ARTICLE XI. LOBBYIST REGULATIONS.
Section 2-230. Definitions.
(A) The following terms, when used in the Article, shall have the meaning ascribed to them in this Article, unless the context indicates otherwise:
1. “Contractor” means any person or entity having a contract with the City of Dania Beach, Florida (the “City”).
2. “Covered Individual” means (i) any member of the City Commission of the City; (ii) any member of a final decision-making body under the jurisdiction of the City Commission; (iii) any individual directly appointed to a City employment position by the City Commission; (iv) any individual serving on a contractual basis as the City’s chief legal counsel (i.e., City Attorney) or chief administrative officer (i.e., City Manager), when such individual is acting in his or her official capacity; (v) any member of a selection, evaluation, or procurement committee of the City that ranks or makes recommendations to any final decision-making authority regarding a City procurement; (vi) any employee, official, or member of a committee of the City that has authority to make a final decision regarding a public procurement; and (vii) the head of any department, division, or office of the City government who makes final recommendations to a final decision-making authority of the City regarding items that will be decided by the final decision-making authority of the City.
3. “Elected Official” means any member of the City Commission of the City.
4. “Filed for Public Inspection” means that a lobbyist registration form is completed legibly and is filed with the City Clerk, with a copy of the form or all information contained on it placed into the City’s governmental database, which database shall be searchable by internet.
5. “Final Decision-Making Authority” means (i) the City Commission; (ii) the Mayor; (iii) final decision-making bodies under the jurisdiction of the City Commission; (iv) any employee, official, or committee of the City who or which has authority to make a final decision to select a vendor or provider in connection with a public procurement by the City; and (v) any other quasi-judicial boards, appointed boards, and commissions of the City.
6. “Lobbying” or “Lobbying Activities” means a communication, by any means, from a lobbyist to a covered individual regarding any item that will foreseeably be decided by a final decision-making authority, which communication seeks to influence, convince, or persuade the covered individual to support or oppose the item. Lobbying does not include communications:
a. Made on the record at a duly-noticed public meeting or hearing; or
b. From an attorney to an attorney representing the City regarding a pending or imminent judicial or adversarial administrative proceeding against the City.
7. “Lobbyist” means a person who is retained, with or without compensation, for the purpose of lobbying, or a person who is employed by another person or entity, on a full-time or part-time basis, principally to lobby on behalf of that other person or entity. “Lobbyist” does not include a person who is:
a. An elected official, employee, or appointee of Broward County or of any municipality within Broward County communicating in his or her official capacity.
b. An individual who communicates on his or her own behalf, or on behalf of a person or entity employing the individual on a full-time or part-time basis, unless the individual is principally employed by that person or entity to lobby.
c. Any employee, officer, or board member of a homeowners' association, condominium association, or neighborhood association when addressing, in his or her capacity as an employee, officer, or board member of such association, an issue impacting the association or its members; or
d. Any employee, an officer, or a board member of a nonprofit public interest entity (e.g., Sierra Club, NAACP, ACLU) when addressing an issue impacting a constituent of that entity.
(B) All operative words or terms used in this Article not defined in this Ordinance shall be as defined, in order of priority in the event of inconsistency, by Part III of Florida Statutes Chapter 112, the Broward County Code of Ordinances, and the Broward County Administrative Code.
Section 2-231. Lobbyist Registration.
(A) Prior to engaging in any lobbying activities, whether or not compensation is paid or received in connection with those activities, each lobbyist shall:
(1) File with the City Clerk, in a form prescribed by the City Clerk, an annual registration statement under oath containing the following information:
a. The lobbyist's full name, residence address, business name, business address, email address, and nature of business.
b. The full name and address of all persons on whose behalf the lobbyist will be lobbying. If, after filing the registration statement, the lobbyist intends to lobby on behalf of any person(s) not listed on the registration statement, the lobbyist shall, prior to engaging in any lobbying activities on behalf of such unlisted person(s), file an amendment to the registration statement in a form prescribed by the City Clerk, containing all the information required in the annual registration statement.
