CEO 77-146 -- September 22, 1977
FIRE CONTROL TAX DISTRICT COMMISSION
APPLICABILITY OF STATUTORY FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE PROVISIONS
To: (Name withheld at the person's request.)
Prepared by: Phil Claypool
The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees provides that each "local officer" shall file financial disclosure annually. Section 112.3145(2)(b), F. S. 1975. The term "local officer" is defined to include appointed members to any board of a political subdivision, excluding members of an advisory body, which term is further defined in s. 112.312(1) as any board whose powers, jurisdiction, and authority are solely advisory, among other criteria. A fire control tax district commission whose powers include the hiring of personnel as well as broad purchasing authority does not constitute an advisory body pursuant to that definition. Members of the commission therefore are deemed to constitute local officers subject to the disclosure requirements contained in s. 112.3145, F. S.
Are the three members of the Fire Control District Number 9, Del-Trail, Commission "local officers" for purposes of filing financial disclosure?
Your question is answered in the affirmative.
In your letter of inquiry you advise that Fire Control District Number 9, Del-Trail, is a special tax district created by the Palm Beach County Commission pursuant to Ch. 63-1747, Laws of Florida. That chapter provides that the board of county commissioners may create several fire control tax districts, each of which is governed by a board of supervisors or a fire control commission, the three members of which are appointed by the Governor. Section 5 of the chapter sets forth some of the powers and duties of the board of supervisors or fire control commission as follows:
The Board of Supervisors is empowered to employ a fire chief, fire warden, deputy fire wardens and other personnel and employees and to fix their compensation; to purchase or lease and operate fire- fighting equipment of all kinds; to provide water mains and fire hydrants; to purchase land and to erect thereon fire stations and other necessary buildings; to enter into insurance contracts of every kind, nature and description; to accept the gifts or donations of equipment or money for the use of said Fire Control Tax District and to do any and all things necessary to provide proper fire protection for said district. . . .
The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees provides that each "local officer" shall file financial disclosure annually. Section 112.3145(2)(b), F. S. 1975. The term "local officer" is defined to include:
Any 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.]
Pursuant to s. 112.312(1), F. S. 1975, an advisory body is defined as any board or commission whose powers, jurisdiction, and authority are solely advisory, among other criteria. It is clear from the above description of the fire control commission's powers that its authority is not solely advisory.
Accordingly, we find that the members of the Fire Control District Number 9, Del-Trail, Commission are "local officers" who are required to file financial disclosure annually by filing CE Form 1, Part 1.