It Group Maintains Its Goals To Strengthen Regionalism
By Jaime Levy
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In the midst of a cross-county quarrel over Delta Airlines’ possible move from Coral Gables to Miramar, InternetCoast – advocates of regionalism – has reaffirmed its commitment to melting tri-county borders.
The statement, announcing "a joint resolve to further strengthen the region’s growth through innovative programs and initiatives," came 13 days after Beacon Council President and CEO Frank Nero issued a tersely worded statement of his own, accusing the Broward Alliance of violating a non-compete agreement between the economic development groups in Miami-Dade and Broward counties over reported incentives to Delta to move north.
"The Beacon Council has suspended our participation in all regional activities that involve Broward County, including the InternetCoast, along with other regional issues," he said, "until Broward County commits firmly to an agreement of regional cooperation.
He said the council continues to support InternetCoast and its goals. The organization is made up of Internet-related companies and groups with goals that include fostering technology growth and branding the region from Miami to Palm Beach as an IT hub.
Although Beacon Council does not fund InternetCoast – with 900 member companies across the three counties – Mr. Nero, as head of the council, is on the board. So are the heads of Broward and Palm Beach counties’ economic organizations.
John Ruffin, of InternetCoast’s economic development council, said his group’s Dec. 27 statement was not prompted by recent regional squabbling, although he said he hopes to see the issue resolved.
"I am concerned about regionalism in all sectors – all those things affect us and we have to work at those. It doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. We have to recognize we are inter- and intra-related."