CEO 87-57 -- July 30, 1987
APPLICABILITY OF DISCLOSURE LAW TO
CITY DEVELOPMENT ADVISORY BOARD
To: Andrew DeGraffenreidt, III, City Attorney, City of Hollywood
The members of a municipal economic and development advisory board are not "local officers" subject to the requirement of filing statements of financial interests annually under Section 112.3145, Florida Statutes, as the board serves a solely advisory function. CEO's 77-112 and 79-35 are referenced.
Are members of the Hollywood Economic and Development Advisory Board "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. The term "local officer" is defined to mean:
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).]
Under this provision, 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).]
Therefore, an appointed member of an "advisory body" is not required to file a statement of financial interests annually unless that body has land-planning, zoning, or natural resources responsibilities.
The City of Hollywood created the Hollywood Economic and Development Advisory Board by Ordinance No. 0-86-29 for the purpose of developing strategies and programs to attract business and compatible industries to the City. Board members are appointed by the City Commission. The Board is responsible for preparing, making available, and distributing any study or studies of the advantages, facilities, resources, products, attractions, attributes, and conditions of the City as will reasonably serve to attract businesses and compatible industries. The Board also is authorized to review the requirements and feasibility of issuing industrial bonds, to make recommendations concerning such bonds to the City Commission, and to undertake activities or appearances which achieve the Board's stated purposes. The Board has no authority within the areas of planning, zoning, and natural resources allocation.
In our view, the Development Advisory Board is solely advisory. Similarly, in CEO 77-112, we found to be solely advisory a county economic development committee which was responsible for developing an economic development plan and for assisting and coordinating various activities undertaken to stimulate the local economy. Also, in CEO 79-35, we found that a municipal industrial development board which was responsible for formulating plans which were subject to the approval of the city council for the use and development of property designated for industrial development, recommending a budget to the council to carry out the purpose of the board, promoting the city as a prospective site for industrial development, assisting private interests wishing to develop industrial zoned property, and negotiating with private interests regarding the lease of property subject to council approval constituted an advisory board.
While the subject Board has no budget, the City Commission is authorized to pay the Board's expenses out of the general fund of the City. In a telephone conversation with our staff, the deputy city attorney advised that the Board currently has $25,000 which is earmarked for its use in a City account. The deputy city attorney further advised that the overall budget of the City is approximately 85 million dollars. Thus, the Board appears also to meet the budgetary test set forth in the definition of "advisory body." However, should the Board's appropriations or authorized expenditures for any fiscal year exceed $100,000 or one percent of the City budget, the Board would no longer constitute an "advisory body" for purposes of the Code of Ethics.
Thus, the economic and development advisory board constitutes an "advisory body" under Section 112.312(1), Florida Statutes, as it appears to meet the budgetary standards set forth in that definition and as its powers are solely advisory and do not include the final determination or adjudication of any personal or property rights, duties, or obligations.
Accordingly, we find that the members of the City of Hollywood Economic and Development Advisory Board are not "local officers" and therefore are not subject to the requirement of filing statements of financial interests.