CEO 85-5 -- January 24, 1985
VOTING CONFLICT OF INTEREST
TOWN COMMISSIONER VOTING ON REZONING OF MOBILE HOME PARK
To: (Name withheld at the person's request.)
A town commissioner and zoning board member is prohibited by Section 112.3143, Florida Statutes (Supp. 1984), from voting on the rezoning of a mobile home park, where the commissioner is employed by an owner of the park as park director. CEO 84-108 is referenced. However, the commissioner would not be prohibited from voting on the matter because of residing in the park, as the rezoning would affect all park residents, who comprise approximately 90% of the town's population.
Are you, a town commission and zoning board member, prohibited from voting on the rezoning of a mobile home park, where you reside in the park and work for an owner of the park as park director?
Your question is answered in the affirmative.
In your letter of inquiry you advise that you are chairman of the Town Commission of the Town of Beverly Beach. You also advise that the town consists of approximately 250 residents, of whom approximately 90% live in a particular mobile home park. In addition to residing in the park, you are employed by an owner of the park as park director. All residents of the park own their mobile homes and lease lots in the park.
In addition, you advise that residents of the park have petitioned for the rezoning of the land on which the park is situated from the zoning category General Commercial to Adult Mobile Home Park category. You question whether you may vote when this matter comes before the Town Commission or before the Zoning Board, of which you also are a member.
Section 112.3143, Florida Statutes (Supp. 1984), prohibits a municipal public officer from voting upon a measure which inures to his special private gain, and from knowingly voting upon a measure which inures to the special gain of a principal by whom he is retained. Although as a resident of the park your interests would be affected by the rezoning of the park, we are of the opinion that rezoning would not inure to your special private gain. The rezoning would affect all park residents, who comprise approximately 90% of the Town's population. Under the circumstances presented it appears that each resident also would be affected equally. Therefore, the size of the class of persons affected by the rezoning measure would be large enough that we can conclude that any gain you might receive as a park resident would not constitute "special" private gain. See CEO 84-80 and CEO 77-129.
However, we are of the opinion that the question of rezoning the property would inure to the special gain of a principal by whom you are retained, the property owner who employs you as park director. In previous opinions we have advised that a public official's employer is a "principal by whom he is retained." See CEO 84-108.
Accordingly, we find that as a member of the Town Commission and Zoning Board you are prohibited from voting on the rezoning of property which is owned by your employer.