Miami's top elected official has proposed the dissolution of the city's economic development board as well as the dismantlement of a similar private entity - a precursor for building a new economic development entity that he said will combine their strengths in a public/private partnership.
Mayor Brent Brassfield made the proposal at Monday's meeting of the Miami City Council.
“There are both advantages and disadvantages for a community to either use a model of government or private economic development as a method to grow and prosper, but there are very few advantages to having both within our community attempting it at one time,” Brassfield said.
The council took no action on the agenda item which was intended only for discussion.
Brassfield is suggesting a new board of 13 members, eight to be appointed by the Miami Area Economic Development Services - a private entity which the mayor is suggesting be dissolved. He has proposed that the remaining five positions be appointed by the Miami City Council.
“This would once again unite all aspects of our community, producing both accountability with appointments made by people elected by our citizens and would bring to the table positive aspects of private involvement to the new organization,” Brassfield said.
Rudy Schultz, the newest member of the Miami City Council and a public proponent of MAEDS, said, “I think it is a great opportunity to get everybody around the table. I can't imagine that we can't improve upon where we are, not that things are terrible, but I just can't imagine that we can't improve upon where we are.”
The plan, at this point, is solely a proposal driven by the mayor. Movement forward will require council approval and willingness of the MAEDS board to dissolve.
“If this council chooses to look at the possibility of the feasibility of doing this, we do not have the ability to dissolve MAEDS,” Brassfield said. “They are not funded by the city. If the council wants to pursue this, I think the next step is to send letter to MAEDS and ask if we could sit down as a group to discuss the possibility of looking into this.”
For a more detailed look at Brassfield's proposal, see Wednesday's edition of the News-Record.