CEO 83-36 -- June 16, 1983
APPLICABILITY OF FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE LAW TO WATER AND SEWER DISTRICT COMMISSIONERS
To: (Name withheld at the person's request.)
The commissioners of a water and sewer district created under Part II, Chapter 153, Florida Statutes, are "local officers" subject to the requirement of filing a statement of financial interests annually under Section 112.3145, Florida Statutes. The Commissioners are elected to office in the district, which constitutes a political subdivision.
Are the commissioners of a water and sewer district created under Part II of Chapter 153, Florida Statutes, "local officers" subject to the requirement of filing a statement of financial interests annually?
Your question is answered in the affirmative.
In your letter of inquiry you advise that Mr. Gene D. Brown is a Commissioner of the St. George Island Water and Sewer District located in Franklin County. You advise that the District was created in 1975 under the provisions of Section 153.53, Florida Statutes, by petition of landowners within the District to the Board of County Commissioners. Under that Section, the three Commissioners of the District are elected by the property owners of the District for four- year terms of office. The District Board is empowered to construct and maintain a water system and a sewer system, to levy and assess ad valorem taxes, to fix rates and collect fees, to exercise eminent domain, and to issue revenue bonds, general obligation bonds, and assessment bonds, among other powers.
The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees requires each "local officer" to file a statement of financial interests annually. Section 112.3145(2)(b), Florida Statutes. The term "local officer" is defined to include:
Every person who is elected to office in any political subdivision of the state, and every person who is appointed to fill a vacancy for an unexpired term in such an elective office. [Section 112.3145(1)(a)1, Florida Statutes (1981).]
As each District within the State constitutes a "political subdivision" pursuant to Section 1.01(9), Florida Statutes, and as District Commissioners are elected to their positions, we find that the Water and Sewer District Commissioners are "local officers" for purposes of the financial disclosure law.
Accordingly, we find that the St. George Island Water and Sewer District Commissioners are subject to the requirement of filing a statement of financial interests (Commission on Ethics Form 1) as prescribed by Section 112.3145, Florida Statutes.