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Town of Cumberland, RI
Providence County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
No paid employee of the Town shall be eligible to hold any elective office in the Town; nor shall any elective official of the Town be eligible for appointment to or for the holding of any position as a paid employee of the Town while serving as such elective official or for one (1) year following the expiration of the term for which he or she shall have been elected. For purposes of this section, paid employees of the School Department shall be deemed to be paid employees of the Town.
[Ref. of 11-7-1995]
The public shall be entitled to access to all records and proceedings of the Town government, including but not limited to those of the Town Council, boards and commissions, departments and offices, as the same are defined and set forth in State Law pertaining to open records, Title 38, Chapter 2. The types of records to which the public is entitled to access and the times, places and conditions under which such access shall be made available shall be as provided in said Title 38, Chapter 2, and as the same may be amended from time to time.
[Ref. of 11-7-1995; Ref. of 11-5-2002]
There shall be maintained an up to date compilation of the ordinances of the Town. Periodic revisions shall be prepared under the supervision of the Town Clerk, but the Council may authorize the Town Clerk to contract for the services of persons or organizations experienced in the revision and codification of ordinances and statutes. Such revisions shall be prepared sufficiently frequently that they contain the text of newly enacted or revised ordinances no later than one year following enactment or revision. At least once every ten years the Town Council shall conduct a review of the town ordinances to determine those that are still applicable and necessary with the first review being completed by January 1, 2004.
[Ref. of 11-7-1995]
All elected and appointed officials of the Town, as the same are defined in State law, shall be subject to and comply with, the code of ethics legislation of the State as set forth in Title 36, Chapter 14, and in the regulations, rules and opinions promulgated by the Rhode Island Ethics Commission from time to time.
[Ref. of 11-7-1995; Ref. of 11-5-2002]
This Charter may be amended at any time, or a new Charter adopted in the manner provided by the State constitution. Within each ten (10) year period commencing with November 1, 1985, the Town Council shall appoint a Charter Review Commission consisting of nine (9) members, the members of which to be chosen in the following manner: one member shall be appointed by each of the seven members of the Town Council, one member shall be appointed by the Mayor, and one member appointed by the School Committee. No appointee to the Commission shall be a current official of the Town of Cumberland. Each such Charter Review Commission shall review the Charter as it then exists and propose to the Council such amendments, if any, which it deems necessary and advisable at which time the commission's term ends.
All fees, penalties and payments collected by Town officials or agencies in their official capacities shall be deposited in the general funds of the Town, and the compensation paid to each official shall be in lieu of all fees, penalties and payments payable to such official in the performance of his or her duties.
[Ref. of 11-7-1995]
Prior to the close of each fiscal year, the Town Council shall retain the services of one or more independent certified public accountants holding a certificate from the state of Rhode Island, or from any other state with whom the State has a reciprocal relationship, to make a detailed post audit of the financial records of the Town for the preceding fiscal year in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards, and in compliance with applicable provisions of State Law. The report of the audit when presented to the Town shall be a public record, duplicate copies of which shall be filed with the State Director of Administration and with the State Auditor General.
Every officer of the Town shall, before entering upon the duties of his or her office, take and subscribe to the following oath of office or affirmation, to be filed and kept in the office of the Town Clerk: "I solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the constitution and obey the laws of the United States of America and the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations; that I will in all respects observe the provisions of the Charter and ordinances of the Town of Cumberland and will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of . . ."
[Ref. of 11-7-1995; Ref. of 11-5-2002]
A. 
Any person shall be disqualified as a candidate for elective or appointive office in the Town, or from holding such office, if such elector has been convicted of or plead nolo contendere to a felony or if such elector has been convicted of or plead nolo contendere to a misdemeanor resulting in a jail sentence of six months or more, either suspended or to be served. Such elector shall not, once so convicted, attain or return to any office until three years after the date of completion of such sentence and of probation or parole. Any official of the Town convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude or malfeasance or misfeasance in office shall, upon the exhausting of any appeal from said conviction, be deemed to have vacated his or her office.
