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The Florida Senate

2005 Florida Statutes

Section 243.21, Florida Statutes 2005

243.21  Creation of educational facilities authorities.--

(1)  In each county there is hereby created a public body corporate and politic to be known as the "_____ County Educational Facilities Authority." Each of said authorities is constituted as a public instrumentality and the exercise by an authority of the powers conferred by this part shall be deemed and held to be the performance of an essential public function. Each of said authorities shall not transact any business or exercise any power hereunder until and unless the commission by proper ordinance or resolution shall declare that there is a need for an authority to function in such county. The determination as to whether there is such need for an authority to function:

(a)  May be made by the commission on its own motion, or

(b)  Shall be made by the commission upon filing of a petition signed by 25 residents of the county asserting that there is need for an authority to function in such county and requesting that the commission so declare.

(2)  The commission may adopt the ordinance or resolution declaring that there is need for an educational facilities authority in the county if it shall find that the youth of the county do not have the fullest opportunity to learn and to develop their intellectual and mental capacities because there is a shortage of educational facilities or projects at the institutions for higher education located within the county.

(3)  In any suit, action, or proceeding involving the validity or enforcement of or relating to any contract of the authority, the authority shall be conclusively deemed to have been established and authorized to transact business and exercise its powers hereunder upon proof of the adoption of an ordinance or resolution by the commission declaring the need for the authority. Such ordinance or resolution shall be sufficient if it declares that there is such a need for an authority in the county. A copy of such ordinance or resolution duly certified by the clerk shall be admissible in evidence in any suit, action or proceeding.

(4)  The aforementioned ordinance or resolution shall designate not less than five persons as members of the authority created for said county. One of such members shall be a trustee, director, officer, or employee of an institution for higher education if there be such an institution located in such county. Of the members first appointed, one shall serve for 1 year, one for 2 years, one for 3 years, one for 4 years, and the remainder for 5 years, and in each case until his or her successor is appointed and has qualified. Thereafter, the commission shall appoint for terms of 5 years each a member or members to succeed those whose terms expire. The commission shall fill any vacancy for an unexpired term. A member of the authority shall be eligible for reappointment. Any member of the authority may be removed by the commission for misfeasance, malfeasance, or willful neglect of duty. Each member of the authority before entering upon his or her duties shall take and subscribe the oath or affirmation required by the State Constitution. A record of each such oath shall be filed in the office of the Department of State and with the clerk.

(5)  The authority shall annually elect one of its members as chair and one as vice chair, and shall also appoint an executive director who shall not be a member of the authority and who shall serve at the pleasure of the authority and receive such compensation as shall be fixed by the authority.

(6)  The executive director shall keep a record of the proceedings of the authority and shall be custodian of all books, documents and papers filed with the authority and of the minute book or journal of the authority and of its official seal. He or she may cause copies to be made of all minutes and other records and documents of the authority and may give certificates under the official seal of the authority to the effect that such copies are true copies, and all persons dealing with the authority may rely upon such certificates.

(7)  A majority of the members of the authority shall constitute a quorum, and the affirmative vote of a majority of the members present at a meeting of the authority shall be necessary for any action taken by an authority; provided, however, any action may be taken by an authority with the unanimous consent of all of the members of an authority. No vacancy in the membership of the authority shall impair the right of a quorum to exercise all the rights and perform all the duties of the authority. Any action taken by the authority under the provisions of this part may be authorized by resolution at any regular or special meeting, and each such resolution shall take effect immediately and need not be published or posted.

(8)  The members of the authority shall receive no compensation for the performance of their duties hereunder but each such member shall be paid his or her necessary expenses incurred while engaged in the performance of such duties.

(9)  Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, it shall not be or constitute a conflict of interest for a trustee, director, officer, or employee of an institution for higher education to serve as a member of the authority.

History.--s. 4, ch. 69-345; ss. 10, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 4, ch. 86-214; s. 84, ch. 95-148.