Broward, Miami-Dade economic development agencies meet, but non-compete pact remains elusive
By Frank Norton
The economic development agencies of Miami-Dade and Broward counties are still trying to forge an agreement banning use of public funds to lure firms from one county to another.
No such agreement was made during a meeting last week and none is in imminent, said Frank Nero, president and CEO of the Beacon Council, Miami-Dade's development agency.
"It was a positive meeting where we tried not to dwell too much on the past, but see if there's a way to get things to work out for the future," he said of his meeting with James P. Tarlton, new president and CEO of the Broward Alliance, that county's development arm.
"But frankly, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties can move on without them if they don't fall into line," Mr. Nero said. "The peace process in Vietnam took less time so we're not going to wait anymore."
The battle to end inter-county competition through a so-called "no-compete" pact has dragged on for four years as tri-county in-fighting and turnover within the development agencies have slowed occasional momentum.
Although each county's economic development agency has broadly endorsed the plan, seen as the cornerstone of tri-county cooperation, serious differences remain over wording.
At issue is whether Broward County will change its "no-compete" stance to match one agreed to by Miami-Dade and Palm Beach, which bans all relocation incentives. The Broward Alliance instead has proposed for a softer standing that would allow incentives to companies relocating within the region in certain cases.
In a recent interview, Mr. Tarlton declined to comment on whether Broward would adopt the stricter version endorsed by the other two counties, saying, "We'll be working together to try to come to an agreement."
But it won't happen this year. The next tri-county discussion on the topic is slated for sometime in January.