CEO 77-118 -- July 21, 1977
ADVISORY BOARDS TO COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS
APPLICABILITY OF FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE LAW TO MEMBERS
To: Richard Kane, Attorney for Volusia Council of Governments, Daytona Beach
Prepared by: Bonnie Johnson
The various advisory boards to the Volusia Council of Governments, a governmental body engaged in planning for land use, water quality, and transportation, may not be deemed advisory bodies pursuant to s. 112.3145(1)(a)2., F. S., which specifically provides that a body with land planning, zoning, or natural resources responsibilities shall not be considered advisory for purposes of the Code of Ethics. Accordingly, members of such advisory boards constitute "local officers" subject to the disclosure requirements of s. 112.3145(2)(b) and (3).
Are members of advisory boards to the Volusia Council of Governments "local officers" for purposes of the annual filing of statements of financial interests?
Your question is answered in the affirmative.
You advise in your letter of inquiry that the Volusia Council of Governments, a governmental body created pursuant to s. 163.02, F. S., engages in planning for land use, water quality, and transportation for the area. While the council is composed of elected officials from local governments throughout the county, advisory board members are private citizens who are appointed by the council to fulfill federal mandates for citizen participation in the planning process. Board members serve without pay and make recommendations to the council which, in turn, provides its studies and makes recommendations to member governments within the county.
The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees requires, in s. 112.3145(2)(b), F. S. 1975, that each "local officer" annually file a statement of financial interests. 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. A governmental body with land-planning, zoning, or natural resources responsibilities shall not be considered an advisory body. [Section 112.3145(1)(a)2., F. S. 1975; emphasis supplied.]
As the responsibilities of the subject boards are in the areas of land planning and natural resources (water quality), such boards do not constitute advisory bodies for purposes of financial disclosure. Accordingly, members of advisory boards to the council constitute local officers, required by law to file annually statements of financial interests.