CEO 84-42 -- June 7, 1984
CONFLICT OF INTEREST; VOTING CONFLICT OF INTEREST
CITY MAYOR SERVING ON CITY DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT BOARD
To: (Name withheld at the person's request.)
No prohibited conflict of interest exists under the Code of Ethics where a city mayor serves as a member of the city's downtown development board, which is under the authority of the city commission. CEO's 82-61, 77-143, and 77-95 are referenced. No voting conflict of interest would be created under Section 112.3143, Florida Statutes, where the mayor votes as a member of the development board while serving on the city commission. CEO's 78-77, 78-72, and 77-159 are referenced.
Does a prohibited conflict of interest exist where a city mayor serves as a member of the city's downtown development board, which is under the authority of the city commission?
This question is answered in the negative.
In your letter of inquiry you advise that the Mayor of the City of Clearwater also serves as a member of the City's Downtown Development Board. The Board originally was created by a special act of the Legislature (Chapter 70-735, Laws of Florida). However, Chapter 77-637, Laws of Florida, converted the special acts relating to this Board into city ordinances, giving the City Commission the power to legislate with respect to the Board. As provided in Chapter 75-358, Laws of Florida, the Mayor or a City Commissioner designated by the Mayor is to serve on the Development Board.
We previously have advised that the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees does not address the issue of whether a public officer may hold another public office. See CEO 82-61, CEO 77-143, and CEO 77-95. Accordingly, we find that the Code of Ethics does not prohibit the Mayor from also serving on the Downtown Development Board. You may wish to contact the Attorney General regarding the applicability to this situation of the dual officeholding provision contained in Article II, Section 5(a), Florida Constitution, and the common-law rule of incompatibility of offices. See, for example, AGO 080-17 (March 11, 1980).
Would a voting conflict of interest be created under Section 112.3143, Florida Statutes, where the Mayor votes as a member of the Downtown Development Board while serving on the City Commission having the authority to legislate with respect to the Board?
This question also is answered in the negative.
Section 112.3143, Florida Statutes, provides:
Voting conflicts. -- No public officer shall be prohibited from voting in his official capacity on any matter. However, any public officer voting in his official capacity upon any measure in which he has a personal, private, or professional interest and which inures to his special private gain or the special gain of any principal by whom he is retained shall, within 15 days after the vote occurs, disclose the nature of his interest as a public record in a memorandum filed with the person responsible for recording the minutes of the meeting, who shall incorporate the memorandum in the minutes. [Section 112.3143, Florida Statutes (1983).]
We previously have advised that a public official is not presented with a voting conflict of interest within the terms of this provision when voting on matters which might affect another public board or agency on which the official serves. See CEO 78-77, CEO 78-72, and CEO 77-159.
Accordingly, for the reasons expressed in our prior opinions, we find that the Mayor is not presented with a voting conflict of interest requiring the filing of a memorandum of voting conflict if she votes as a member of the City Commission on matters relating to the Downtown Development Board or when she votes as a member of the Development Board, unless the measure under consideration would impact on her private interests.