The Florida Times-Union by David Bauerlein
June 6, 2019
The Downtown Investment Authority board violated the state’s Sunshine Law when board members anonymously turned in evaluations that were used to select a new CEO, according to two lawyers who are experts in public meetings law.
Secret ballots violate the Sunshine Law, said Barbara Petersen, president of the First Amendment Foundation, a nonprofit group based in Tallahassee.
Carla Miller, director of the Jacksonville Ethics Commission, said the Sunshine Law “prohibits anonymous votes/scoring.”
The DIA board, which vets economic development deals that sometimes involve tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer incentives, used scoring sheets filled out by board members at a May 15 meeting to rank three finalists for the post of CEO. The tabulation of the scores from the board members resulted in the board picking City Council member Lori Boyer as the next CEO.
The board members did not put their names on those scoring sheets, however, so it’s impossible to tell how each board member scored the finalists in a tight contest between Boyer and Greg Flisram, a senior vice president for the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City.