(1) There is created and established a body politic and corporate, an agency of the state, to be known as the Northwest Florida Transportation Corridor Authority, hereinafter referred to as “the authority.”
(2)(a) The governing body of the authority shall consist of eight voting members, one each from Escambia, Santa Rosa, Walton, Okaloosa, Bay, Gulf, Franklin, and Wakulla Counties, appointed by the Governor to a 4-year term. The appointees shall be residents of their respective counties and may not hold an elected office. Upon the effective date of his or her appointment, or as soon thereafter as practicable, each appointed member of the authority shall enter upon his or her duties. 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. Any member of the authority shall be eligible for reappointment. Members of the authority may be removed from office by the Governor for misconduct, malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance in office.
(b) The district secretary of the Department of Transportation serving Northwest Florida shall serve as an ex officio, nonvoting member.
(3)(a) The authority shall elect one of its members as chair and shall also elect a secretary and a treasurer who may or may not be members of the authority. The chair, secretary, and treasurer shall hold such offices at the will of the authority.
(b) Five members of the authority shall constitute a quorum, and the vote of at least five members shall be 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.
(c) The authority shall meet at least quarterly but may meet more frequently upon the call of the chair. The authority should alternate the locations of its meetings among the seven counties.
(4) Members of the authority shall serve without compensation but shall be entitled to receive from the authority their travel expenses and per diem incurred in connection with the business of the authority, as provided in s. 112.061.
(5) The authority may employ an executive director, an executive secretary, its own counsel and legal staff, technical experts, engineers, and such employees, permanent or temporary, as it may require. The authority shall determine the qualifications and fix the compensation of such persons, firms, or corporations and 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 its power as it shall deem necessary to carry out the purposes of this part, subject always to the supervision and control of the authority.
(6) The authority may establish technical advisory committees to provide guidance and advice on corridor-related issues. The authority shall establish the size, composition, and focus of any technical advisory committee created. A member appointed to a technical advisory committee shall serve without compensation but shall be entitled to per diem or travel expenses, as provided in s. 112.061.