RI attorney general cites Charlestown for violation of open meeting act over written balloti


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CHARLESTOWN, Rhode Island — Attorney General Peter Kilmartin's office says the Charlestown Planning Commission violated the Rhode Island Open Meeting Act by writing the name of a consultant in what he called a secret ballot.

The commission issued an advisory opinion to the Town Council in May for hiring a consultant to help rewrite the town's comprehensive plan.

The Westerly Sun reports (http://bit.ly/1sOJmoh ) that the attorney general's office, responding to a citizens' complaint, said the commission took an "undisputed secret ballot vote."

Kilmartin's office also said the Planning Commission violated the meetings law when its minutes failed to include a record by individual members of votes regarding the decision.

Planning Commission Chairwoman Ruth Platner said commission members did not vote. And Town Solicitor Peter Ruggiero called the action a "paper poll" to determine consensus.

Information from: The Westerly Sun, http://www.thewesterlysun.com

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