SMITHFIELD – Town Council President Suzy Alba and Vice President Sean Kilduff announced on Monday the formation of the Rhode Island Coalition of City & Town Council leaders, which would meet four times per year for networking and sharing ideas and best practices.

Alba, who was first elected in 2012, said in her 10 years on the council, she still has not met many elected officials in other towns and feels that meeting to share ideas would be good for all.

She said much can be learned through discussions with neighboring communities that can benefit residents throughout the state.

“I have been thinking for some time that a group like this would be beneficial to share ideas, best practices, and resources across communities as well as provide an opportunity for town and city council leaders to get to know each other,” said Alba.

The coalition will convene virtually to allow for flexibility in joining the conversation, encouraging participation in June, September, January and April.

Alba said there will be opportunities for cities and towns to also host the group in their respective communities for in-person meetings in the future. She said the Rhode Island League of Cities & Towns will help facilitate future meetings.

Topics will include how to best support small businesses, encourage economic growth, municipal budgets and more.

“The league looks forward to working with Council President Alba and Vice President Kilduff to develop stronger partnerships through the Rhode Island Coalition of City & Town Council Leaders to work on municipal issues and advocate for meaningful policy change,” said Ernie Almonte, executive director of the Rhode Island League of Cities & Towns.

Kilduff said the first meeting was a success, and he is excited to join Alba in launching the group.

“I know we’re very proud of our recent partnership with North Providence and Johnston on a brand-new tri-town animal shelter, and we hope examples like this can help other communities work together,” he said.

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