CEO 87-75 -- September 16, 1987
APPLICABILITY OF DISCLOSURE LAW TO CITY BICENTENNIAL COMMISSION
To: Mr. David R. Schechter, Mayor, City of Satellite Beach
The members of the City of Satellite Beach Bicentennial Commission are "local officers" subject to the requirement of filing statements of financial interests annually under Section 112.3145, Florida Statutes. The Commission's authority to plan, develop, and coordinate programs and activities indicates that it is not an "advisory body" exempted from the disclosure law.
Are members of the City of Satellite Beach Bicentennial Commission considered "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 within 30 days of appointment and annually thereafter. Section 112.3145(2)(b), Florida Statutes. The term "local officer" is defined in part as
[a]ny 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).]
Section 112.312(1), Florida Statutes, defines the term "advisory body" as
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.
Therefore, an appointed member of an "advisory body" as defined above is not required to file a statement of financial interests annually unless that body has land-planning, zoning, or natural resources responsibilities.
In your letter of inquiry you advise that the Bicentennial Commission of Satellite Beach was created pursuant to Resolution No. 484 of the City Council. The Commission is established as an ad hoc committee responsible to the City Council until disbanded or dissolved by resolution of the City Council. Members of the Commission are appointed upon recommendation of the mayor and confirmation by the City Council. The Commission is empowered to elect replacement and additional officers as deemed necessary by the Commission.
The purpose of the Commission is to plan, encourage, develop, and coordinate programs and activities commemorating the events associated with the establishment and ratification of the United States Constitution. The Commission is responsible for establishing and announcing regular public meetings; cooperating and coordinating with other similar commissions and committees established by federal, state, or other local governments; and submitting periodic reports of activities and programs to the City Council. You advise that the duties of the Commission "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."
You further advise that the Commission's current budget is $300 and its request for 1987-1988 is $600. The Commission submits its budgetary requests to the city manager or city clerk for inclusion with the annual budget review and approval. All receipts and expenditures must be processed through the city finance director, and all expenditures must be approved by the city manager or the city clerk.
As you have advised that the Commission's current and proposed budgets are considerably less than 1 percent of the budget for the City of Satellite Beach, we find that the Commission meets the budgetary tests set forth in the definition of "advisory body," above. However, we do not find that the powers and the authority of the Commission are solely advisory.
If planning, developing and coordinating bicentennial programs and activities were done by the City Council, with the advice of the Commission, we would conclude that the Commission's responsibilities were solely advisory. In our view, a body performs a solely advisory function when it has been granted only the authority to review a situation and render its advice to another body which is authorized to make the final decision.
Accordingly, we find that the powers and authority of the City of Satellite Beach Bicentennial 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.