CEO 78-26 -- April 20, 1978
COUNTY POLLUTION CONTROL BOARD
APPLICABILITY OF STATUTORY FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE LAW TO MEMBERS
To: (Name withheld at the person's request.)
Prepared by: Phil Claypool
For purposes of the annual filing of financial disclosure, s. 112.3145(1)(a)2., F. S. 1977, defines the term "local officer" to include any appointed member of a board, excluding any member of an advisory body, and further provides that "[a] governmental body with land- planning, zoning, or natural resources responsibilities shall not be considered an advisory body." A county pollution control board is deemed to have responsibilities directly related to the preservation of natural resources. Also, because of its broad powers, the board fails to meet the definition of "advisory body" contained in s. 112.312(1), F. S. 1977. Accordingly, members of the board constitute local officers subject to the filing of financial disclosure pursuant to s. 112.3145(2)(b).
Are the members of the ____ County Pollution Control Board "local officers" for purposes of filing financial disclosure annually?
Your question is answered in the affirmative.
The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees provides that each "local officer" shall file a statement of financial interests within 30 days from the date of appointment, if he is appointed, and thereafter no later than 12 o'clock noon of July 15 of each year. Section 112.3145(2)(b), F. S. 1977.
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. 1977; emphasis supplied.]
In our view, the control of pollution is directly related to the preservation of natural resources. Further, the Code of Ethics defines the term "advisory body" to mean
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 or adjudication of any personal or property rights, duties, or obligations, other than those relating to its internal operations. [Section 112.312(1), F. S. 1977.]
In our view, the subject county pollution control board does not fall within the above definition of "advisory body" because its powers and authority are not solely advisory. For example, s. 24- 6(i) of the ____ County Code provides that the pollution control board is authorized:
To enter into contracts or agreements with the United States of America or any agency or instrumentality thereof or with any other county, municipality, district, authority or political subdivision, private corporation, partnership, association or individual to effect the purposes of this act [chapter]; to use funds authorized or received under the provisions of this act [chapter]; to make studies, investigations, inspections, surveys and tests, in ____ County and in neighboring counties, provided permission is granted by the board of county commissioners of said neighboring county; to receive and accept from the United States of America, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, or any other public body, grants or loans necessary to effect the purposes of this act [chapter]; and to receive and accept aid or contributions or loans from any other source of either money, property, labor or other things of value, to be held, used and applied only for the purpose for which such grants, contributions or loans may be made. The board shall have power to execute all papers or other documents, adopt all proceedings and perform all such contracts or agreements referred to in this subsection.
Accordingly, we find that the members of the ____ County Pollution Control Board are "local officers" subject to the requirements of the statutory financial disclosure law.