CEO 86-18 -- February 20, 1986
APPLICABILITY OF FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE LAW TO MEMBERS OF COUNTY HISTORICAL COMMISSION
To: Mr. Kendrick T. Ford, Museum Director, Pinellas County Historical Museum
The members of the Pinellas County Historical Commission are "local officers" subject to the requirement of filing statements of financial interests annually, as the Commission is not solely advisory. CEO 75-192, CEO 75-193, and CEO 84-78 are referenced.
Are members of the Pinellas County Historical Commission "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 (1985). The term "local officer" is defined to include:
Any appointed member of a board; commission; authority, including any expressway authority or transportation authority established by general law; 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 (1985).]
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 (1985).]
In your letter of inquiry you advise that the Pinellas County Historical Commission, created pursuant to Section 125.01(1)(f), Florida Statutes, is composed of eight members. The duties of the Commission include collecting, arranging, recording, and preserving historical buildings, materials, and data relating to the history of Pinellas County and Florida. The Commission also marks historic sites in the County, including the locations of forts and indian mounds.
In CEO 84-78 we advised that the members of the Volusia County Historical Commission were subject to the financial disclosure law, as that Commission did not serve a solely advisory function because it had the duty to collect, arrange, record, and preserve historical materials and data, and to mark historical locations. Similarly, in CEO 75-193 we found that the Sarasota County Historical Commission did not serve a solely advisory function. Further, in CEO 75-192 the Brevard County Historical Commission was found not to be a solely advisory body.
In accordance with these previous opinions, we find that the powers and authority of the Pinellas County Historical Commission are not solely advisory and that the members of the Commission therefore are "local officers" subject to the requirement of filing statements of financial interests annually under Section 112.3145, Florida Statutes.