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ADV OM 18-04 In Re: Boone Lake Dam Management District

The Boone Lake Dam Management District ("District") sought an OMA advisory opinion concerning whether the District is a "public body" subject to the OMA. 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 looked to the District's enabling statute. The statute indicated, inter alia, that District members were granted the same indemnity afforded to public and elected officials. Additionally, the statute afforded the District a broad scope of authority, including the power to tax. On balance, we found that the significant scope of authority delegated to the District and the quintessentially governmental nature of the public business the District performs compelled the inclusion of the District within the "public body" ambit of the OMA.

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