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OM 17-35 Clifford, et al. v. North Smithfield Town Council Violation

Complainant alleged that 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). Consistent with Rhode Island Supreme Court precedent, we found that the agenda items "Adoption of 2017/2018 Budget" and "Method of Tax Collection," provided no indication that an amendment of the budget would be discussed, much less that a $100,000 contingency fund would be considered and voted on. Therefore, the Town Council violated the OMA. We instructed that the Town Council should reconsider and re-vote on the matter discussed at its July 17, 2017 meeting at a properly posted future meeting. See Tanner v. Town of East Greenwich, 880 A.2d 784, 802 (R.I. 2005) ("By scheduling, re-noticing, and re-voting on the challenged appointment, the town council, albeit belatedly, was acting in conformity with both the letter and spirit of the avowed purpose of the OMA to ensure that 'public business be performed in an open and public manner.'").

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