Advisory Boards & Committees – Standards of Conduct for Citizen Appointees
All citizens appointed by the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners or an individual Commissioner to any County board, committee, council or authority must comply with these standards of conduct.
Citizens appointed to a Pinellas County (“County”) board, committee, council or authority (hereafter referred to as “Board” or “Boards”) hold positions of public trust, and these mandatory standards of conduct are designed to maintain the integrity, impartiality and dignity of these institutions of government. All citizen appointees to, and members of, any Board to which they are appointed by the Board of County Commissioners will:
- Comply with all local, state, and federal laws, rules, and regulations.
- Regularly attend all scheduled meetings of the Board.
- Prepare for and pay attention during each Board meeting and help foster a positive, collegial, respectful and productive environment at such meetings.
- Maintain an attitude of courtesy and consideration toward other Members, citizens and staff during all discussions and deliberations. Avoid the use of abusive, threatening, or intimidating language or gestures, harassing behavior, or unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, directed at other Members, citizens, or staff.
- Allow other Members, County staff and, as appropriate within the prescribed rules or bylaws of the Board, citizens-sufficient opportunity to present their views.
- Uphold the prestige of their office and avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety. Members will not convey the impression that they are able to unduly or inappropriately influence the outcome of a decision of the Board to which they are appointed, or the Board of County Commissioners.
- Comply with Florida’s Government in the Sunshine Law, Chapter 286, Florida Statutes, to the extent that it is applicable to the Board. Members will refrain from engaging in discussions (verbal, written, electronic, or other) with any other Member of the same Board about matters which would foreseeably come before the Board for discussion. In addition, if a Member of a Board that is subject to the Sunshine law receives a communication in any format (including, but not limited to, social media posts, private texts, and voice messages) from anyone about an item to be discussed before the Board, the Member will promptly forward the communication(s) to the assigned staff liaison to the Board so that it may be retained as a public record and shared with all other Members at a public meeting.
- Comply with annual financial disclosure requirements, if applicable to the Board to which they are appointed.
- Not accept or solicit a gift, loan, payment, favor, service, promise of employment or business contract, meal, transportation or anything else of value, if such thing is given with the understanding that it will influence the official action of the Member. The same standard shall apply to a gift, loan, favor, etc. for the spouse, child, relative or business partner of the Member. Chapter 112, Florida Statutes, shall govern all determinations of violations under this paragraph.
- Refrain from, during meetings or other activities of the Board, soliciting funds to support any person’s campaign for election to local, state, or federal public office; seeking signatures on any petition provided for by election law; or distributing literature favoring or opposing a candidate, political position or political persuasion.
- Discharge their duties and responsibilities on the Board without favor or prejudice toward any person or group, and refrain from participating in any proceeding in which their impartiality may reasonably be questioned. If a Member has a personal, employment or business relationship with a person or entity that is subject to a recommendation of the Board, Member must discuss the potential for the appearance of impartiality with the assigned staff liaison, who can as necessary raise the issue to the Pinellas County Attorney, designee, or liaison for guidance. The provisions of Chapter 112, Florida Statutes shall govern conflict of interest determinations.
- Remain vigilant against deviations from Pinellas County Board of County Commission policies that are applicable to the Board to which they are appointed, as well as the by-laws, policies and mission statements (if applicable) of the Board. Concerns about such deviations should be brought to the attention of the assigned staff liaison.
The Florida Code of Ethics shall determine any question relating to violations of Chapter 112, part III, Florida Statutes.