County Puts Beacon Council On Hot Seat
By Lou Ortiz
Some county commissioners are seeking to amend a 25-year-old pact between Miami-Dade and the Beacon Council to require the public-private partnership to get commission input, set goals and submit an annual budget.
Lynda Bell, one of the legislation’s prime sponsors, said she was treated "rudely" and with "disrespect" Monday during a meeting about the measure with Beacon President & CEO Frank Nero and the organization’s new chairman, Joe Pallot. Mr. Pallot denied the allegations.
"I was treated rudely and with disrespect," Ms. Bell, chair of the Internal Management & Fiscal Responsibility Committee, told commissioners Tuesday at County Hall discussing the legislation. "I was taken aback at the level of disrespect."
Later, Mr. Pallot said, "I am surprised that was her interpretation of the meeting that she was treated disrespectfully. We had a candid and professional conversation about what the Beacon Council does and our transparency."
At Tuesday’s committee meeting, Ms. Bell noted that the Beacon Council has a record of economic accomplishments for the county. But she said the council must be more transparent, accountable and do more for minority and mom-and-pop businesses.
"I will not rest until this legislation is enacted," Ms. Bell said. "The Beacon Council is not Mr. Nero. I am going to other members of the Beacon Council. I thought it [the legislation] was very simple. But it was met with unbelievable resistance by Mr. Nero."
Mr. Pallot, general counsel of HEICO Corp., said Ms. Bell is free to meet with other members of the Beacon Council. "Everyone is entitled to meet her directly," he said. "A big part of our focus are the urban areas, and minority businesses as well."To read the entire issue of Miami Today online, subscribe to e -Miami Today, an exact digital replica of the printed edition.