||Assistant County Attorney Johnson-Stacks read the title of the foregoing discussion item into the record.
Mr. Mark Glover, representing Midwest Steel, Inc. (MWS), with headquarters in Detroit, Michigan, and local offices on Brickell Avenue, appeared before the Committee to present issues regarding the Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Eligibility Process. He introduced Mr. Gary Broad, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the organization and distributed handouts for this presentation to Committee members. Mr. Glover stated that MWS had attempted to obtain SBE certification with the County for more than a year, to no avail. He indicated his organization believed that the criteria for SBE certification were subjective and capriciously applied for various organizations. He requested that the criteria be clearly noted and be applied consistently across the board. Mr. Glover explained that following the denial of certification in December 2009, MWS had an eligibility review meeting and was told by staff that only a site visit of its manufacturing plant at Turkey Point was needed, which was also done. However, he noted, two weeks ago staff advised that MSW was ineligible for certification. Mr. Glover provided a detailed explanation of the information in the handout.
Ms. Miriam Singer, Department of Procurement Management (DPM), Department Director, noted the decision was shared between the Small Business Development Department and the Department of Procurement Management. She advised that the appellant process could not take place until June 13th, however, she addressed the reasons for denial as follows: “The Code of Miami-Dade County requires that consideration be given to the principle place of business in determining certification eligibility. If the principle place of business was not located in Miami-Dade County, the majority owner must reside in the County.” Ms. Singer noted the application submitted by Midwest Steel indicated its principle place of business was Detroit, Michigan, and that fact was also noted in the company’s registration with the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations. She noted the application also indicated that Mr. Broad, the majority stockholder in the company, owned 89 percent of the company, and the driver’s license submitted with the application indicated Mr. Broad resided in Marco Island, Florida, which was confirmed Mr. Broad’s voter’s registration. Ms. Singer advised that MWS established a formal office on May 31st, and that staff requested additional documents and conducted an Eligibility Review Meeting, which resulted in a recommendation that a site visit be done. She pointed out that MWS’s local office was on Brickell Avenue; however, the plant and the bulk of its employees were located in Detroit, Michigan. Ms. Singer read into the record the Internal Revenue Service’s definition for business location and noted staff also visited the Turkey Point staging area and determined that was not the company’s premises. She noted the Code required specific guidelines for manufacturing and stated that all details were reviewed by staff. She encouraged MWS representatives to consider going through the administrative appellant process to be considered.
Ms. Penelope Townsley, Small Business Development Department Director (SBD), noted the facts presented by Ms. Singer were accurate. She stated that after applying the facts to the Code, MWS did not qualify, and subsequent to that determination, the process was transferred to DPM. Ms. Townsley noted MWS requested an Eligibility Review Meeting (ERM) to refute SBD’s decision, which was granted.
Assistant County Attorney David Hope noted the County Attorney’s Office had met with SBD staff and provided them with legal advice, but the decision was that of the department.
Chairwoman Edmonson advised Mr. Glover that he had the right to appeal this decision and noted the deadline to request an appeal was June 13, 2010.
Mr. Glover advised that his organization would enter the appellant process; however, he asked that the Commission take a look at the process in place to ensure it was fair and equitable.
Chairwoman Edmonson asked the Small Business Development Department Director to meet with her staff to schedule a workshop, as soon as possible, to allow the Committee members to review policies governing eligibility requirements for the Small Business Enterprise Program.
Following Mr. Glover’s response that he had received a list of the requirements for certification, Commissioner Jordan recommended that Mr. Glover carefully review that list again in terms of the entire process, which was very important to this Commission.
Chairwoman Edmonson noted this Committee would consider the policies in a workshop to ensure it was a fair and equitable process.