before and after pictures of the SMRCA clean up and entrance monument project shown to “We Built This City” in the background.

Lorraine Saunders was invited up to discuss crime and to introduce the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. Lorraine had done some analysis of the crime statistics from 2011 and said that while crime overall in the city is down, there are certain crimes that are still problematic.

Captain Patrick Hart represented the Department at the meeting and addressed the recent home invasion in Poinsettia Heights, saying that it is still classified as a home invasion however FLPD does not believe that there is a threat to the community at large. A question was also asked about the homeless man living on the street at 1100 N Andrews Ave and the Captain said there are limited things that they can do because being homeless is not a crime. However, he said he would have the outreach staff try to engage with the gentleman.

Marie McGinley introduced Christine Fanchi, who discussed the process on NE 4 th Ave which has been delayed for a period of time. Christine indicated that it should be finished in August. Christine also addressed wrapping the signal boxes and said we are next on the list. She will contact artist Frank Polanco about the artwork and will get back to us if the estimate is not within budget. Christine also indicated that the new infrastructure funding will be designated for the first year to local transportation and that includes the Sun Trolley. We had asked for consideration of changing the Sunrise Trolley to do
a loop onto 13 St.

Freddy from Flash Lube asked about damage to his property due to the NE 4th Ave and 13th St corner and Christine offered to go there to look at the issue. Bear also asked about 13th and 4th corner… then asked Christine about the accusations about her traffic studies. Christine responded that all variables used in her studies, her analysis, etc. were approved by the State. Christine also indicated that the City of Fort Lauderdale is now using a new method of analysis that is considered more progressive.

Katharine Barry thanked Christine for her vision and hard work on 13 Street and then introduced Cija Omengebar from the CRA office. Cija indicated that last year $170K went to Abby Laughlin for improvements to her properties. This year the Pride Factory received $200K for his renovations. Abby Laughlin came up next and showed her video of the Flower in the Gun event and then introduced Oddballs, JJ from the Deck on 13, and Lee Mazur from LoveLee Bakery. Abby mentioned several of her other tenants who had either already left or couldn’t make it. Each spoke for a bit.

Scott Leatherman and other longer term business owners such as McKay Ferrell, Randall Klett, Freddy from Flash Lube, and Bob from Best Rental spoke.

Barry adjourned the 2019 Annual Meeting.