CEO 84-48 -- June 7, 1984
APPLICABILITY OF DISCLOSURE LAW TO MEMBERS OF COUNTY WELL CONSTRUCTION ADVISORY BOARD
To: Mrs. Lavon Wisher, County Administrator, Lee County
The members of the Lee County Well Construction Advisory Board are not "local officers" subject to the requirement of filing a statement of financial interests under Section 112.3145, Florida Statutes. The Board does not play a role in permitting, planning, or other processes relating to natural resources. CEO 81-16 is referenced.
Are the members of the Lee County Well Construction Advisory Board "local officers" subject to the requirement of filing a statement of financial interests annually?
Your question is answered in the negative.
In your letter of inquiry you advise that the Lee County Board of County Commissioners has established through Ordinance No. 84-5 a Well Code, which regulates design, construction, repair, maintenance and plugging of wells in the unincorporated areas of the County. Under the Code, the inspection, approval, and permitting of these matters is the responsibility of the County's Division of Environmental Protection Services and the Director of that Division. The Code also creates a Well Construction Advisory Board whose members are appointed by the County Commission to advise the Director concerning the administration of the Code, regulation of the drilling industry, and similar matters.
In a telephone conversation with our staff, a representative of the Division advised that the Committee will not review applications for permits and will not be involved in the inspection and approval of private water system wells. Rather, he advised, the Advisory Board was created to assist the Division by responding with advice on technical matters at the request of the Division's Director as the need arises. In addition, as the Board includes representatives of the Department of Environmental Regulation, the South Florida Water Management District, and the County Health Department, the Board will assist in bringing to the County's attention the viewpoints of other regulatory agencies in the area of well construction.
Our conclusion here is dictated by previous opinion CEO 81-16. There we distinguished between advisory boards which play a role in permitting, planning, or other processes relating to natural resources (which boards are subject to the financial disclosure laws), and other boards with the authority only to review generally some natural resource matter, to formulate policy recommendations, and to present advice to a superior board or officer. The Well Construction Advisory Board clearly falls within the latter category.
Accordingly, we find that the members of the Lee County Well Construction Advisory Board are not "local officers" and therefore that the members of the Board are not required to file statements of financial interests.