B. 
In the event any elected official of the Town is charged with or indicted for a felony, said official shall be immediately suspended from office. Any official suspended from office pursuant hereto shall be considered unable to perform his or her duties pursuant to Section 304.
If any section or part of a section of this Charter shall be held invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such holding shall not affect the remainder of this Charter nor the context in which such section or part of section so held invalid may appear, except to the extent that an entire section or part of section may be inseparably connected in meaning and effect with the section or part of section to which such holding shall directly apply; and if any section or part of section concerned with election procedures shall be held invalid by such court, the pertinent election procedures set forth in the law of the State of Rhode Island shall apply.
The electors of the Town may propose ordinances subject to referendum in the following manner:
A. 
Any elector of the Town may circulate a petition for the holding of a referendum on any ordinance proposed by said elector. Said petition must contain the valid signatures of at least four (4) percent of the electors registered in the Town as of the last general election for council candidates.
B. 
The petition must be filed with the Town Clerk who shall transmit said petition to the Canvassing Authority which shall verify the signatures thereon. If the petition shall be certified by the Canvassers to contain the valid signatures of at least four (4) percent of the electors registered in the Town as of the last general election for council candidates, it shall be returned to the Town Clerk.
C. 
Upon receipt of such certification from the Canvassing Authority, the Town Clerk shall provide for such proposal to be placed on the ballot at the next general election for council candidates held in the Town.
D. 
Voter initiative laws which are approved by the voters shall not be subject to a veto by the Mayor.
E. 
The Town Council shall be prohibited from taking any action to amend or repeal any ordinance passed through voter initiative for a period of at least one year from the date of its approval by the voters.
[Ref. of 11-7-1995; amended 11-6-2018]
The following shall apply to all Town Boards, Committees and Commissions with the exception of the Board of Canvassers and the School Committee:
A. 
The office of the member of any Board, Committee or Commission shall be deemed to have been vacated if said member:
1. 
Shall cease to be a resident of the Town or to fulfill some other qualification required of persons holding that office;
2. 
Shall be removed by vote of a majority of all the members of the council following a public hearing;
3. 
Shall have been absent from four (4) consecutive meetings as provided in Section 407, subsection (I) of this Charter.
B. 
All such bodies must meet at least twice each calendar year and submit minutes and an annual report to the Mayor and Council.
[Ref. of 11-7-1995; Ref. of 11-2-2010]
Whenever a new building or an addition to an existing building, or any new public facility, including buildings and facilities for the School Department, is to be constructed in the Town or elsewhere for the Town, at a planned cost of more than two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250,000.00), a building committee shall be appointed which shall have the responsibility of planning and supervising the construction thereof. In addition to new buildings or public facilities or additions thereto, a building committee shall also be appointed where renovations to existing buildings, public facilities or grounds shall be in excess of the above amount. Any committee so formed shall have said responsibilities whether or not the project consists of one (1) phase or more than one (1) phase.
The Director of Public Works or his or her designee, and the Director of the Town Department for which the building or facility is to be constructed or his or her designee, shall be members of any such committee ex officio. In addition, the Mayor shall appoint two members, and the council shall appoint two members of such committee, with preference given to the appointment of persons with engineering training and/or experience in construction management. If the building or facility to be constructed is for the use of the School Department, the School Committee shall appoint one of its members to the committee who shall, together with the Superintendent of Schools or his or her designee, represent the School Department. Any such building committee shall assume its duties immediately after the appropriation or acquisition of funds for the preliminary planning of the building or facility, and shall continue in office during its construction and until its formal acceptance by the Town, or until discharged by the council.
[Ref. of 11-7-1995]
The Town Council, School Committee, and all Town departments, agencies, commissions, committees, boards and council, and all subdivisions thereof, shall conduct all business in accordance with the provisions of the open meetings legislation of the State, Title 42, Chapter 46, and as the same may be amended from time to time. Pursuant to said legislation, the public shall have the right to attend all meetings of such Town public bodies, subject only to the limitations specifically allowed by law.