Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 122013
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File Number: 122013 File Type: Resolution Status: Deferred in Committee
Version: 0 Reference: Control: Internal Mgmt. & Fiscal Responsibility Committee
File Name: RENEGOTIATION RE: THE BEACON COUNCIL, INC. Introduced: 10/3/2012
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action:
Agenda Date: Agenda Item Number: 11A
Notes: NOTE: This item assign to two committees IMFR and EDSS[NOTE TO CAO: ITEM FILED IN COMMISSIONER FOLDER Title: RESOLUTION PROVIDING FOR RENEGOTIATION OF THE COUNTY’S AGREEMENT WITH ITS OFFICIAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION (THE BEACON COUNCIL, INC.) AND REQUIRING THE MAYOR OR THE MAYOR’S DESIGNEE TO SUBMIT A WRITTEN REPORT AND RESOLUTION TO ACCOMPLISH ANY AGREED-UPON AMENDMENTS TO SUCH AGREEMENT
Indexes: BEACON COUNCIL
Sponsors: Lynda Bell, Prime Sponsor
  Esteban L. Bovo, Jr., Co-Sponsor
  Audrey M. Edmonson, Co-Sponsor
  Xavier L. Suarez, Co-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

Economic Development & Social Services Committee 10/17/2012 2D Deferred P
REPORT: NOTE: The Committee deferred the foregoing proposed resolution to no date certain during the motion to set today's (10/17) agenda, as requested by Commissioner Bell, Prime Sponsor.

Office of the Chairperson 10/16/2012 Additions

County Attorney 10/16/2012 Referred Economic Development & Social Services Committee 10/17/2012

