Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns announced the election of Central Falls Mayor James A. Diossa as their new President at their 50th Annual Dinner recently. Mayor Diossa will succeed Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien in this role.

Mayor Grebien presided over the League for three years and was instrumental in welcoming the Town of Johnston to the organization, ensuring that all 39 Rhode Island municipalities are represented. He successfully worked with the Rhode Island General Assembly to secure victories for local communities and taxpayers. Grebien advocated for the passage of a $250 million school construction bond, actively opposed contract continuation that was ultimately vetoed by Gov. Gina Raimondo and supported state reimbursement for the car tax phase-out.

“Mayor Grebien’s strong leadership helped to usher the League into its 50th year and his work at the state and federal levels has secured important victories for local government,” said Brian Daniels, Executive Director of the League of Cities and Towns in a press release on Monday.

Founded in 1968, the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns is a municipal membership organization that serves as the unified voice of local government in Rhode Island.

“The League has played a critical role in standing up for Rhode Island cities and towns. I am honored to have led the organization for the past three years and look forward to remaining engaged under Mayor Diossa’s leadership,” said Mayor Grebien in a press release on Monday.

According the press release, Mayor James A. Diossa has been instrumental in revitalizing Central Falls, a city recently in state receivership, and has collaborated closely with Mayor Grebien in neighboring Pawtucket. The two mayors worked together to secure approximately $50 million in federal and state funds to create a 150-acre development district around a new train station proposed for the Pawtucket/Central Falls border. The project will expand economic development and job opportunities for both communities. Mayor Diossa will take over as League President immediately in order to continue the momentum begun by Mayor Grebien.

“I look forward to further engaging with the leaders of other cities and towns as the new League President. I’m excited to take on this important role in helping Rhode Island municipalities continue leading the state’s economic growth,” said Mayor Diossa.

“Mayor Diossa’s achievements in Central Falls have prepared him for this new role,” said Daniels. “His skills will help us reach our future goals, like expanding strategic planning, budgeting efficiently to encourage long term growth and increasing statewide awareness of the organization and the great work we do to ensure all Rhode Island communities are accurately represented.”

The newly elected Executive Board of Directors includes Vice Presidents:

  • Andrew Nota, Town Administrator in Jamestown
  • Charles Lombardi, Mayor of North Providence
  • Mark Stankiewicz, Town Administrator in Charlestown 

Other members include:

  • Lisa Baldelli-Hunt, Mayor of Woonsocket
  • James Manni, Town Manager of Narragansett
  • Shawn Brown, Town Administrator of Bristol
  • Robert Mushen, Council President of Little Compton
  • Steven Contente, Town Administrator of Bristol
  • Jeanne-Marie Napolitano, Council Member in Newport
  • James Cunha, Town Manager in Barrington
  • Karen Pinch, Town Administrator in Richmond
  • Jorge Elorza, Mayor of Providence
  • Joseph Polisena, Mayor of Johnston
  • Gary Ezovski, Town Administrator of North Smithfield
  • Randy Rossi, Town Manager of Smithfield
  • Michael Wood, Town Manager in Burrillville
  • Brian Daniels, Executive Director of the League

“As we close out our 50th year, the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns remains committed to advocating for all of Rhode Island’s 39 communities. We are energized by our new leadership and dedicated, longstanding members and look forward to continued progress under the leadership of Mayor Diossa,” said Daniels.

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Ryan M. Belmore

Ryan M. Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and serves on the Board of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and Lucy's Hearth. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.