The Florida Times – Union
June 12, 2019
The Downtown Investment Authority needs to put names with the scoring sheets that members used to justify the selection of Lori Boyer as its CEO.
Two prominent legal experts — city Ethics Director Carla Miller and Barbara Petersen of the First Amendment Foundation in Tallahassee — said secret ballots violate Florida law, reported David Bauerlein in the Times-Union.
Brian Hughes, the DIA’s interim CEO, said the actual vote was conducted by voice vote, not by secret ballot. But whether the anonymous scoring sheets were a technical violation of the law is less important than this simple fact: they violated the transparent spirit of Florida’s Sunshine Law.
And it’s important to put names to the scoring sheets because the final vote was a razor-thin one between Boyer and runner-up Greg Flisram of Kansas City. Though Boyer and Flisram each received three first-place votes, one member gave Boyer an exceptionally high score that effectively gave her the tiny decisive edge.
Let’s be clear: Boyer was an outstanding City Council member who pushed through reforms that will benefit Downtown for years. She will be an excellent CEO of the DIA.
But Florida law is not designed to create mysteries when it comes to votes on public matters.