Internal Mgmt. & Fiscal Responsibility Committee 10/16/2012 2T Deferred P
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Jess McCarty read the foregoing proposed resolution into the record. Chairwoman Bell relinquished the chair to Commissioner Bovo. Commissioner Bell deferred the foregoing proposed resolution to no date certain with this committee or any other committee to which it may have been assigned, noting that she completely believed in the legislation and that she fully intended on reintroducing the proposal in the future. Commissioner Bell said she sent a letter to the Beacon Council and District 8 residents stating her intention to file the proposed legislation; however she and her Chief of Staff were treated rudely, disrespectfully and insulted in an October 15, 2012 meeting with Mr. Frank Nero, President / Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Beacon Council, and an officer of its Executive Board. She noted that her proposed legislation had not been read by Mr. Nero or the Executive Board member. Commissioner Bell said her intention was to bring transparency and inclusion to an organization receiving Miami-Dade County funding in the amount of $3.7 million and that the County Commission should be a participant in the County’s economic strategy. Commissioner Bell noted she reported to County residents and its taxpayers, and not to the Beacon Council or its Board. She said in the spirit of cooperation she would make an effort to work with Beacon Council officers to make the needed changes to restore confidence in the way they do their work and provide for a more open and inclusive organization, after which time she would resubmit this proposed legislation. Commissioner Bell noted she sponsored this legislation in response to the community’s demands for economic development policy that has an ear to businesses in the urban core, the rural areas, the mom and pop businesses, and the minority owned businesses. She said these businesses pay into the funds received by the Beacon Council; yet they feel that they do not receive much in return for this investment. Commissioner Edmonson noted she was prepared to co-sponsor the foregoing proposed legislation. She said she represented Miami Dade County’s inner core and would like to see more businesses and jobs directed to District 3. Commissioner Bell said she would meet with members of the Beacon Council in the spirit of cooperation and would present this proposed resolution again in the future. Commissioner Bovo asked to be listed as a co-sponsor to the foregoing proposed resolution. Commissioner Bovo noted County Commissioners represented the community and therefore had the responsibility to ensure that the County’s economic development funds were invested wisely. He said many small businesses in District 13 were struggling and believed that many programs were not available. Commissioner Bovo noted a thorough review was warranted in order to assist the community. Mr. Leroy Jones, President / CEO, Neighbors and Neighbors Association, said that one-third of the licensing fees paid by small businesses provided 90 percent of the Beacon Council’s $3.7 million annual funding. He noted the Beacon Council’s budget was guaranteed through the local business tax receipt; however, those funds were used to attract large businesses which were in direct competition with small business. nMr. Jones said a portion of this funding should go directly back to the small businesses that generated this income. Commissioner Edmonson said that she was no longer fighting this issue alone, particularly in relation to the eight-percent taken from the Miami-Dade Economic Advocacy Trust, formerly Metro-Miami Action Plan (MMAP). Commissioner Jordan noted her concern that the contract automatically renewed and did not contain a termination date. She said that although the Beacon Council accomplished many projects over the years, the current contract gave the impression that the organization did not need to be held accountable to the County Commission or to the public. Commissioner Jordan said there were certain expectations that went along with the transfer of funds from MMAP to the Beacon Council that were not realized and it did not appear that any sense of urgency to comply with those expectations existed. Commissioner Jordan questioned the process needed to remove an automatic renewal from a contractual agreement. Assistant County Attorney Cynthia Johnson-Stacks responded that the current agreement provided for an automatic renewal at the end of the term as well as a termination with cause provision. She said that a specific term (period of years) could be negotiated that would include a renewal option at the conclusion of that term. Commissioner Jordan proceeded to inquire about the start date and terms of the current contract. Assistant County Attorney Johnson-Stacks responded that the contract began in July 1988 and that it automatically renewed annually at the end of the County’s fiscal year unless it was terminated. She proceeded to read the following clause into the record: the term of this agreement shall be for a period commencing on the date noted above and terminating on the last day of the County’s current fiscal year (September 30, 1988). Assistant County Attorney Johnson-Stack said that subsequent language provided that the agreement automatically renewed unless terminated within a designated time period. Assistant County Attorney Johnson-Stacks noted the existing contract renewed automatically since there was no termination. Commissioner Jordan questioned whether the contract could be written for a