Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 101830
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File Number: 101830 File Type: Resolution Status: Withdrawn
Version: 0 Reference: Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY AGREEMENT WITH BEACON COUNCIL Introduced: 7/13/2010
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action:
Agenda Date: 7/20/2010 Agenda Item Number: 11A5
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE MAYOR OR THE MAYOR'S DESIGNEE TO DELIVER WRITTEN NOTICE THAT MIAMI-DADE COUNTY EXERCISES ITS RIGHT NOT TO RENEW ITS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY AGREEMENT WITH BEACON COUNCIL; PROVIDING FOR RESCISSION OF THIS DIRECTIVE; AND PROVIDING FOR THE POSSIBLE DESIGNATION OF A NEW ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES
Indexes: BEACON COUNCIL
  ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Sponsors: Audrey M. Edmonson, Prime Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 7/20/2010 11A5 Withdrawn
REPORT: Commissioner Edmonson presented the foregoing proposed resolution. She reviewed the terms and requirements of the agreement between the Beacon Council (the Council) and Miami-Dade County regarding the eight (8) percent funding provided to the Council from the local business tax revenues. She also reviewed the requirements of Ordinance Number 08-112 enacted in October 2008 by Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners. She noted the funds could only be utilized for comprehensive economic development projects per the requirements set forth in the agreement. Chairman Moss stopped the meeting proceedings due to a lack of quorum. Upon recovering the quorum, Chairman Moss asked Commissioner Edmonson to continue her presentation. Commissioner Edmonson explained the County and the Council had entered into an economic development agreement in 1987 in an effort to attract to Miami-Dade County new investments and industries to socio-economic disadvantaged areas to stimulate job growth and address socio-economic disparity. She also reviewed the quarterly reporting requirements of the agreement, noting it set forth clear guidelines for reporting purposes. Commissioner Edmonson reviewed how the Council failed to comply with the reporting requirements of the agreement and Ordinance Number 08-112. She voiced her discontent for the Council’s failure to include in the reports information she had previously requested on several occasions regarding the projects’ addresses and descriptions. She noted the Council was not asked to act inconsistent to state law, but rather to use a clear and detailed approach in preparing the reports for the Board expenditures. She advised the Council needed to provide accountability of all expenditures. In response to Commissioner Edmonson’s inquiry, Commission Auditor Charles Anderson concurred with her statement regarding the issue of non-compliance with the requirements of the ordinance because no supporting documentation on how the funds were spent had been provided, as requested on several occasions. He noted several meetings were scheduled with the Council’s representatives to seek detailed information; and on all instances, the Council had only provided information in terms of the projects’ names and locations. He noted representatives from the Council had stipulated that the funds were placed into the Council’s operating budget inasmuch as those funds benefited the County as a whole. Assistant County Attorney Cynthia Johnson-Stacks explained the intent of the Board when Ordinance 08-112 was adopted, noting that it addressed the escrow funds for that portion of the local business tax revenues for a timeframe while Miami-Metro Action Plan’s (MMAP) status was under review. She noted that it also required the Council to include in its annual report a clear statement on the use of the funds. Discussion ensued in connection with the requirements of state law for this funding source. In response to Commissioner Edmonson’s question, Assistant County Attorney Johnson-Stacks advised that the agreement could be terminated with or without cause. She noted the resolution before the Board today directed the Mayor to exercise the right not to renew the economic development strategy agreement without cause. She also explained the options to the Council if the foregoing resolution was adopted. Chairman Moss stopped the proceedings due to a loss of quorum. In an unrelated matter and while waiting to recover a quorum, Commissioner Barreiro announced an iPhone software application for the 311 Program of the Government Information Center was under development to allow the public to request a service or send pictures when reporting a problem. Upon recovering a quorum, Commissioner Edmonson continued her presentation and explained the impact of the resolution if adopted. Assistant County Attorney