CEO 86-53 -- June 19, 1986
APPLICABILITY OF FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE LAW TO CITY LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE COMMITTEE
To: Ms. Dale Knotts, Assistant to the Mayor, City of Fort Myers
The members of the Fort Myers Land Development Code Committee are not "local officers" and therefore are not subject to the requirement of filing statements of financial interests annually under Section 112.3145, Florida Statutes. The Committee serves strictly in an advisory capacity and has no land planning, zoning, or natural resources responsibilities.
Are the members of the Fort Myers Land Development Code Committee "local officers" subject to the requirement of filing statements of financial interests annually?
Your question is answered in the negative.
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).]
Further, the term "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).]
Through your letter of inquiry and a telephone conversation with our staff, we have been advised that the purpose of the Fort Myers Land Development Code Committee is to act as a vehicle in providing recommendations to the City planning staff with regard to general development code regulations. The Committee makes no decisions with regard to land-use planning or zoning. The Committee has no budget and in no way acts as a decision-making body; it merely advises the planning staff on development code regulation matters.
In essence, the Committee's responsibilities are much the same as those of the city code advisory study commission which we found not to be subject to the financial disclosure law in CEO 78-48. See also CEO 78-23 (county building codes advisory board), CEO 82-90 (county community task force for cooperative planning), CEO 84-48 (county well construction advisory board), and CEO 84-94 (city ordinance and charter committee).
Accordingly, we find that the members of the Fort Myers Land Development Code Committee are not "local officers" and therefore are not subject to the requirement of filing statements of financial interests annually under Section 112.3145, Florida Statutes.