Section 191.005, Florida Statutes 2003
191.005 District boards of commissioners; membership, officers, meetings.--
(1)(a) With the exception of districts whose governing boards are appointed collectively by the Governor, the county commission, and any cooperating city within the county, the business affairs of each district shall be conducted and administered by a five-member board. All three-member boards existing on the effective date of this act shall be converted to five-member boards, except those permitted to continue as a three-member board by special act adopted in 1997 or thereafter. The board shall be elected in nonpartisan elections by the electors of the district. Except as provided in this act, such elections shall be held at the time and in the manner prescribed by law for holding general elections in accordance with s. 189.405(2)(a) and (3), and each member shall be elected for a term of 4 years and serve until the member's successor assumes office. Candidates for the board of a district shall qualify with the county supervisor of elections in whose jurisdiction the district is located. If the district is a multicounty district, candidates shall qualify with the Department of State. All candidates may qualify by paying a filing fee of $25 or by obtaining the signatures of at least 25 registered electors of the district on petition forms provided by the supervisor of elections which petitions shall be submitted and checked in the same manner as petitions filed by nonpartisan judicial candidates pursuant to s. 105.035.
(b)1. At the next general election following the effective date of this act, or on or after the effective date of a special act or general act of local application creating a new district, the members of the board shall be elected by the electors of the district in the manner provided in this section. The office of each member of the board is designated as being a seat on the board, distinguished from each of the other seats by a numeral: 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5. The numerical seat designation does not designate a geographical subdistrict unless such subdistrict exists on the effective date of this act, in which case the candidates must reside in the subdistrict, and only electors of the subdistrict may vote in the election for the member from that subdistrict. Each candidate for a seat on the board shall designate, at the time the candidate qualifies, the seat on the board for which the candidate is qualifying. The name of each candidate who qualifies for election to a seat on the board shall be included on the ballot in a way that clearly indicates the seat for which the candidate is a candidate. The candidate for each seat who receives the most votes cast for a candidate for the seat shall be elected to the board.
2. If, on the effective date of this act, a district presently in existence elects members of its board, the next election shall be conducted in accordance with this section, but this section does not require the early expiration of any member's term of office by more than 60 days.
3. If, on the effective date of this act, a district does not elect the members of its board, the entire board shall be elected in accordance with this section. However, in the first election following the effective date of this act, seats 1, 3, and 5 shall be designated for 4-year terms and seats 2 and 4 shall be designated for 2-year terms.
4. If, on the effective date of this act, the district has an elected three-member board, one of the two seats added by this act shall, for the first election following the effective date of this act, be designated for a 4-year term and the other for a 2-year term, unless the terms of the three existing seats all expire within 6 months of the first election following the effective date of this act, in which case seats 1, 3, and 5 shall be designated for 4-year terms and seats 2 and 4 shall be designated for 2-year terms.
5. If the district has an elected three-member board designated to remain three members by special act adopted in 1997 or thereafter, the terms of the board members shall be staggered. In the first election following the effective date of this act, seats 1 and 3 shall be designated for 4-year terms, and seat 2 for a 2-year term.
(c) The board of any district may request the local legislative delegation that represents the area within the district to create by special law geographical subdistricts for board seats. Any board of five members or larger elected on a subdistrict basis as of the effective date of this act shall continue to elect board members from such previously designated subdistricts, and this act shall not require the elimination of board seats from such boards.
(2) Each member of the board must be a qualified elector at the time he or she qualifies and continually throughout his or her term.
(3) Each elected member of the board shall assume office 10 days following the member's election. Annually, within 60 days after the newly elected members have taken office, the board shall organize by electing from its members a chair, a vice chair, a secretary, and a treasurer. The positions of secretary and treasurer may be held by one member. Funds of the district may be disbursed only upon the order or pursuant to resolution of the board, by warrant or check signed by the treasurer or other person authorized by the board. However, a petty cash account may be authorized by the board. The board may give the treasurer additional powers and duties that it deems appropriate.
(4) Members of the board may each be paid a salary or honorarium to be determined by at least a majority plus one vote of the board, which salary or honorarium may not exceed $500 per month for each member. Special notice of any meeting at which the board will consider a salary change for a board member shall be published at least once, at least 14 days prior to the meeting, in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the district is located. Separate compensation for the board member serving as treasurer may be authorized by like vote so long as total compensation for the board member does not exceed $500 per month. Members may be reimbursed for travel and per diem expenses as provided in s. 112.061.
(5) If a vacancy occurs on the board due to the resignation, death, or removal of a board member or the failure of anyone to qualify for a board seat, the remaining members may appoint a qualified person to fill the seat until the next general election, at which time an election shall be held to fill the vacancy for the remaining term, if any. The board shall remove any member who has three consecutive, unexcused absences from regularly scheduled meetings. The board shall adopt policies by resolution defining excused and unexcused absences.
(6) Each member shall, upon assuming office, take and subscribe to the oath of office prescribed by s. 5(b), Art. II of the State Constitution and s. 876.05. Each member, within 30 days of assuming office, must give the Governor a good and sufficient surety bond in the sum of $5,000, the cost thereof being borne by the district, conditioned on the member's faithful performance of his or her duties of office.
(7) The board shall keep a permanent record book entitled "Record of Proceedings of (name of district)," in which the minutes of all meetings, resolutions, proceedings, certificates, bonds given by commissioners, and corporate acts shall be recorded. The record book shall be open to inspection in the same manner as state, county, and municipal records are open under chapter 119 and s. 24, Art. I of the State Constitution. The record book shall be kept at the office or other regular place of business maintained by the board in the county or municipality in which the district is located.
(8) All meetings of the board shall be open to the public consistent with chapter 286, s. 189.417, and other applicable general laws.
History.--s. 5, ch. 97-256.