Commissioner Bell responds to Beacon Council questions

I read with much interest your editorials in the Miami’s Community Newspapers regarding our residents’ concerns on the perceived lack of transparency and accountability at the Beacon Council. Subsequent to your editorials, our office has received a number of calls regarding this most important matter.

As you know, one of my highest priorities as county commissioner has been the revitalization of our local economy by working closely with numerous economic development organizations in southern Miami-Dade County. Some of which include Chamber South, the Economic Development Council of South Miami-Dade, the Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay Business Associations, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, and the Beacon Council itself.

As a result of the growing concern, my office is in the midst of drafting legislation which will address some of these concerns and which will direct the Mayor’s Office to implement a revised Economic Development Strategy for the county — one which will address the new economic realities of our time.

My forthcoming legislation will include an Economic Development Plan that fosters a renewed focus on local businesses and job retention to ensure that our community thrives. The legislation will also revise the manner in which the Economic Development Strategy is being carried out, including identifying specific tangible targets/ benchmarks which are in line with the economic realities of today and the future needs of Miami-Dade County.

The legislation will include specific administrative changes, such as: renegotiating the Beacon Council’s agreement with the Board of County Commissioners —which has not been revised in 25 years; reviewing the Council’s Board of Directors membership and nomination process; aligning the Beacon Council staff compensation and benefits policies consistent with organizations of the like across the nation; implementing a lineitem administrative/operating budget which will require reporting to the Board of County Commissioners on a yearly basis, and other policies that will help improve the transparency and accountability of this respected organization which plays an vital role in Miami-Dade County.

My legislation seeks to renew our focus on incentivizing economic development and much-needed job creation in Miami- Dade County, as well as attracting new businesses to our area while ensuring the integrity of taxpayer dollars. Finally, the legislation seeks to encourage my tradition of working together with the numerous economic organizations in South Dade and the neighboring communities. We must take a holistic approach when creating an environment where businesses can thrive and our residents can benefit through job creation and economic revitalization.


Lynda Bell

County Commissioner, District 8

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