CEO 77-134 -- August 24, 1977






To:      Paul S. Buchman, City Attorney, Plant City


Prepared by:   Phil Claypool




A municipality which proposes to establish a central business district committee for the purpose of conducting studies and making recommendations to the city commission toward revitalization and preservation of the downtown area has provided, in the resolution establishing such committee, that it "shall have no land-planning, zoning, or natural resource responsibilities. . . ." Provided the terms of the resolution are strictly followed, the committee will constitute an advisory body pursuant to s. 112.312(1), F. S., and its members therefore will not be local officers under s. 112.3145(1)(a)2. and will not be subject to the annual filing of financial disclosure pursuant to s. 112.3145(2)(b).




Would the members of the Central Business District Committee of the City of Plant City constitute "local officers" for purposes of filing financial disclosure?


Your question is answered in the negative.


In your letter of inquiry you advise that the City of Plant City proposes to establish a Central Business District Committee whose purpose is to make such studies as it deems necessary and recommend to the city commission feasible municipal action which will advance the revitalization, enhancement, and preservation of the city's central business district and its economic contribution to the community. The proposed city resolution which would establish the committee specifies in part:


This advisory committee shall have no land- planning, zoning, or natural resource responsibilities, and it is the intention of the City Commission that the members thereof shall not be "local officers" within the provisions of Section 112.3145, Florida Statutes (1975).


You also advise that the scope of inquiry of the committee will necessarily be broad and unlimited on the subject of revitalizing the central business district and, should the committee suggest any subject within the areas of land planning, zoning, or natural resources, it will be advised to refer such subject to the city planning board for appropriate review and recommendation by that board directly to the city commission.

The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees provides that each "local officer" shall file financial disclosure annually. Section 112.3145(2)(b), F. S. 1975. The term "local officer" is defined to include:

Any appointed member of a board, commission, authority, 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., F. S. 1975.]


In turn, "advisory body" is defined to mean


any board, commission, committee, council, or authority, however selected, whose 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), F. S. 1975.]


As it is the intention of the city commission that the committee members not be "local officers," we assume that the committee will impose the above budget limitations; that the authority of the committee is solely advisory is apparent from the proposed resolution. However, although a particular committee may meet the definition of "advisory body," if the committee has land planning, zoning, or natural resources responsibilities, even if it is merely responsible for advising as to land use, the members of that committee are deemed to be "local officers." See CEO's 76-156, 77-101, and 77-103, for example.

Here, the proposed resolution specifically states that the committee shall not have land planning or zoning responsibilities. So we must assume that the committee has no authority to make any inquiries or recommendations as to the use of land in or potential zoning of the central business district.

Provided this will be the case, we find that the proposed central business district committee will constitute an "advisory body," and that the members of the committee will not be "local officers" subject to filing financial disclosure.