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OM 18-01 Caldwell v. East Greenwich Town Council / McNamara v. East Greenwich Town Council - Violation

Complainants alleged that the Town Council violated the OMA when a rolling quorum occurred outside the public purview and when an agenda item on the Town Council's July 17, 2017 meeting failed to sufficiently specify "the nature of the business to be discussed." R.I. Gen. Laws 42-46-6(b). With respect to the rolling quorum allegation, the Town Council submitted uncontroverted evidence in affidavit form that none of the Town Council members discussed or were told the thoughts, actions, or opinions of any other members of the Town Council. With no evidence of a "collective discussion," we did not find a rolling quorum and, consequently, did not find an OMA violation. With respect to the notice allegation, consistent with Rhode Island Supreme Court precedent, we found that the agenda item "Town Manager's Report" provided no indication that collective bargaining agreements would be discussed. Therefore, the Town Council violated the OMA. However, we did not find evidence of a willful or knowing violation and no action was taken under this agenda item.

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