five-year term with an option to renew. She asked Assistant County Attorney Johnson-Stacks to provide her with a report detailing any other County contracts that contain an automatic renewal clause. Assistant County Attorney Johnson-Stacks responded that the contract would need to be renegotiated to effectuate the renewal option as requested by Commissioner Jordan. Commissioner Jordan noted the Beacon Council performed a valuable service and it was not her intention to give the impression that the contract should be terminated. She said that certain aspects of the community, recruitment and accountability were needed and the only way to make this happen was either terminate the contract or get the Beacon Council to voluntarily agree. Commission Jordan noted it appeared the power in terms of this agreement was currently in the hands of the Beacon Council rather than the County Commission. Commissioner Jordan said she supported the motion to defer. Commissioner Diaz asked Assistant County Attorney Johnson-Stacks to include information in the report requested by Commissioner Jordan whether there were other organizations with professional contracts that renewed annually but did not sunset. Commissioner Edmonson inquired whether the Beacon Council could be placed on a monthly contract in the event that the County Commission decided to terminate and renegotiate the contract. Assistant County Attorney Johnson-Stacks responded that contract termination would need to occur thirty days before the date of termination (September 30th). She noted that a possible amendment to an ordinance naming the Beacon Council as the County’s economic development agency would also need to be reviewed. Commissioner Edmonson concurred that the intention was not to terminate the contract; however, more transparency was needed. She noted the 1988 agreement warranted being updated. Commissioner Jordan noted her understanding that the Internal Management and Fiscal Responsibility Committee (IMFRC) and the Economic Development and Social Services Committee (EDSSC) were considering the foregoing proposed resolution. She questioned the outcome in the event that IMFRC forwarded the proposed resolution and the EDSSC did not. Assistant County Attorney Johnson-Stacks responded that a vote to forward with or without committee recommendation by both committees would be needed in order for the proposed resolution to be considered by the County Commission. She informed committee members that a request would be made on behalf of Commissioner Bell to defer the foregoing proposed resolution from the EDSSC. Commissioner Jordan said requests to sponsor items have been overridden when the majority of committee members indicated they would deny an item rather than defer it. She noted her concern that the process would be delayed should the item be deferred by one committee and approved by the other. Commissioner Jordan said she did not want IMFRC to take an action expecting EDDSC to take a similar action. She said there would be more latitude for the Beacon Council to engage in negotiations if the proposed resolution would pass in one committee even if it failed in another. Commissioner Jordan inquired whether the contract would automatically renew if the item was deferred by the IMFRC and failed by the EDDSC. Assistant County Attorney Johnson-Stacks responded that the proposed resolution would not be forwarded to the Board should it be withdrawn by the IMFRC and not approved by the EDDSC. She noted the contract would remain as-is without any required negotiation. Commissioner Jordan said that the objective was to give parties the latitude to force a contract negotiation and not to terminate the contract. Commissioner Bell noted she continued to support the deferral and had nothing to loose other than the spirit of cooperation to work through these issues with members of the Beacon Council. She questioned the amount of time needed before a failed resolution could be re-considered by a committee. Assistant County Attorney McCarty responded that a committee could re-introduce a failed resolution after three months. Commissioner Bell said the IMFRC had a significant amount of leverage by deferring this proposed resolution. Commissioner Jordan inquired about the expiration date of the contract and the automatic renewal process. Assistant County Attorney Johnson-Stacks responded that the contract terminated annually on September 30th and the automatic renewal would go into effect 30 days prior. She said the contract renewed automatically for Fiscal Year (FY) 2012-13; and any consideration of termination would be necessary prior to August 30, 2013 for the FY 2013-14 contracts. Commissioner Bell noted she was not trying to negate the Beacon Council’s successes or effectiveness and her intention was only to provide a more open and transparent process. She said that her suggestions to Mr. Nero and the Beacon Council’s Board Member were resisted. Commissioner Bell noted the contract could be re-negotiated at any time throughout the year. She said she would continue to defer the proposed resolution and engage in conversations with members of the Beacon Council’s Board and reintroduce this resolution later. Commissioner Bell noted she did not understand why she was told that this proposal was punitive and met with great resistance. She explained that the intent was to promote transparency by holding an annual meeting between the County Commission and the Beacon Council’s Board. Hearing no further questions or comments, the Committee proceeded to vote to defer this proposed resolution. Chairwoman Bell resumed the Chair.

