§ 42-64.14-6. The I-195 redevelopment district commission.
(a) The powers of the district to achieve the purposes of this chapter shall be exercised by a commission as herein provided:
The I-195 redevelopment district commission shall consist of seven (7) voting members. The governor of the State of Rhode Island shall appoint, with the advice and consent of the senate, the seven (7) voting members of the commission.
The mayor of the city of Providence shall, within thirty (30) days of passage of this act, submit to the governor a list of names of at least six (6) individuals that the governor shall give due consideration to appointing three (3) individuals from the list. The speaker of the house of representatives shall, within thirty (30) days of passage of this act, submit to the governor a list of names of three (3) individuals of which the governor shall give due consideration to appointing one individual from the list. The governor shall also appoint three (3) individuals without regard to the lists submitted by the mayor of the city of Providence or the speaker of the house of representatives and the governor shall designate one of the members to serve as chairperson of the commission. The governor shall, within forty (40) days of passage of this act, submit to the senate for advice and consent the initial list of individuals for appointment to the commission including any individuals appointed by the governor from the lists presented by the mayor of the city of Providence and the speaker of the house of representatives within the time limits set forth in this subsection.
Three (3) members shall be appointed for a term of two (2) years; three (3) members shall be appointed for a term of three (3) years; and one member, who shall be the chair, shall be appointed for a term of four (4) years. Appointments made thereafter shall be for four-year (4) terms. Any vacancy occurring in the commission shall be filled by the governor of the State of Rhode Island in the same manner prescribed for the original appointments, including those seats by recommendation of the mayor of the city of Providence and the speaker of the house of representatives being selected from a similar prepared list from those parties. A member appointed to fill a vacancy of a director appointed by the governor of the State of Rhode Island shall be appointed for the unexpired portion of the term of office of the member whose vacancy is to be filled. Members of the commission whose terms expire shall continue to serve until their successors are appointed and qualified.
In addition to these voting members, there shall be two (2) ex officio, non-voting members as follows: the city of Providence planning director, or his or her designee, and the chief executive officer of the Rhode Island commerce corporation, or his or her designee.
(b) The commissioners shall receive no compensation for the performance of their duties under this chapter, but each commissioner may be reimbursed for his or her reasonable expenses incurred in carrying out those duties, however said reimbursement must be approved at a public meeting of the commission. A commissioner may engage in private employment, or in a profession or business.
(c) The chairperson shall designate a vice chairperson from the commission who shall serve at the pleasure of the chairperson. Four (4) voting commissioners shall constitute a quorum, and any action to be taken by the commission under the provisions of this chapter may be authorized by resolution approved by a majority of the commissioners present and entitled to vote at any regular or special meeting at which a quorum is present. A vacancy in the membership of the commission shall not impair the right of a quorum to exercise all of the rights and perform all of the duties of the commission. Notwithstanding anything in this chapter to the contrary, in the event that a vacancy is not filled within thirty (30) days of such vacancy, a quorum shall be deemed to exist with a majority of the then duly authorized voting commissioners present.
(d) The commission shall appoint a secretary and such additional officers and staff members as they shall deem appropriate and shall determine the amount of reasonable compensation, if any, each shall receive. The chair shall appoint the executive director with the approval of the commission provided that the position of the executive director must be advertised and the appointment must be approved at a public meeting of the commission. The commission may vest in an executive director or the director's subordinates the authority to recommend additional staff members and to determine the amount of compensation each individual shall receive, which shall then be approved by the commission at a public meeting.
(e) No full-time employee shall during the period of his or her employment by the commission engage in any other private employment, profession, or business, except with the approval of the commissioners.
(f) Any action taken by the commission under the provisions of this chapter may be authorized by vote at any regular or special meeting, and each vote shall take effect immediately, unless otherwise expressly indicated by the commission.
(g) Employees of the commission shall not, by reason of their employment, be deemed to be employees of the state or the city for any purpose, any other provision of the general laws, charter, or ordinance to the contrary notwithstanding, except for the provisions of the ethics code as set forth in chapter 14 of title 36. Further, no employee of the commission shall be entitled to or accrue pension benefits with the city of Providence or state during such employment.
(h) It shall be the responsibility of the commission to conduct a training course for newly appointed and qualified members within six (6) months of their qualification. The training shall encompass ethics, including the minimum applicable standards established in the code of ethics as set forth in chapter 14 of title 36 ("code of ethics").
(i) The commission shall be subject to the provisions of the open meetings act contained in chapter 46 of title 42 ("open meetings"); provided, however, weekends and state holidays shall be excluded in the count of hours contained in §§ 42-46-6(b) and 42-46-6(c). Every meeting of the commission shall be open unless it is closed pursuant to the exemptions as set forth in § 42-46-5, with the following exceptions:
(1) For purposes of determining what constitutes a compliant closed or executive session, the provisions as set forth in § 42-46-5(a)(5) shall not apply to the commission. However, an additional exemption to those provided for in § 42-46-5, allowing for a closed or executive session, shall apply to the commission in accordance with subsection (i)(2) of this section.
(2) To consider the purchase, exchange, lease, or value of real property if the commission declares in open session that an open meeting would have a detrimental effect on the negotiating position of the commission with other parties to the negotiation; provided, however, any vote taken in a closed session under this subsection, and any minutes of a closed session taken under this subsection, shall be made public once the disclosure would no longer jeopardize the commission's negotiating position.
(j) In every case where the commission holds a closed or executive session, an audio recording of the closed session shall be made. The audio recording shall be kept as minutes in accordance with § 42-46-7.
(k) The commission shall be subject to the provisions set forth in chapter 2 of title 38 ("access to public records").
(P.L. 2011, ch. 245, § 3; P.L. 2011, ch. 267, § 3; P.L. 2017, ch. 134, § 1; P.L. 2017, ch. 151, § 1.)