There will be new leadership at the top of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association, but not that new.
Vince Taldone, who has been the FRNCA president on two prior occasions, both preceding and succeeding Ron Fisher, will again take over as president.
Mr. Fisher, on the other hand, is stepping down both as president and from the FRNCA board, as he plans to move to Southampton to be closer to his sign and T-shirt business on County Road 39 in Southampton.
“We are in contract to buy a house in Southampton,” he said. “I’m a 90-second walk away from my office.”
Mr. Fisher said that leaving FRNCA is bittersweet for him.
“I’ve called Flanders home for 35 years, my whole life,” he said. “It was definitely a tough decision to make. I have roots here, and I have connections in the civic association. We are in the middle of some big projects and it’s tough to leave all that behind.”
Mr. Fisher first got interested in civic affairs in 2015 when Southampton Town was planning to create a garbage district in Flanders, Riverside and Northampton, a move backed by FRNCA. Mr. Fisher, whose brother Frank owns Go Green Sanitation, led the opposition to the move, which the town eventually dropped.
FRNCA’s president at that time was Mr. Taldone. He first became the group’s president in 2011. At the time, nobody wanted the position, and Mr. Taldone was not eligible because he lived in Riverhead, although he owned property in Flanders.
Unable to find anyone interested in being its president, the FRNCA board voted to change its bylaws to allow people who own property in Flanders, Riverside or Northampton to run for board seats as well.
After that change, Mr. Taldone was elected FRNCA president.
With the garbage district issue in the rear view, Mr. Fisher and other residents who opposed the garbage district remained involved in FRNCA, and Mr. Fisher was later elected to the board, and became its president in 2016.
In August 2017, he stepped down because he was being appointed to fill a vacancy on the Riverhead School Board.
Mr. Taldone, a retired New York City planner, once again took over as president.
But FRNCA changed its conflict-of-interest policy in February 2017 to allow someone who is appointed to a non-political position, such as school board, to take office.
Mr. Fisher was then reappointed as FRNCA president. He later lost the election for a full school board term, but remained as FRNCA president until its May 13 meeting this year, when he stepped down.
Mr. Fisher said he is still involved in community activities.
“I’ve found a happy house in the Butterfly Effect Project as their treasurer,” he said, referring to a non-profit group that works with young girls to build their self-esteem.
Mr. Fisher is also involved in the Hampton Bays-based Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center, which is seeking to expand its operations to Aquebogue.
Mr. Taldone, who now lives in Flanders, said FRNCA will have a lot of big projects to work on as well, including the Riverside Trail from Route 25 to the Peconic River, and the Children’s Museum of the East End’s plans to expand its operations to a permanent location in Riverside.
Photo caption: Vince Taldone, left, and Ron Fisher pictured in 2017. (Credit: Tim Gannon/file)