CEO 84-58 -- June 27, 1984
APPLICABILITY OF DISCLOSURE LAW TO LIBRARY BOARD MEMBERS
To: (Name withheld at the person's request.)
The members of the Clearwater Library Board are "local officers" subject to the requirement of filing statements of financial interests annually under Section 112.3145, Florida Statutes. As the Board has the power to establish and enforce rules and regulations governing the privilege of using the library, the Board's authority is not solely advisory.
Are the members of the Clearwater Library Board "local officers" subject to the requirement of filing a statement of financial interests 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 annually. Section 112.3145(2)(b), Florida Statutes (1983). The term "local officer" is defined to mean:
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, Florida Statutes (1983).]
In turn, "advisory body" is defined 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), Florida Statutes (1983).]
The Clearwater Library Board consists of eleven members appointed by the City Commission to serve three-year terms. Sections 115.20- 115.22, Clearwater City Code. Section 115.24 provides for the powers and duties of the Library Board as follows:
The library board shall make recommendations to the city commission concerning all matters pertaining to the management and use of the library, shall have the power to establish and enforce such rules and regulations governing the privilege of using the library by members of the public as they may deem necessary, and shall accept donations for the library and administer these funds. They shall submit a quarterly report setting forth all income and disbursements and shall make reports to the city commission and the city manager on their progress, and shall make recommendations to the city commission.
In our view, the power to establish and enforce rules and regulations governing members of the public is not an advisory function. Although the Board may not have exercised fully this authority in the past, and may have preferred a more advisory role, it is clear that the Board has been granted this authority by ordinance. In determining whether a particular board is an "advisory body," we must look to the actual powers, jurisdiction, and authority which each board is authorized to exercise in order to determine whether that board plays a solely advisory role.
Accordingly, we find that the members of the Clearwater Library Board are "local officers" subject to the requirement of filing a statement of financial interests annually.