Joe Pallot enters presidency of Beacon Council with aim of building jobs, finds early county commission friction
The offices at the Beacon Council were abuzz last Tuesday when Miami Today reporter Laura Stace sat down to interview new volunteer chairman Joe Pallot.
Mr. Pallot has a long history with the Beacon Council — working with the economic development organization throughout his law career — and had only just taken the reins this month from outgoing chairman Alan Becker of commercial law firm Becker & Poliakoff when unflattering press hit the newsstands over a reported tussle between a county commissioner and Beacon Council heads, including himself.
The day of our profile interview, county Commissioner Lynda Bell told her colleagues at an Internal Management & Fiscal Responsibility Committee meeting that during a meeting with Beacon Council heads she had been treated "rudely" and with "disrespect".
Mr. Pallot said he was surprised by the commissioner's interpretation of the meeting and denied the allegations.
The Monday meeting between the organization and commissioner was to discuss legislation Ms. Bell intends to file that she says would make the Beacon Council more transparent and accountable to the county.
Ms. Bell and fellow commissioner Xavier Suarez are sponsoring a resolution that would require the county administration to negotiate a new agreement with the Beacon Council, which is slated to receive $3,750,000 from Miami-Dade in the current budget.
The measure would amend a 25-year-old pact between Miami-Dade and the Beacon Council and require the organization to get commission input, set goals and submit an annual budget.
Last Wednesday at the Economic Development & Social Services Committee meeting Mr. Pallot said he wanted to "personally apologize" to Ms. Bell. The commissioner said she appreciated the apology, but "it may have come from the wrong person."
Mr. Pallot told Miami Today he has three main goals for the Beacon Council as he begins his chairmanship, including a focus on the One Community, One Goal project designed to create high-paying jobs in targeted industries in Miami-Dade County.
As general counsel for Heico Corp. — a supplier of FAA-approved engine and component parts — Mr. Pallot said he was fortunate to work for a company that supported his endeavors with the Beacon Council.
His tasks for the year ahead will be tough and his schedule demanding, but he said his high energy levels and enthusiasm to achieve his goals will keep him working as hard as he can.
We can be sure that when he is not at his Heico office on Brickell Bay Drive or the Beacon Council office several blocks west adjacent to Mary Brickell Village, he will be darting between the two.
While he said he loves what he does, perhaps Mr. Pallot will find time for a golf game or two with his sons. The self-proclaimed "terrible golfer" tries to hit the links for relaxation on the weekend — that is, when he's not cheering on the Dolphins, the Hurricanes or any number of teams the sports fan follows.
Miami Today met with Mr. Pallot in the Beacon Council offices, where he spoke candidly about the Beacon Council's big project for the year — the expansion of Univision in Miami.
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