Adopted June 24, 2003; Effective July 1, 2003
Paid Lobbyist registration and quarterly filings
Record-keeping Responsibilities (Lobbying Logs) on Board of County Commissioners and designated County Employees. Expanded definition of employees (see below).
Lobbyist - Any person, firm, entity "paid or unpaid" who on behalf of another engages in lobbying.
Question: Are they attempting to influence on behalf of another (principal)?
Lobbying - Communication whether written or oral by a lobbyist with:
1. Board of County Commissioners;
2. Decision-making body under jurisdiction of Board;
3. Or County Employee.
Intent: To influence (encourage the passage, defeat, or modification of) any item which may be presented for a vote before:
1. Board of County Commissioners; or
2. Decision-making body; or
3. Consideration by a county employee as a recommendation to the Board or decision-making body.
Question: Is it reasonably likely the matter will be presented for a vote or as an employee recommendation to County Board?
Record-keeping Responsibilities (Section 3):
Board and designated employees who make regulatory decisions or recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners:
1. County Manager, Deputy, Assistants and Public Works Director
2. County Attorney, Deputy County Attorney, Chief Assistant County Attorneys and Assistant County Attorneys
3. Executive Director of Port Authority
4. Department Directors or Interim Department Directors, Department Deputy or Interim Deputy Director, Division Directors or Interim Division Directors, Division Deputy Directors, or Interim Division Deputy Directors, to also include the Manager of Public Resources, Veteran Services, Risk Program, and Equal Opportunity Office.
5. All employees within the Purchasing Division and Contracts Office with the exception of the secretarial staff.
Keep the Lobbying Contact Log (Exhibit A) documenting oral lobbying contacts or private meetings with a lobbyist (telephone calls, personal visits). Writings to include e-mail received, whether at the office or home on county business matters are public records and must be retained for public inspection but need not be noted in log.
Log Information - Name of Lobbyist, date of contact or meeting, Principal represented, and subject matter discussed.
Filed - Designated County Employees: With Clerk at end of each quarter and upon ending of employment.
Board Members: At end of each quarter and at conclusion of final term in office.
Lobby Log in uniform form as attached to ordinance (Exhibit A) [Contains certification and must be signed.]
Lobby Log filed whether lobbying contacts made in that quarter or not.
Registration of Paid Lobbyist [Paid Lobbyist is defined in Section 2 (C)]:
1. With Clerk on annual basis
2. Prior to first occasion engages in the activity of lobbying
3. an register in firm or corporate name, but need to list the names of those actually engaging in lobbying
Forms provided by Clerk (name, address, principal represented, areas of legislative interest, nature and extent of any direct business association or partnership with Board, county employees or decision-making board when that board is one established by Florida Law, such as the LPA).
Quarterly Lobbying Statement (Paid Lobbyist)
Filed with Clerk's Office - signed statement listing: lobbying expenditures, sources of the funds, and itemization of any amount expended on Board, employee, etc.
Exemptions from Registration (Not Lobbyist) (Section 5)
The following persons are not lobbyists as defined in Section Two (Paragraphs B and C), and shall not be required to register as paid lobbyists or keep records as paid lobbyists:
- Lee County employees discussing government business;
- Law enforcement personnel conducting an investigation;
- Persons when they communicate with Board members or employees in their individual capacity for the purpose of self-representation, or on behalf of their family, without compensation or reimbursement;
- Persons when they appear at public meetings or hearings and communicate on the record;
- Consultants under contract with Lee County who communicate with Commissioners or employees regarding issues related to the scope of services in their contract;
- Any government officials or employees who are acting in their official capacity or in the normal course of their duties, unless they are proposing in a competitive procurement, or are a government employee principally employed for, or whose substantial duties pertain to governmental affairs lobbying;
- Persons who make purely informational requests to a Board member, Advisory Board member or Employee with no intent to affect a decision or recommendation on any item; and
- Persons or representatives of organizations contacted by a Board member, Advisory Board member or Employee when the contact is initiated by that Board member, Advisory Board Member or Employee in their official capacity in the normal course of their duties to obtain factual information.
Prohibited Conduct - Board and designated employees not to solicit or accept compensation or gift from a lobbyist if with the exercise of reasonable care should know it was given to influence official action.
Requires an intentional violation.
Misdemeanor. Fine up to $500.00/60 days.