Johnson-Stacks explained how the action taken today would impact the Council if the resolution was enacted. Discussion ensued in connection with the differences between the Targeted Urban Areas (TUAs) and the empowerment enterprise zone areas. Dr. Robert Cruz, Chief Economist of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), explained the differences between the TUAs and targeted Empowerment Zones. He noted the reports submitted by the Council only provided information on annual projects and never submitted information on TUAs. Commissioner Edmonson noted the intent of the foregoing resolution was to focus on providing financial assistance to the 19 existing TUAs. She advised it would create a reporting mechanism for the Council to provide information to the County Commisison on how the funds were utilized in order to comply with the intent of the agreement. Commissioner Edmonson expressed her discontent with the Council’s action for soliciting the Mayor’s assistance to have the foregoing item withdrawn from today’s agenda. She commented that, in her opinion, the Council had refused to work with the County to accomplish the goals set forth in the agreement and the policies established by the Board. Commissioner Edmonson recommended the responsibility of economic development be charged to a different agency familiar with the area and TUAs in the event the Council continued to fail to be in compliance with the Board’s policy. Following discussion, Commissioner Edmonson offered to withdraw the item; and she advised she would bring it back in the event the Council failed again to comply with the requirements of the agreement and the ordinance. Chairman Moss recommended County staff work collaboratively with the members of the Council in regards to how those funds were utilized. He commented the economic development efforts be concentrated within the TUAs. He noted that he had observed a lack of engagement and involvement in distressed areas. Chairman Moss noted the Council had been charged with the responsibility of economic development based on their track record and accomplishments, but he would support alternatives in the event the Council failed to cooperate. Upon conclusion of the foregoing discussion, Chairman Moss commented that the Council needed to work collaboratively with County officials on how the funds were spent. He advised that he expected future spending of the funds would be invested in socio-economic depressed areas with a concentrated effort in the TUAs. He commented that he would support having legislation prepared to allow the County to participate in the decision making process to determine how these funds were invested. Commissioner Edmonson noted the agreement renewed automatically annually; therefore, the Board would have to ask the County Manager not to renew the contract with or without cause, in the event the Board determined to terminate the contract. Commissioner Rolle noted he expected to see improvement in distressed areas before a year timeframe. Commissioner Martinez requested that Dr. Cruz meet with his office staff to provide information on how TUAs were created and the criteria to develop the boundaries. Commissioner Edmonson stated that the directive previously given to the County Attorney to negotiate with the Beacon Council as an amendment to the agreement require that the use of the 8% funding granted from the local business tax revenues be utilized in disadvantage neighborhoods. Commissioner Souto requested that Dr. Robert Cruz, Chief Economist, OECD, prepare a report outlining in percentages Census data information regarding the levels of poverty, population, ethnicity, and number of families living together as soon as the Census data information from the 2009 American Community Survey was made available. Commissioner Gimenez noted that the ordinance enacted by Miami-Dade set clear guidelines for the accountability of the funds. He requested the Beacon Council be given clear instructions as to Miami-Dade County’s requirements to account for the expenditure of the 8% funding source from the local business tax revenues. Assistant County Attorney Cynthia Johnson-Stacks advised the Commission Auditor Charles Anderson would be the appropriate person to address all questions in respect to the reporting requirements mandated from the Council inasmuch as he had been in contact with members of the Council. Commissioner Gimenez suggested the Beacon Council be afforded an opportunity to address and provide a rationale for the unavailability of the paper trail and how the funds were utilized. He commented the Council needed to better organize the organization’s documentation. Chairman Moss requested the Beacon Council prepare a report outlining the activities and projects performed within TUAs. Upon conclusion of the foregoing discussion, the Board proceeded to vote.

