CEO 76-61 -- March 16, 1976
CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEE TO REGIONAL PLANNING COUNCIL
APPLICABILITY OF CODE OF ETHICS TO MEMBERS
To: David Emerson Bruner, Attorney, Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council, Naples
Prepared by: Bonnie Johnson
Members of the Coastal Zone Citizens Advisory Committee, appointed by the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council by agreement with the Division of State Planning, are charged with the duty of recommending to the council coastal zone management policies, goals, and objectives. Because such council's responsibilities are in the area of land planning, zoning, and natural resources, its members are deemed to be local officers subject to disclosure pursuant to Fla. Stat. s. 112.3145(1)(a)2.(1975). Council members also are subject to the standards of conduct provisions of the Code of Ethics pursuant to the definition contained in Fla. Stat. s. 112.313(1)(1975).
Are members of the Coastal Zone Citizens Advisory Committee to the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council subject to the financial disclosure requirements and/or the standards of conduct provisions of the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees?
Your question is answered in the affirmative in both cases.
You inform us in your letter of inquiry that members of the Coastal Zone Citizens Advisory Committee (CZCAC) are appointed by the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council (SWFRPC) by agreement with the Division of State Planning "to recommend coastal zone management policies, goals and objectives and plan elements to the SWFRPC." Quoting further from your letter, the duties of the CZCAC include the following:
The CZCAC will review information including an environmental quality analysis, population and land use trends and their impacts upon the coastal zone, land ownership and economic analysis, and identify areas of concern to continued economic productivity and environmental quality to develop policy and program documents it recommends to the SWFRPC to deal with coastal zone issues identified. For example the need and criteria for location of water dependent activities such as marinas, ports and pipelines from sea to shore.
The revised financial disclosure law, which took effect on January 1 of this year, requires that "local officers" annually file a disclosure of financial interests and quarterly file a disclosure of clients represented before agencies. The term "local officer" is defined to include
[a]ny 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. [Emphasis supplied; Fla. Stat. s. 112.3145(1)(a)2.(1975).]
Inasmuch as the CZCAC clearly is charged with responsibilities in the areas of land planning and natural resources, it is not deemed to be an advisory body pursuant to the above-quoted definition of that term. Members of the CZCAC therefore are "local officers" subject to the disclosure provisions contained in s. 112.3145.
The revised standards of conduct provisions of the law, contained in Fla. Stat. s. 112.313(1975), apply to all public officers and employees. The definition section of the statute defines the term "public officer" as follows:
As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires, the term 'public officer' shall include any person elected or appointed to hold office in any agency, including any person serving on an advisory body. [Fla. Stat. s. 112.313(1)(1975).]
Accordingly, members of the CZCAC likewise are subject to the standards of conduct provisions of the Code of Ethics.