Message from the Chair


To my fellow Local Government Attorneys,

It is with tremendous pride and humility that I begin my year as the Chair of the City, County and Local Government Law Section of The Florida Bar. My name is Pete Sweeney and I am honored and humbled to serve as the 2024-2025 Chair for this incredible and dynamic membership of lawyers who represent the many cities, counties and other local government agencies throughout the great state of Florida. I would like to seize this moment to extend heartfelt gratitude to Tammi E. Bach, our Immediate Past Chair (2023-2024), as well as to the Executive Council, committee chairs, members, and Bar staff, whose contributions have been indispensable to the Section’s current success. I would be remiss in failing to acknowledge each of them for the dedication and hard work they have put in and giving me this tremendous opportunity to continue that success.

I know first-hand how vital our Section and our members are to the everyday lives of the people of this state. We are the frontline of the legal system for so many things that make our incredible government work. From working on planning, growth and development matters to assisting first responders and emergency personnel during times of crisis to assuring the orderly daily operation of normal government activities by assuring with compliance of the Public Records law and the Government in the Sunshine Act. These are but a few examples of the many ways that our members serve the public and it’s vital to remember that we all have the opportunity and the responsibility to serve to the best of our ability as local government attorneys.

With this backdrop, there is no question there are many new and continuing challenges that our Section faces every day. The 2024 Legislative Session has ended and many laws take effect on July 1, 2024. Whether these laws benefit, hurt or do not affect your agency, the key is that all of them will change the dynamic of what it means to practice local government law. And there’s no question that it will not stop any time soon. Several of the last legislative sessions have seen laws that have made tremendous impacts at that the local level. Even more, there are new proposed legislative efforts every year that could and, if passed, will significantly alter your practice at the local level. Beyond the possible new state-driven changes lies the ever-present contingencies of new cases from our local courts to our Florida appeals courts to the United States Supreme Court. There is truly never a boring day in the life of a local government lawyer.

In light of all of this, I see opportunity to continue to grow the Section and foster new prospects for progress and development for our membership. In this next year, I will endeavor to lead the Section with more CLE presentations, particularly with a focus on smaller, timely and issue-focused CLEs to provide guidance and information on all of the different areas of law within the purview of local government. I am excited to see more increased membership and participation at our in-person meetings with continued focus on networking so we can ask questions of our colleagues and get to know each other better. And I look forward to listening to all of you for your suggestions, insights and recommendations on how to make this Section even better, with the attention on you as the lifeblood of CCLGL and the most important reason for our Section to exist.

In closing, I am dedicated to giving my best effort and time to serve all of you. If you have any questions or thoughts on any aspect of local government law, I welcome your input and look forward to hearing from you on how to continue to make this Section the best Section of The Florida Bar. Thank you for you entrusting me with this leadership role for the 2024-2025 year for the City, County and Local Government Law Section. I am excited about the possibilities this year holds for our Section!

July 1, 2024


Peter Sweeney headshot
Peter J. Sweeney, 2024-2025 Chair