If SHE AND he ARE going to be a “recommender” to the town, AS HELEN SO ENVISIONS AND SHE IS GOING TO COME UP WITH A JOB DESCRIPTION FOR TOMMIE THEN SHE VIOLATES THE SUNSHINE LAW AND THE CHARTER AS WELL. As I understand it from SATURDAY’S meeting with Helen then he and SHE becomes a walking talking violation of the Sunshine Law from the get go. IF TOMMIE HAS A NEW JOB DESCRIPTION (WHICH HELEN ENVISIONS) HE IS NOT THE TOWN MANAGER ACCORDING TO THE CHARTER. HELEN OR THE COUNCIL CAN NOT CHANGE THE CHARTER, ONLY THE PEOPLE CAN DO THAT IN AN ELECTION. THEY HAVEN’T DONE SO TO MY KNOWLEDGE. HELEN CAN NOT CHANGE THE CHARTER FROM A “WEAK MAYOR’ FORM OF GOVERNMENT TO A “STRONG MAYOR” FORM OF GOVERNEMNT WITH A SIMPLE COUNCIL VOTE.
Helen CANNOT MAKE HERSELF A COMMITTEE OF ONE AND THEN MAKE HERSELF COME UP WITH A JOB DESCRIPTION FOR THE ETHICALLY CHALLENGED ONE. HERE ARE THE TWO QUOTES OUT OF THE GOVERNMENT IN THE SUNSHINE MANUAL THE TOWN CHARTER AND THE TOWN PERSONNEL MANUAL BOTH HAVE ADEQUATE DESCRIPTIONS OF WHAT A TOWN MANAGER IS SUPPOSED TO DO THAT APPLIES TO BOTH TOMMIE JEROME JONES AND NOW TO HELEN. JUDGE SCAFF HERE WE COME IN EFFORT TO CLEAN UP THE SWAMP SHE HAS BROKEN THE TOWN CHARTER, THE TOWN PERSONNEL MANUAL AND THE SUNSHINE LAW. I WILL NOT STAND FOR IT. MAYBE SHE WAS KICKED OFF THE COUNCIL FOR A GOOD REASON, OVERSTEPPING HER AUTHORITY AS A “WEAK MAYOR”
Quotes out of the Government in the Sunshine manual follow.
Advisory boards and committees created by public agencies may be subject to the Sunshine Law, even though their recommendations are not binding upon the entities that create them. The “dispositive question” is whether the committee has been delegated “decision-making authority,” as opposed to mere “information-gathering or fact-fi nding authority.” Sarasota Citizens for Responsible Government v. City of Sarasota, 48 So. 3d 755, 762 (Fla. 2010). “Where the committee has been delegated decision-making authority, the committee’s meetings must be open to public scrutiny, regardless of the review procedures eventually used by the traditional governmental body.” Id.
For example, in Town of Palm Beach v. Gradison, 296 So. 2d 473 (Fla. 1974), a citizen planning committee appointed by a city council to assist in revision of zoning ordinances was found to be subject to the Sunshine Law. The Gradison court, concluding that the committee served as the alter ego of the council in making tentative decisions, stated that “any committee established by the Town Council to act in any type of advisory capacity would be subject to the provisions of the government in the sunshine law.” Id. at 476. See also Spillis Candela &Partners, Inc. v. Centrust Savings Bank, 535 So. 2d 694, 695 (Fla. 3d DCA 1988) (committee which compiled a report that was perfunctorily accepted by the board made a signifi cant ruling aff ecting decision-making process and was subject to s. 286.011; an “ad hoc advisory board, even if its power is limited to making recommendations to a public agency and even if it possesses o authority to bind the agency in any way, is subject to the Sunshine Law”); and Lyon v. Lake County, 765 So. 2d 785 (Fla. 5th DCA 2000) (Sunshine Law applies to site plan review committee created by county ordinance to serve in an advisory capacity to the county manager). Accord AGOs 98-13 (citizen advisory committee appointed by city council to make recommendations to the council regarding city government and city services), and 01-84 (school advisory council created pursuant to former s. 229.58 [now s. 1001.452], F.S). Th e Sunshine Law does not establish a lesser standard for members of advisory committees that are subject to the Sunshine Law. See Monroe County v. Pigeon Key Historical Park, Inc., 647 So. 2d 857, 869 (Fla. 3d DCA 1994) (“[T]he Sunshine Law equally binds all members of governmental bodies, be they advisory committee members or elected officials”). Accordingly, in the absence of statutory exemption, any gathering of two or more members to discuss any matter on which foreseeable action may be taken must be open to the public, noticed to the public, and minutes kept.
THE MAKEUP OF THIS COMMITTEE OF ONE, TJJ ONLY IS IMMATERIAL. ANOTHER QUOTE OUT OF THE GOVERNMENT IN THE SUNSHINE MANUAL.
It is the nature of the act performed, not the makeup of the committee or the proximity of the act to the fi nal decision, which determines Whether a committee composed of staff is subject to the Sunshine Law. Id. See News-Press PUBLISHING company Inc. v. Carlson 410 So. 2d 546, 548 (Fla. 2d DCA 1982), concluding that it would be “ludicrous” to hold that “a certain committee is governed by the Sunshine Law when it consists of members of the public, who are presumably acting for the public, but hold that a committee may escape the Sunshine Law if it consists of individuals who owe their allegiance to, and receive their salaries from, the governing authority;” and Evergreen the Tree Treasurers of Charlotte County, Inc. v. Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners, 810 So. 2d 526, 531-532 (Fla. 2d DCA 2002) (staff committee members delegated decision-making authority from public offi cials no longer function as staff members but “stand in the shoes of such public offi cials” insofar as the Sunshine Law is concerned).
Thus, in Silver Express Company v. District Board of Lower Tribunal Trustees, 691 So. 2d 1099 (Fla. 3d DCA 1997), the district court determined that a committee composed primarily of staff that was created by a college purchasing director to assist and advise her in evaluating contract proposals was subject to the Sunshine Law. Th e committee’s job to “weed through the various proposals, to determine which were acceptable and to rank them accordingly” was suffi cient to bring the committee within the scope of the Sunshine Law. See also Roscow v. Abreu, No. 03-CA-1833 (Fla. 2d Cir. Ct. August 6, 2004) (committee created by the state department of transportation and composed of offi cials from state, local, and federal agencies was subject to the Sunshine Law because the committee was responsible for screening and evaluating potential corridors and alignments for a possible expansion of the Suncoast Parkway); AGO 05-06 (city development review committee, composed of several city offi cials and representatives of various city departments to review and approve development applications, is subject to the Sunshine Law); and AGO 86-51 (land selection committee appointed by water management district and delegated decision-making authority to consider projects for inclusion on a list of proposed acquisition projects must comply with Sunshine Law “even though such committee may be composed entirely of district staff and its decisions and recommendations are subject to further action by the district’s governing board”). and composed of a department head, personnel director, and equal opportunity director should have been held in the Sunshine. Even though the county administrator had the sole authority to discipline employees, that authority had been delegated to the department head who in turn chose to share that authority with the other members of the panel. And see Linares v. District School Board of Pasco County, No. 17-00230 (Fla. 6th Cir. Ct. January 10, 2018)