City of Newport Charter Review – what you should know and do now!

The Charter of the City of Newport, Rhode Island, was approved by the voters on November 4, 1952.

Chapter III (Elections) became effective on such date. All other provisions became effective on November 1, 1953. Years appearing in parentheses indicate that the section was enacted, amended or repealed in the year indicated.

Official seal of Newport, Rhode Island
Official seal of Newport, Rhode Island (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The final reports of last two Charter Reviews were in 2002 and 2008.

Section 10-10. Charter Review

The Council shall provide for periodic review of this charter by appointing a Charter Review Commission no more than 10 years from the date of appointment of the most recent Charter Review Commission.


Read the City Charter.  <click here>

In addition to the link on the ALN website

It can be found on Charter Review Commission website – click on Boards and Commission on the upper left of the city’s home page or on Codified Ordinances just below that.

Meetings, agendas and minutes are posted on the Charter Commission website; meetings are also posted on the city calendar.  Comments at those meetings about the City Charter from members of the public are encouraged



Wednesday, November 6, 2013 Newport Public Library 5:30pm

Present: Sarah Atkins, Charles Y. Duncan, Isabel Griffith,William Kimes, Mary Ann Marin, and David P. Martland

Absent: Lauren Carson, Patrick K. Kelley and Terry Nathan

There being a quorum present the meeting was opened. Proceedings

Members of the Charter Review Commission (CRC) were sworn in by Kathleen M. Silvia, City Clerk.

The Members conveyed the first meeting of the CRC pursuant to the Resolution of the City Council No. 2013-106 dated June 26, 2013. Mayor Henry F. Winthrop addressed the CRC and suggested that members engage a discussion of any and all items within their purview and not shy away of “hot button” issues. The Mayor also indicated that the Resolution of the City Council would be amended to require the CRC to provide its recommendations to the City Council in April rather than February.

Election of Officers: Upon motion made and seconded, the CRM elected Isabel Griffin as Chair, Mary Ann Marin as Vice-Chair, and David P. Martland as Secretary.

The members determined that the CRC should meet twice a month on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month with the exception of January when the CRC would meet on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday. Upon motion made and seconded it was voted unanimously that the CRC would hold meetings on November 20th, December 4th, December 18th, January 8th, January 22nd, February 5th, February 19th, March 5th, and March 19th, convening at 5:30pm and allow for public input at the beginning of each meeting limiting each speaker to 3 minutes. The Chair indicated she would seek to obtain permission to hold the proposed meetings at the Newport Public Library.

The members determined that they would review the City Charter prior to the November 20th meeting, at which point members would select certain chapters for further review and study and seek to develop a list of topics to discuss. At the suggestion of CRC member William Kimes, Chair advised she would request that the CRC members be provided with a copy of the Model City Charter drafted by the National Civic League.

Upon motion made and seconded it was voted to adjourn. Submitted by Secretary, David P. Martland


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