Title: Opinion File 75-31 thru 75-32
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00003427/00001
 Material Information
Title: Opinion File 75-31 thru 75-32
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Abstract: Buddy Blain's Collections - Opinion File 75-31 thru 75-32
General Note: Box 14, Folder 4 ( Opinion File 1974 - 1975 - 1974-1975 ), Item 55
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00003427
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


April 25, 1975




RE: Coffee Expenses Governing Board Meeting

Your inquiry as to the legality of the Southwest Florida Water Management
District expending $8.42 for coffee and accoutrements at Board Meetings
has been considered by the writer. First off, the cost covers the items
for use of the Governing Board and all persons attending the meeting. This
fact has been confirmed with the Administrative Assistant, William T. Allee.
However, I am of the opinion the cost incurred is a legitimate expense of
the District. I believe under Section 373.103(5), Florida Statute, that
the payment of this particular expense falls within the purposes of promo-
tion and improvement of the program and objectives of the District. In
addition, the District realizes and without the need of extensive research
and justification, as it is a manner of common sense, that basic etiquette
r would dictate offering this to those attending said meeting. The statute
referred to above and an Attorney General's Opinion No. 068-12 which
addressed hospitality paid for by our sister district, Central and Southern
Florida Flood Control District from public funds clearly implies that some
programs of hospitality are permitted by Section 378.451 F.S. now known as
373.103(5) F.S.

Also, the writer has considered the question if the expense was only for
the Governing Board. Again, I think the expense is an appropriate expendi-
ture of the District. Here I rely upon Section 373.079 (3) F.S. which allows
the payment of the members actual traveling expenses and subsistence and
lodging not to exceed the statutory amount and other expenses in the actual
amount incurred therefore. In Section 112.061(2) (g) defining travel expenses,
it provides for reimbursement for the usual and incidental expenses necessarily
incurred by a traveler. You have to read these two statutes together to
get the legislature's intent which is to compensate the member for his'out-of-
pocket expenses. Also, the expense of coffee paid by a board member would be
an expense incurred by him in the performance of his duties at a Board meeting.
Thus, I would think it would be a practical method for the District to pay for
supplying the coffee rather than have the board member pay for the coffee and
then seek reimbursement on a travel voucher. To take a position of not paying
for the coffee in my opinion would be inconsistent with the statutory directive
of requiring the District to pay for the Board Members actual expenses incurred
in the performance of their duties. Also, the Florida Appellate Court has
ruled that a statute should be construed so that the plain intent of the
legislature is given effect. The Telophase Society of Florida, Inc. v State
Board of Funeral Directors and Em alnmrs, 308 So 2d 606 (DCA 1975). In the
case sub judice, the expense of coffee would be an incidental expense
necessarily incurred by the Board members. However, I wish to caution that
this opinion is intended to cover the specific factual situation presented in your

April 25, 1975
fa ^Page Two

memorandum to the writer. Any extensive hospitality or promotional expenditures
are subject to consideration in light of the criteria set forth by the Attorney
General's Opinion No. 68-12 and Section 373.103(5) F.S.


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