County Attorney 10/3/2012 Referred Internal Mgmt. & Fiscal Responsibility Committee 10/16/2012

County Attorney 10/3/2012 Assigned Cynthia Johnson-Stacks 10/3/2012

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION PROVIDING FOR RENEGOTIATION OF THE COUNTY’S AGREEMENT WITH ITS OFFICIAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION (THE BEACON COUNCIL, INC.) AND REQUIRING THE MAYOR OR THE MAYOR’S DESIGNEE TO SUBMIT A WRITTEN REPORT AND RESOLUTION TO ACCOMPLISH ANY AGREED-UPON AMENDMENTS TO SUCH AGREEMENT

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 and authorizes certain counties, including Miami-Dade County, to levy and collect an additional business tax, which 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 (“economic development strategy”); and
WHEREAS, on June 11, 1987, this Board of County Commissioners (the “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 this additional amount of tax; and
WHEREAS, the Code designates the Miami-Dade Beacon Council, Inc., (“Beacon Council”) as the agency to receive this additional local business tax revenues; and
WHEREAS, the County and the Beacon Council entered into an agreement on October 1, 1987 (the “Agreement”), a copy of which is on record with the Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners, which required the Beacon Council to oversee and implement the economic development strategy for Miami-Dade County as “developed and set forth in a November 15, 1985 report” of the Beacon Council, in consideration for its receipt of the additional local business tax revenues; and
WHEREAS, Article 1 of the Agreement further requires the Beacon Council to render services in overseeing and implementing the economic development strategy for the County, which include but are not limited to: “advertising, promotional activities; stimulation of grants and contributions to Small Business Administration licensed venture capital entities; (MSBICs/Section 301(d) Investment Companies); merchandising; general marketing, in all its forms; direct sales; the securing and encouragement of private sector funding; aggressive recruitment of new industries; and retention and expansion of existing businesses; and any other appropriate sale and marketing techniques to promote Dade County”; and
WHEREAS, the Board has appropriated $3.750 million from the County’s FY 2012-13 budget to the Beacon Council; and
WHEREAS, these funds are local taxpayer dollars, and every effort should be made to ensure that all such funds are used in a manner that is fiscally responsible, transparent and reflective of the needs of Miami-Dade County, including the pressing economic needs threatening the economic survival of the County’s urban and rural communities; and
WHEREAS, in light of its long history and collaboration, the County and the Beacon Council should come together and negotiate certain amendments and updates to the Agreement to accomplish the purposes herein,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that:
Section 1. The foregoing recitals are incorporated in this resolution and are findings of this Board.
Section 2. The Mayor or Mayor’s designee, the Chairperson of the Board or the Chairperson’s designee, a business person/community leader appointed by the Board and a representative of a regional economic development entity appointed by Board shall meet with no more than four (4) representatives of the Beacon Council to negotiate possible amendments to the Agreement, including but not limited to:
A. Providing for an annual joint meeting between the Executive Committee of the Beacon Council and the Board on or before June 1 of each year at which the following agenda items are to be discussed:
(1) the economic development strategy to be implemented by the Beacon Council pursuant to the Agreement, which requires the Beacon Council to provide the following services: “advertising, promotional activities; stimulation of grants and contributions to Small Business Administration licensed venture capital entities; (MSBICs/Section 301(d) Investment Companies); merchandising; general marketing, in all its forms; direct sales; the securing and encouragement of private sector funding; aggressive recruitment of new industries; and retention and expansion of existing businesses; and any other appropriate sale and marketing techniques to promote Dade County” etc.;
(2) Board input regarding the economic development strategy to be implemented by the Beacon Council, following recommendations by the County’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade as to the strategy and implementation of the strategy to be provided to the Board and the Beacon Council at least thirty (30) days in advance of the annual meeting;
(3) benchmarks and goals, including those for the upcoming year, as well as long range goals, that the Beacon Council should achieve in order to carry out its obligations pursuant to the Agreement;
(4) the Beacon Council’s efforts focused on creating, sustaining and/or growing local businesses, including businesses in urban and rural communities; and
(5) the Beacon Council’s annual line-item budget providing its anticipated revenues, salaries, and other expenditures and a report detailing the amount of the Beacon Council’s salaries and other expenditures which are paid by County funding.
The annual meeting shall be noticed as a public hearing. Regional economic development entities, including but not limited to, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Development Council of South Miami-Dade, the Latin Chamber of Commerce of the United States (CAMACOL) and other recognized entities shall be invited by the Chairperson of the Board to speak at the annual meeting.
B. Deleting of the automatic renewal provision of the Agreement, as is more fully described in the Agreement, and the addition of a more customary provision for renewal of the Agreement at the option of the Board and the Beacon Council.
C. Allowing the Board to appoint one (1) of the voting members to the Beacon Council’s Executive Committee.
D. Requiring the Beacon Council annually to submit its line-item budget providing its anticipated revenues, salaries, and other expenditures and a report detailing the amount of the Beacon Council’s salaries and other expenditures which are paid by County funding.
E. Requiring the Beacon Council to create an advisory board comprised of regional economic development organizations to provide recommendations as to the development of the economic development strategy and any subsequent plans to implement such strategy.
F. Requiring other provisions or amendments which are necessary or appropriate to ensure that business tax dollars are being used responsibly and transparently.
G. Providing for any changes needed to update the Agreement.
Section 3. Within ninety (90) days from the effective date of this resolution, the negotiations required by this resolution shall be completed. Under sponsorship of the Board, the Mayor shall provide a written report on the negotiations to the Board’s committee of jurisdiction, accompanied by a resolution to approve any proposed agreed-upon amendments to the Agreement. The written report and resolution shall be placed on the next available committee and commission agendas, as applicable, following the completion of negotiations.
Section 4. The Mayor or the Mayor’s designee, the Chairperson of the County Commission, and the County Attorney’s Office shall provide necessary assistance or advice and may take all actions necessary or appropriate to carry out the intent of this resolution.



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