June 26, 1975
TO: NORMAN P. STOKER, DEPUTY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR
MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION
FROM: JAY T. AHERN, STAFF ATTORNEYL4-(
RE: Lease Agreement Between George & Sarah Hancock and SWFWMD
Parcels 10-200-122 & 123
At your request, I have investigated the legal authority to execute the
above lease. The District Governing Board is the legal entity vested
with legal power to approve the lease, Also, the officers of the Board
are the persons empowered to execute legal documents binding the District.
This is reiterated in Sections 373.093 and 373.099, Florida Statutes.
You may note that Section 373.099 requires all instruments including
easements to be executed by the Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary
to be effective to pass title or interest of the District. You can
see the statute is very specific on the matter and leaves no discretion
to delegate the power.
The particular lease in question was part of a purchase agreement approved
by the District at the December 11, 1975 meeting. The right to lease the
premises was handwritten into the agreement to purchase without any under-
standing as to the amount of rent or the terms and was part of the item
approved. Thus, the District approved to purchase the land and lease it
to the sellers.
Considering the facts as they appear, I believe the District is obligated
to lease the land to the seller. The terms and rental would have to be
negotiated between the District and the sellers. Also, the execution of
the lease by Robert L. Watson is not binding on the District unless the
District approved the lease at a meeting. Finally, I find that only the
District officers can execute the instrument under the statutory authority
and this authority cannot be delegated to Robert L. Watson in the absence
of a statute authorizing it.
cc: Myron G. Gibbons, Esquire