CEO 76-123 -- July 26, 1976






To:      Michael S. Davis, Chief Assistant City Attorney, St. Petersburg


Prepared by: Bonnie Johnson




An advisory committee of a municipal arts commission, which assists the commission in fulfilling its function of preserving and improving the physical beauty of the city, is not deemed to exercise responsibility in the areas of land planning, zoning, or natural resources in the sense contemplated by Florida Statute s. 112.3145(1)(a)2.(1975). Rather, it is a solely advisory body on such matters as design and culture in public spaces, including the aesthetic value of buildings, monuments, shrubbery, and maintenance programs. The committee thus is deemed to constitute an advisory body whose members are exempt from the filing of statements of financial disclosure.




Is a member of the Advisory Committee of the St. Petersburg Arts Commission a "local officer" within the meaning of that term as it is defined by the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees and, therefore, required to file statements of financial disclosure on an annual basis?


Your question is answered in the negative.


The Code of Ethics requires that each local officer annually file a Statement of Financial Interests (CE Form 1). Fla. Stat. s. 112.3145(2)(b)(1975). 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. [Fla. Stat. s. 112.3145(1)(a)2.(1975).]


As you can see, members of the ACSPAC are local officers unless that body can be deemed advisory for purposes of the Code of Ethics. An "advisory body" is defined by the code to be


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. [Fla. Stat. s. 112.312(1)(1975).]


Your letter of inquiry advises us that the ACSPAC was created by resolution of the arts commission to assist that body in fulfilling its legislative function. The arts commission's duties include acting as a consultant body to the city "on design and culture in public spaces or for public uses, including the aesthetic value of new buildings, statues, and monuments, proposals for design of amenities, planting and maintenance practices to promote beauty, preserve and enhance property values on streets and public places . . . ." Additionally, the commission makes proposals to the city council which are "constructive toward preservation and improvement of the physical beauty of the City and 'to advise the City Council concerning aesthetic considerations during the evolution and maintenance of the comprehensive plans for the City . . . .' " Chapter 74-604, Laws of Florida. As the duties of the arts commission are primarily aesthetic in nature, we do not believe that they constitute land-planning or natural resources responsibilities as contemplated by s. 112.3145(1)(a)2., quoted above. Accordingly, members of the ACSPAC are not deemed to be local officers subject to the filing of financial disclosure.