c. The general and specific subject matters which the lobbyist seeks to influence.
d. The extent of any direct business association by the lobbyist with any current elected or appointed official or employee of City. For the purposes of this Article, the term "direct business association" shall mean any mutual endeavor undertaken for profit or compensation.
e. A lobbyist representing a group, association, or organization shall, prior to engaging in lobbying, receive appropriate authorization from such group, association, or organization to lobby on its behalf upon a particular subject matter. A copy of the applicable minutes, motion, or other written documentation of the action providing such authorization shall be attached to the registration statement.
f. A lobbyist representing a principal or employer shall file a copy of a written statement of the principal or employer confirming authorization to lobby for the principal or employer.
(2) Pay to the Finance Department an annual Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00) as the registration fee for each principal or employer, identified on an annual or amended registration statement, on whose behalf he or she intends to lobby, whether he or she was retained directly by the principal or employer or by another Lobbyist retained by the principal or employer. The registration fees required by this Section shall be expended by the City Clerk’s Office solely for the purpose of defraying the administrative costs of implementing, monitoring, and otherwise ensuring compliance with this Section. A lobbyist, who is lobbying as a volunteer for a non-profit organization, without any compensation, is not required to pay a registration fee in connection with those uncompensated lobbying activities, but shall be required to register.
(B) A lobbyist is required to promptly amend any filed registration statement if any information in the statement changes.
(C) Registration statements shall cover the time period of January 1 of a given year through December 31 of the same year. Registration fees paid under (A)(2) above cover lobbying activities during the effective period of the registration statement. A new registration statement shall be filed, and all required fees shall be paid, prior to engaging in any lobbying activities after expiration of a previously-filed registration statement.
(D) Disclosure Statement Required.
(1) On or before January 15 of each year, each lobbyist shall submit to the City Clerk's Office, in a form prescribed by the City Clerk, a signed statement under oath, disclosing all lobbying expenditures, and the sources from which funds for making such expenditures have come. The statement shall provide such information with respect to all lobbying activities undertaken from January 1 of the prior year through December 31 of that year. Lobbying expenditures shall not include personal expenses for lodging, meals, and travel; provided however, that any such expenses and any other costs incurred solely in connection with lobbying activities must be submitted. A statement shall be filed even if there have been no expenditures during a reported period. A public official acting in his or her official capacity shall not be required to file the statement required by this subsection.
(2) The City Clerk shall provide for a procedure by which a lobbyist who fails to timely file a disclosure statement shall be notified and assessed fines. The procedure shall provide for the following:
a. Upon determining that the statement is late, the person designated to review the timeliness of the statement shall promptly notify the lobbyist as to the failure to timely file the statement and that a fine is being assessed for each late day. The fine shall be Fifty Dollars ($50.00) per day for each late day.
b. Upon receipt of the late-filed statement, the person designated to review the timeliness of the statement shall determine the amount of the fine due.
c. Such fine shall be paid within twenty (20) days after receipt of the notice of payment due, unless timely appeal is made to the City Commission.
d. A fine shall not be assessed against a lobbyist the first time any statement for which the lobbyist is responsible is not timely filed, provided all statements for which the lobbyist is responsible are filed within twenty (20) days after receipt of notice that any statements have not been timely filed. A fine shall be assessed for any subsequent late-filed statement.
e. Any lobbyist may appeal a fine, based upon unusual circumstances surrounding the failure to file by the designated due date, and may request and shall be entitled to a hearing before the City Commission, which shall have the authority to waive the fine in whole or in part for good cause shown. To be entitled to such appeal, the lobbyist must, within twenty (20) days after receipt of the notice of payment due, deliver a letter requesting a hearing to the person designated to review the timeliness of statements.
(E) List of Current Lobbyists. The City Clerk’s Office shall keep a current list of registered lobbyists and their respective statements required under this Article, all of which shall be open for public inspection. The City Clerk shall routinely provide a copy of the lobbyist registration list to City Commission members.
