What were they thinking?
Letter to the Editor
Steve Rogers, who served as a councilman for the Town of Reddick for 37 years before resigning speaks during a town meeting about his concerns associated with increased financial disclosures required under Form 6. “Legislatures didn’t think this through,” Rogers told the “Gazette.” Seated next to Rogers is Marshall Roddy, mayor for McIntosh.
I am writing concerning Form 6, which has sent shock waves through municipal institutions and has resulted in numerous resignations. In Marion County, the Reddick mayor and all the town council members have resigned. There have also been multiple resignations from McIntosh and Dunnellon municipal offices.
Established by bill SB774 in the Republican controlled Florida Legislature, Form 6 requires burdensome financial disclosures from elected municipal officials. These officials make little or no money from these positions and are largely volunteering their time to provide a service to their communities.
The information required on Form 6 is incredibly intrusive and not what many individuals would be willing to disclose publicly, including net worth, and household assets with personal effects over $1,000. Liabilities over $1,000 must also be disclosed with creditor details and amounts owed.
I understand that a special election is being scheduled in April to fill the empty seats. But this election, spurred by Form 6 resignations, will cost Marion County a great deal of money. Then who would be willing to run for vacant municipal offices when they must disclose such detailed and personal financial information?
I am asking the recently reconvened Florida Legislature to help us restore some common sense to what our municipal public servants must disclose. Why not return to Form 1 which is what these individuals have been submitting, and allow municipal officials who have recently resigned to rescind their resignations. Otherwise, we will not have, nor be able to recruit, quality candidates to run our local governments.
Diana Williams, Chair
Marion County Democratic Party