(1) There is created a body politic and corporate, an agency of the state, to be known as the Osceola County Expressway Authority.
(2)(a) The governing body of the authority shall consist of six members. Five members, at least one of whom must be a member of a racial or ethnic minority group, must be residents of Osceola County, three of whom shall be appointed by the governing body of the county and two of whom shall be appointed by the Governor. The sixth member shall be the district secretary of the department serving in the district that includes Osceola County, who shall serve as an ex officio, nonvoting member. The term of each appointed member shall be for 4 years, except that the first term of the initial members appointed by the Governor shall be 2 years each. Each appointed member shall hold office until his or her successor has been appointed and has qualified. A vacancy occurring during a term shall be filled only for the balance of the unexpired term. Each appointed member of the authority shall be a person of outstanding reputation for integrity, responsibility, and business ability, but a person who is an officer or employee of any municipality or of Osceola County in any other capacity may not be an appointed member of the authority. A member of the authority is eligible for reappointment.
(b) Members of the authority may be removed from office by the Governor for misconduct, malfeasance, or nonfeasance in office.
(3)(a) The authority shall elect one of its members as chair. The authority shall also elect a secretary and a treasurer, who may be members of the authority. The chair, secretary, and treasurer shall hold such offices at the will of the authority.
(b) Three members of the authority constitute a quorum, and the vote of three members is necessary for any action taken by the authority. A vacancy in the authority does not impair the right of a quorum of the authority to exercise all of the rights and perform all of the duties of the authority.
(4)(a) The authority may employ an executive secretary, an executive director, its own counsel and legal staff, technical experts, engineers, and other employees, permanent or temporary, as it may require, and may determine the qualifications and fix the compensation of such persons, firms, or corporations. Additionally, the authority may employ a fiscal agent or agents. However, the authority shall solicit sealed proposals from at least three persons, firms, or corporations for the performance of any services as fiscal agents. The authority may delegate to one or more of its agents or employees such of its power as it deems necessary to carry out the purposes of this part, subject always to the supervision and control of the authority.
(b) Members of the authority are entitled to receive from the authority their travel and other necessary expenses incurred in connection with the business of the authority as provided in s. 112.061, but members shall not draw salaries or other compensation.
(c) The department is not required to grant funds for startup costs to the authority. However, the governing body of the county may provide funds for such startup costs.
(d) The authority shall cooperate with and participate in any efforts to establish a regional expressway authority.
(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, including s. 339.175(3), the authority is not entitled to voting membership in a metropolitan planning organization in which Osceola County, or any of the municipalities therein, are also voting members.