County Attorney 7/13/2010 Referred Housing & Community Development Committee

County Attorney 7/13/2010 Assigned Cynthia Johnson-Stacks

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE MAYOR OR THE MAYOR'S DESIGNEE TO DELIVER WRITTEN NOTICE THAT MIAMI-DADE COUNTY EXERCISES ITS RIGHT NOT TO RENEW ITS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY AGREEMENT WITH BEACON COUNCIL; PROVIDING FOR RESCISSION OF THIS DIRECTIVE; AND PROVIDING FOR THE POSSIBLE DESIGNATION OF A NEW ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES

BODY
WHEREAS, Section 205.032, Florida Statutes authorizes a county to levy a business tax for the privilege of engaging in or managing any business, profession, or occupation within in its jurisdiction; and
WHEREAS, Section 205.33, Florida Statutes imposes certain conditions on the authority of each county to impose said business tax, including but not limited to requiring that any revenue, plus accrued interest, derived by a county shall be distributed each fiscal year to an organization or agency designated by the county to oversee and implement a comprehensive economic development strategy through advertising, promotional activities, and other sales and marketing techniques; and
WHEREAS, on June 11, 1987, this Board adopted Ordinance No. 87-38, codified at Section 8A-171.2 of the Code (“Code”), requiring applicants for new or renewed local business tax receipts to pay an additional amount of tax; and
WHEREAS, the Code designates the Dade County Beacon Council, Inc. (“Beacon Council”) as the agency to receive the local business tax revenues and to oversee and implement a comprehensive economic development strategy; and
WHEREAS, the County and the Beacon Council entered into an agreement on October 1, 1987 (the “Agreement”) to ensure the transfer of these revenues from the local business tax to the Beacon Council; and
WHEREAS, Article III of the Agreement provides, in part, that “[t]he term of this Agreement shall be for a period commencing on the date first written above and terminating on the last day of the County’s current fiscal year (September 30, 1988). This Agreement shall stand automatically renewed at the end of such term (and each successive term thereafter) for a period of one year, unless either party delivers to the other, more than thirty days before the date such term expires, a written notice stating that said party does not wish to renew the Agreement, with or without cause, in which event the Agreement shall automatically terminate effective on the last date of that current fiscal year”; and
WHEREAS, on June 7, 1994, the Board passed a motion requiring that eight percent (8%) of the revenues from the local business tax received by the Beacon Council should be allocated by the Beacon Council to Metro-Miami Action Plan Trust (“MMAP”); and
WHEREAS, on September 15, 1995, the Beacon Council and MMAP entered into a Grant Agreement whereby MMAP was required to use said revenues from the local business tax in accordance with state and local laws and to oversee and implement a comprehensive economic development strategy; and
WHEREAS, MMAP utilized such funds to oversee and implement an economic development strategy in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods of Miami-Dade County; and
WHEREAS, on October 7, 2008, the Board rescinded its policy that the Beacon Council allocate 8% of the local business tax revenues to MMAP, pursuant to County Ordinance 08-112; and
WHEREAS, Section 8A-171.2 of the Code was amended by Ordinance No. 08-112 to require the Beacon Council to include in its “annual report a clear statement on its uses of the eight percent (8%) of local business tax revenues previously allocated to the Metro-Miami Action Plan Trust for similar purposes;” and
WHEREAS, in discussing County Ordinance No. 08-112, several commissioners expressed concerns regarding the reporting and monitoring of the Beacon Council’s utilization of the 8% in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods of the County; and
WHEREAS, the Board was given assurances that the Beacon Council would report to the Board on a quarterly and annual basis its usage of such funds; and
WHEREAS, the Beacon Council has not demonstrated in any of its reports, including written reports to the Housing and Community Development Committee that it has overseen and implemented a comprehensive economic development strategy in the economically disadvantaged neighborhoods of Miami-Dade County, as it was carried out by MMAP; and
WHEREAS, MMAP has been renamed, re-purposed and reconstituted as the Miami-Dade County Economic Advocacy Trust ("MDEAT”), pursuant to County Ordinance No. 09-70 and is capable of overseeing and implementing such strategy in the economically disadvantaged neighborhoods of Miami-Dade County,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA,
Section 1. The Mayor or the Mayor’s designee is directed to deliver to the Beacon Council, on or before August 27, 2010 a written notice stating that the County, without cause, exercises its right not to renew the Agreement between the County and the Beacon Council, pursuant to Article III of the Agreement.
Section 2. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the aforementioned direction shall automatically be rescinded and nullified if (1) on or before September 21, 2010, the Board of County Commissioners accepts a report from the Beacon Council and finds that the Beacon Council has demonstrated that it used at least 8% of the proceeds of the business tax within economically disadvantaged neighborhoods for purposes authorized by Fla. Stat. Section 205.33; or (2) before September 21, 2010, the Beacon Council enters into a subcontract or similar agreement with MDEAT allocating at least 8% of the business tax to oversee and implement a comprehensive economic development strategy through advertising, promotional activities, and other sales and marketing techniques within Targeted Urban Areas designated and defined by Section 30-129(2) of the Code of Miami-Dade County.
Section 3. In the event the Beacon Council fails to comply with Section 2 of this resolution, the Mayor or the Mayor’s designee, within thirty (30) days of the automatic termination of the Agreement, shall recommend one or more entities for possible designation by the Board as the organization or agency to oversee and implement a comprehensive economic development strategy; and upon the Board’s selection of one organization or agency, the County Attorney is hereby directed to prepare an ordinance designating the selected organization or agency to carry out the purposes of Section 205.033 Florida Statutes and to prepare any necessary amendments to Ordinance No. 08-112 regarding allocation of the 8% local business tax.



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