By Lynn Tipton
Florida League of Cities

The latest edition of the Florida Municipal Officials Manual from the Florida League of Cities (FLC) features updates to every chapter.

The book has been a valuable resource for elected officials and municipal staff since its first edition. Some cities provide this book to candidates seeking office, volunteers on advisory boards and city staff, as it is one of the only Florida-specific books on municipal government and governance.

The Florida Municipal Officials Manual was initially published in the 1970s by the FLC and an author from the University of West Florida. The manual has been regularly updated and taken from a three-ring notebook to a paperback book, back to a three-ring notebook, again to a paperback book and then to a digital book. The League mailed a three-ring binder version to each city in October, and the manual lives digitally on the FLC website.

Two sections, in particular, were substantially revised:

Chapter 7 – Municipal Finance and Budgeting. Through the guidance of one of their past presidents, a Florida Government Finance Officers Association (FGFOA) committee worked for several months to update and revise this chapter.  They added public finance, audit, budgeting and other topics and structured the chapter to be more user-friendly. The goal was to help elected officials see the larger fiscal responsibility in clear categories while providing specific information that municipal staff can use, especially for new hires within finance, accounting and budget offices. Robert Inzer, an FGFOA past President and retired local government finance professional, guided the committee’s work and helped edit the chapter. The League leadership greatly appreciates his time and energy on this revision.

Chapter 8 – Growth Management. The League leadership appreciates the assistance and expertise of Gene Boles, Project Coordinator for the Center for Building Better Communities at the University of Florida, for undertaking updates to this chapter. Land use and growth management laws in Florida have been amended since the last book revision, and improvements were made to procedures used by cities and counties. This update should also prove helpful to elected officials, municipal staff and community volunteers who serve on local planning advisory boards and committees.

Lynn Tipton is the Director of the FLC University at the Florida League of Cities.