CEO 74-20 -- October 10, 1974
DEFINED SO AS TO INCLUDE BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT
AND APPEALS MEMBER
To: Ellis Bullock, Jr., AIA, Pensacola
Prepared by: Patricia Butler
Section 112.312(7)(b), F. S., as amended by Ch. 74-177, Laws of Florida, excludes from the definition of "public officer" only those members of boards whose powers are solely advisory. Ord. No. 35-67, Pensacola Code, empowers the Board of Adjustment and Appeals to modify the city building code, grant exceptions to the code, and handle appeals of building code violations. By virtue of these functions, the Pensacola Board of Adjustment and Appeals is a policymaking board whose members are public officers subject to disclosure provisions applicable to public officers in part III, Ch. 112, F. S.
Is a member of the Board of Adjustment and Appeals for the City of Pensacola a public officer within the meaning of part III, Ch. 112, F. S., as amended by Ch. 74-177, Laws of Florida, and therefore subject to the disclosure provisions of this law relating to public officers?
Your question is answered in the affirmative.
The term "public officer" is defined to include "[m]embers of boards, commissions, authorities, special taxing districts, and the head of each state agency, however selected but excluding advisory board members." (Emphasis supplied.) Section 112.312(7)(b), F. S., as amended by Ch. 74-177, supra.
The broad language of this definition indicates that all board members are within the definition of the term "public officers" unless the board is advisory in nature. An advisory board has been determined by the Ethics Commission to mean a board whose powers are solely advisory.
The responsibilities of the Board of Adjustment and Appeals include the power to modify the city building code, the power to grant exceptions to the code, and the handling of appeals of building code violations. Ord. No. 35-67, Pensacola Code. The board, having authority to exercise such powers as these, is not advisory in nature but has a binding, policymaking function. As a member of the Board of Adjustment and Appeals, we must conclude that you are within the definition of a public officer for purposes of disclosure under this act.
We are enclosing a Guide to the 1974 Public Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest Act explaining which disclosure forms must be completed by public officers. If you have further questions relating to the application of the law in your particular situation, you may also obtain an advisory opinion concerning these questions.