(1) In each local agency there may be created a public body corporate and politic to be known as the “ (name of local agency) Health Facilities Authority.” Each of said authorities shall be constituted as a public instrumentality, and the exercise by an authority of the powers conferred by this part shall be deemed and held to be the performance of an essential public function. Each of said authorities shall not transact any business or exercise any power hereunder until and unless the governing body of the local agency by proper ordinance or resolution shall declare that there is a need for an authority to function in such local agency. The determination as to whether there is such need for an authority to function:
(a) May be made by the governing body on its own motion.
(b) May be made by the governing body upon the filing of a petition signed by 25 residents of the local agency asserting that there is need for an authority to function in such local agency and requesting that the governing body so declare.
(2) The governing body may abolish the authority at any time by ordinance or resolution. However, the authority shall not be abolished until such time as all bonded indebtedness incurred pursuant to this part has been paid.
(3) In any suit, action, or proceeding involving the validity or enforcement of, or relating to, any contract of the authority, the authority shall be conclusively deemed to have been established and authorized to transact business and exercise its powers hereunder by adoption of an ordinance or resolution by the governing body declaring the need for the authority. Such ordinance or resolution shall be sufficient if it declares that there is such a need for an authority in the local agency. A copy of such ordinance or resolution duly certified by the clerk shall be admissible in evidence in any suit, action, or proceeding.
(4) The governing body of the local agency shall designate five persons who are residents of the local agency as members of the authority created for said local agency. Of the members first appointed, one shall serve for 1 year, one for 2 years, one for 3 years, and two for 4 years; in each case until a successor is appointed and has qualified. Thereafter the governing body shall appoint, for terms of 4 years each, a member or members to succeed those whose terms expire. The governing body shall fill any vacancy for an unexpired term. A member of the authority shall be eligible for reappointment. Any member of the authority may be removed by the governing body for misfeasance, malfeasance, or willful neglect of duty. Each member of the authority, before entering upon his or her duties, shall take and subscribe the oath or affirmation required by the State Constitution. A record of each oath shall be filed in the Department of State and with the clerk.
(5) The authority shall annually elect one of its members as chair and one as vice chair.
(6) The authority shall keep a record of its proceedings and shall be custodian of all books, documents, and papers filed with it and of its minute book or journal and official seal. The authority shall cause copies to be made of all its minutes and other records and documents and shall give certificates under its official seal to the effect that such copies are true copies, and all persons dealing with it may rely upon such certificates.
(7) Three members of the authority shall constitute a quorum, and the affirmative vote of a majority of the members present at a meeting of the authority shall be necessary for any action taken by an authority. However, any action may be taken by the authority with the unanimous consent of all of its members. No vacancy in the membership of the authority shall impair the right of a quorum to exercise all the rights and perform all the duties of the authority. Any action taken by the authority under the provisions of this part may be authorized by resolution at any regular or special meeting, and each such resolution shall take effect immediately and need not be published or posted. All meetings of the authority, as well as all records, books, documents, and papers, shall be open and available to the public in accordance with s. 286.011. (8) The members of the authority shall receive no compensation for the performance of their duties hereunder, but each member shall be paid his or her necessary expenses incurred while engaged in the performance of such duties pursuant to s. 112.061.
(9) Any general or special law, rule or regulation, or ordinance of any local agency to the contrary notwithstanding, service as a member of an authority by a trustee, director, officer, or employee of a health facility shall not in and of itself constitute a conflict of interest. However, any member of the authority who is employed by, or receives income from, a health facility under consideration by the authority shall not vote on any matter related to such facility.