CEO 75-163 -- August 6, 1975

(Revoked; see CEO 75-189)






To:      Warren O. Tiller, Volusia County Attorney, DeLand


Prepared by:   Jeff Trammel




A County Charter Review Commission which merely makes recommendations for charter revision to the County Council, which council then must approve such recommendations by a two-thirds vote before they go to a referendum, is deemed to be an advisory body pursuant to s. 112.312(7)(b), F. S. (1974 Supp.). Members of the commission therefore are not deemed to be public officers and, consequently, are not subject to financial disclosure requirements.




Are the members of the Volusia County Charter Review Commission, who were appointed by the legislative delegation, public officers within the meaning of that term as found in part III, Ch. 112, F. S. (1974 Supp.), and therefore subject to financial disclosure?


Your question is answered in the negative.


Public officers are defined in s. 112.312(7)(b), F. S., to include:


Members of boards, commissions, authorities, special taxing districts, and the head of each state agency, however selected but excluding advisory board members. (Emphasis supplied.)


We have construed this subsection to mean that only those boards which are solely advisory fall within the exception to public officer status. See CEO 74-22. An advisory board is one which renders advice or recommendations to an officer or agency. This officer or agency then has complete discretion to accept or reject the advice or recommendation presented by the advisory board.

The facts of the situation before us, as related by you, are that the Volusia County Charter Review Commission makes recommendations concerning revision of the County Charter to the Volusia County Council, the governing body of the county. Then, by a two-thirds vote, the council must approve a recommendation before it goes to referendum. Sections 1301-1303, Volusia County Charter. This board is distinguished from the Broward County Charter Commission, held to be nonadvisory in CEO 74-4, in that the Broward Commission is authorized to formulate recommendations and place them directly on the ballot. In the instant case, however, any recommended revision proposed by the Volusia County Charter Review Commission requires an affirmative act of acceptance (or rejection) by the County Council precedent to the recommendation going to referendum. We therefore are of the opinion that the Volusia County Charter Review Commission qualifies as an advisory board. Thus, its members are not deemed to be public officers and, consequently, are not subject to financial disclosure provisions.