Title: Opinion File 74-50 thru 74-54
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00003385/00001
 Material Information
Title: Opinion File 74-50 thru 74-54
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Abstract: Buddy Blain's Collections - Opinion File 74-50 thru 74-54
General Note: Box 14, Folder 4 ( Opinion File 1974 - 1975 - 1974-1975 ), Item 13
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00003385
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text



rebtary 20, 1974

,r. Clint seAults
eoiura stm Plfrled Water
11-0ga- t Rietriot
Ph 0. O.a 4S7
f oedkaville, florida 33512

Re: ProtefsLoaMl prommmnt Expenses

Dear Clint:

I em enc loais ag* a arm d papered by L7ry (Ch
of our fiat, whieb s the ptaiq of our
rSeAAtrk ng the eat eoi for toimebaIal
fesaional snahersilp lad liea staq mepaoeBW .

After you hne rewmieda ts 0ew eAd set up the
that yea wvih to saiI to the Baied, I vwill
o everw the better with you so that vs oan present n- we
dem beat.
Yours very truly,

Mtyron 0. Gibbons



) =lj~~ __ Y






DATE: February 3, 1974



Does SWFWMD have the authority to provide for or re-

imburse the cost to employees for educational, professional

membership and licensing expenses?


Article 2 Section 5(c) of the Constitution of the State

of Florida provides,

"The powers, duties, compensation, and
method of payment of state and county
officers shall be fixed by law."

The above provision does not expressly incorporate the authority

and power to set salaries for officers and employees of special

districts, however, the broad language and general purpose of

a constitution indicates that this provision is applicable to a

special district, such as SWFWMD. Of more importance to the question

at hand, is the fact that such legislative authority to appoint

officers and set compensation may be specifically delegated by

statutes enacted pursuant to the constitution. State ex., Rel.

Landis -v- Bird, 120 Fla., 780, 163 So. 248 (1935).

The Florida Water Resources Act of 1972 provides at F.S.

373.149 that SWFWMD shall continue to exercise powers presently

authorized by Chapters 378-373. Florida Statute 373.079

provides in relevant part,

"The governing board of the district is
authorized to employ an executive director
and such engineers, other professional
persons, and other personnel, and assist-
ants as the board may deem necessary and
under such terms and conditions as it may
determine, and to terminate such employment."

fC, -'

The above is quite a broad delegation of the authority

to hire personnel and fix their compensation. The limitations

of the authority to set salaries and benefits herein are set

forth in the phrase "under such terms and conditions as it may


The exercise of the above power is, of course, limited

under the organic law of Florida to a general public purpose

test. Such limitations are very broad, and the proposed pro-

fessional improvements to SWFWMD employees do not violate such

broad standard if the programs initiated benefit the district.

The exercise of the above authority, however, should be

' performed with all quasi-legislative safegards possible under

the structure under this district. In other words, the adoption

of such program should be by specific rules of the board, and

should not be left to the broad discretion of officers.

The two attorney general opinions cited in the January 14,

1974, letter from Clint Schultz are not applicable, because they

raise questions regarding a county official's capacity within

his office to charge his items of expense the cost of education

courses for public officers and their assistants. AGO 071-37

concludes that a county official may charge as an expense of his

office only those items of expense that directly relate to and

are necessary to carry out the duties and functions of the office.

"It is well settled also, that when a county
purpose has been designated by a statute direct-
ing that expenses incurred for such purpose
shall be audited and paid by the county commis-
sioners, 'such designation of a county purpose
will, in difference to the county legislative
department, be recognized and enforced by the
courts, unless it clearly appears that it is
not a county purpose within the meaning of the
Constitution.'" Board of Commissioners of
Ascambia County -v- Board of Pilot Commissioners,
42 So. 697 (Fla. 1906).

The above opinion goes on to hold that the cost of a course

in accrual accounting is not a proper item of expense of

the office of the circuit court clerk in the absence of

express legislative authority.

The decision of the attorney general is qualified

further by the last paragraph,

"No question is presented and no
opinion is rendered as to whether
the board of county commissioners
could adopt a legislative policy,
by way of county home-rule ordinance,
respecting the budgeting of county
funds by the various county officials
and their employees to pay for educational
courses designed to increase the
efficiency of qualified officers and

AGO 062-97 concludes that the expenses of educational

courses for county public officers, boards, commissions, and

their assistants and employees may not be incorporated in their

office budgets and paid therefrom. Once again, this opinion is

not concerned with the power to authorize such payments by specific

legislative authorization.

"Although indirectly beneficial to the
county, any type of formal educational
program, be it a short course, university
extension course, or other similar type
is basically of personal benefit to the
individual taking such a course; hence no
authority for the payment of expenses in
connection therewith from public funds
exists in the absence of specific legis-
lative authorization."

The state legislature has not pre-empted the area of

compensation of officials and employees of SWFWMD. The State

legislature has pre-empted this area in connection with county

officials F.S. 104.011 et seq. The legislative intent of this

chapter is set forth in F.S. 145.011, which provides in part,

"(2) The legislature has determined that a
uniform and not arbitrary and not discriminatory
law is needed to replace the haphazard, pre-
ferential, inequitable, probably unconsitutuional
local law method of paying elected county officials."

This Chapter is further evidence that the above attorney general

opinion regarding county employees are not applicable to SWFWMD

and do not limit the delegation of legislative authority under

T 0 _-> n,7q (4) -


F. S. 373.079(4) authorizes the board to hire personnel

(under such terms and conditions as it may determine .), and

this is a constitutional delegation of the authority to hire and

set compensation, and the board can specifically authorize'the

payment of employment related educational, professional membership,

and licensing expenses.


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