(F) Partial Year Filing Required. Discontinuance of lobbying activities during a year shall not relieve the lobbyist of the requirement to file the statement required by subsection (D)(1) above for that portion of the year during which the lobbyist was engaged in lobbying activities.
Section 2-232. Reporting of Lobbying Activities.
(A) To promote full and complete transparency, lobbyists who lobby a City Commissioner must, contemporaneously with the lobbying activity or as soon thereafter as is practicable (but in any event within three (3) business days after the lobbying activity occurs), complete an on-line contact log for public viewing, which contains the following information:
(1) The lobbyist's name;
(2) The name of the person or entity by which the lobbyist is employed;
(3) The name of the person or entity for whom or for which the lobbyist is lobbying;
(4) The name of each City Commissioner lobbied by the lobbyist;
(5) The name of each person attending or participating in any portion of the meeting or communication during which the lobbying activity occurred;
(6) The date and time of the meeting or other communication during which the lobbying activity occurred;
(7) The location of the meeting and mode of communication, as applicable (e.g., in person, by telephone, by email exchange; and
(8) The specific subject matter discussed in such meeting or communication.
Section 2-233. Penalties; Enforcement.
(A) The City Clerk, or designee, shall be informed of any person engaged in lobbying activities who has failed to comply with the provisions of Section 2-231, and, in each such instance, shall conduct such investigation as he, she, or they shall deem necessary under the circumstances. The results of each investigation shall be reported to the City Commission.
(B) The Commission shall warn, reprimand, suspend, or prohibit the violator from appearing on behalf of any person before the City Commission or any decision-making body under the jurisdiction of the City Commission or from otherwise lobbying the City for any person in any fashion for a period of time; provided, however, that any suspension or prohibition may not exceed a period of two (2) years, and any of such sanctions shall not be imposed unless the lobbyist (or the principal or employer of the lobbyist, as applicable) allegedly in violation has been afforded reasonable notice and an opportunity to be heard. The penalties provided in this Section shall be the exclusive penalties imposed for violations of Section 2-231, except as provided in Section 2-231(D). Further, the intentional failure or refusal of any lobbyist to comply with any order of the City Commission suspending or prohibiting the lobbyist from lobbying shall be punishable as provided by law and shall otherwise be subject to such civil remedies as the City may pursue, including injunctive relief.
(C) The validity of any action taken by the City Commission, City employees, or any decision-making body under the jurisdiction of the City Commission, shall not be affected by the failure of any person to comply with the provisions of this Article.
(D) In addition to all other penalties in this Section, a principal or employer who has retained a lobbyist(s) to lobby in connection with a competitive solicitation shall be deemed non-responsive unless the principal or employer, in responding to the competitive solicitation, certifies that each lobbyist retained has timely filed the registration or amended registration required under Section 2-233. If, after awarding a contract in connection with the solicitation, the City learns that the certification was erroneous, and upon investigation determines that the error was willful or intentional on the part of the principal or employer, the City may, on that basis, exercise any contractual right to terminate the contract for convenience.
(E) Except where a specific penalty or sanction is otherwise provided for above in this Article XI, this Article XI shall be subject to enforcement under the Local Government Code Enforcement Act, Chapter 162, F.S., as amended, and Section 1-8 of the City Code, as amended. Enforcement may also be by suit for declaratory, injunctive or other appropriate relief in a court of competent jurisdiction. The City expressly reserves its right, power and authority to act as the civil or administrative agency having jurisdiction concerning an alleged violation of this Article XI, and this reservation shall serve to fully preserve City’s investigative and enforcement authority.
Section 2-234. Certain County Code Amendments.
In the event that the County Code is subsequently amended to require a disclosure log of lobbyist meetings, or communications with other covered individuals of the City, or both, as that term “covered individuals” is defined in this Article, beyond that which is required by Section 2-232(A), the provisions of Section 2-232 shall be deemed to be amended accordingly so as to include those additional disclosure log requirements as to other covered individuals of the City.
PASSED AND ADOPTED on August 14, 2012.
AMENDED PURSUANT TO ORDINANCE #2019-019
PASSED AND ADOPTED on November 12, 2019.