CEO 84-75 -- August 9, 1984
APPLICABILITY OF DISCLOSURE LAW TO LIBRARY BOARD MEMBERS
To: (Name withheld at the person's request.)
The members of the Latt Maxcy Memorial Library Board of the City of Frostproof are "local officers" subject to the requirement of filing statements of financial interests annually under Section 112.3145, Florida Statutes, as the Board's powers are not solely advisory. CEO's 84-62, 84-58 and 75-9 are referenced.
Are the members of the Latt Maxcy Memorial Library Board of the City of Frostproof "local officers" subject to the requirement of filing statements 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 creation and powers and duties of the Latt Maxcy Memorial Library Board are provided for in Sections 17 1/2-11 through 17 1/2-13 of the Frostproof City Code. Under Section 17 1/2-12, the Library is maintained by the City and is administered under the direction of the Library Board, which is subject to the supervision and control of the City Council. Section 17 1/2-11 provides that non-residents not owning property in the City are to be charged such fees and required to furnish such security for the use of the library as shall be established by the Board, subject to approval by the City Council.
The By-laws of the Library Board provide in Article V that the Board shall appoint the Librarian, who is to be the executive and administrative officer of the Library on behalf of the Board and under its review and direction. In addition, the Librarian recommends to the Board the appointment and duties of other employees. Article VII states that the Board shall provide rules, regulations, and policies governing the operation of the Library.
In recently finding the members of the Clearwater Library Board subject to the financial disclosure law, we stated that the power to establish and enforce rules and regulations governing members of the public is not an advisory function, noting that in determining whether a particular board is an "advisory body," we look to the actual powers and authority which the board is authorized to exercise rather than basing our determination on the responsibilities which the board may have chosen to exercise. See CEO 84-58. In addition, in CEO 84-62, we found a village library board not to be solely advisory where the board was authorized to make rules and regulations governing the library and to establish fines and rentals, subject to the supervision and control of the village council. We referenced in that opinion CEO 75-9, involving another library board empowered to operate its library under the supervision of the city council.
In accordance with the rationale of these opinions, we find that the members of the Latt Maxcy Memorial Library Board are "local officers" subject to the requirement of filing statements of financial interests annually under Section 112.3145, Florida Statutes.