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OM 18-03 Salvatore v. Town of Cumberland No Violation

The Complainant alleged that the Mayor's Advisory Council was a "public body" under the OMA and was meeting outside of the public purview. Based on Solas v. Emergency Hiring Council, 774 A.2d 820 (R.I. 2001) and Pontarelli v. Rhode Island Board Council on Elementary and Secondary Education, 151 A.3d 301 (R.I. 2016), we found that the Advisory Council is not a "public body" within the meaning of the OMA. We noted that the Advisory Council shares numerous key features with the CRC in Pontarelli: the Advisory Council is an "informal, strictly advisory committee"; there is no requirement that the Advisory Council meet pursuant to any set schedule or at any particular intervals; the Advisory Council was not created by executive order, cf. Solas, 774 A.2d at 825; and the Advisory Council's "sole function is to advise the [Mayor], who in turn has to make a recommendation to the council." These similarities with the CRC in Pontarelli conclusively place the Advisory Council outside of the OMA umbrella.

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