Meeting Reports - Find out who is meeting with whom and what they're meeting about.
We believe every action we take at our meetings is public business to be conducted in public view with full disclosure. That's why, in 1994, our Board of County Commissioners enacted our lobbying ordinance, which sets forth the rules, requirements, and restrictions that apply to lobbyists and others who may try from time to time to influence board actions and decisions.
Even if you are not a paid lobbyist, you must comply with the sign-in requirement of the ordinance.
Paid lobbyists, (or any person who tries to influence a board action) must follow Orange County's lobbying rules and requirements. Even if you are not a paid lobbyist, you must comply with the log-in requirement of the ordinance, so this website is for you, too.
The Orange County lobbying ordinance is found at Article X of Chapter 2 of the Orange County Code. You can obtain copies of the relevant code sections from the county attorney's office ( (407) 836-7320, ask for Maria Vargas) or from the public library. To read it on-line, go to Municode.
An amendment to the lobbying ordinance was approved by the Board of County Commissioners on July 8, 2008.
When a person communicates directly with the mayor or any county commissioner, whether orally, in writing, electronically, or otherwise, in an effort to get the board to approve or disapprove something such as an ordinance, resolution, contract, development permit, etc., that's lobbying. Even if a board member initiates the discussion, it is still lobbying. Even if the meeting happens off campus (at a golf course, restaurant, party, grocery store), it is still lobbying.
Trying to influence the decision-making of a constitutional officer such as the sheriff or the tax collector is NOT lobbying. Generally, talking to county staff does not constitute lobbying. However, if one talks to staff in such a way as to attempt to communicate indirectly with a county commissioner or with the mayor (for example, asking a member of the mayor's staff to urge him to vote a certain way on a pending board matter), that is lobbying.
Certainly, citizens can and do engage in lobbying when they visit members of the board, but unless they are being paid to do it, they are not "lobbyists."
As of September 1, 2008 a Specific Project Expenditure Report (SPR) tracking all lobbying expenditures for each project or item to come before the Board of County Commissioners (BCC or board) must be included in the agenda back up for each item or project.
County Attorney's Office
Phone: (407) 836-7320