CEO 76-64 -- March 16, 1976
APPLICABILITY OF FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE LAW TO MEMBERS
To: Shirley R. Kohl, Town Manager, Manalapan
Prepared by: Bonnie Johnson
A town library board which has the authority to set library policy, including the hiring and supervision of a librarian, is not considered to be an advisory body pursuant to the definition contained in Fla. Stat. s. 112.312(1)(1975). Members of the library board therefore are deemed to be local officers subject to the disclosure requirements of the Code of Ethics pursuant to s. 112.3145(1)(a)2.(1975).
Are members of a town library board "local officers" for purposes of financial disclosure?
Your question is answered in the affirmative.
You inform us in your letter of inquiry that the ten members of the subject town library board are nonpaid appointees of the town commission. The board operates on moneys received from library membership dues and on $1,500 per year appropriated by the town commission. You further state that the board members "make all decisions regarding the library, determine how [library] money will be spent and library procedures." We understand that this 2,000 volume library is open from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 3 days a week and is staffed by a librarian, hired by the board at a $45 per month salary, and by the board members themselves, who volunteer their time.
The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees provides that all "local officers" annually file statements of financial disclosure. The term "local officer" is defined to include
[a]ny appointed member of a board, commission, authority, community college district board of trustees, or council of any political subdivision of the state, excluding any member of an advisory body . . . . [Fla. Stat. s. 112.3145(1)(a)2.(1975).]
For purposes of the Code of Ethics, an "advisory body" is defined as follows:
"Advisory body" means any board, commission, committee, council, or authority, however selected, whose total budget, appropriations, or authorized expenditures constitute less than 1 percent of the budget of each agency it serves or $100,000, whichever is less, and whose powers, jurisdiction, and authority are solely advisory and do not include the final determination of adjudication of any personal or property rights, duties, or obligations, other than those relating to its internal operations. [Fla. Stat. s. 112.312(1)(1975).]
The town library board clearly meets the budget requirements set forth above. However, the board cannot be deemed "solely advisory" inasmuch as it exercises a policymaking function in relation to the operation of the library, and exercises final jurisdiction in the area of personal rights, duties, and obligations in that it employs and supervises the town librarian. Accordingly, members of the board are "local officers" subject to disclosure requirements of the law.