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Apr 12, 2016 10:31 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Flanders, Riverside Community Groups To Hold Joint Meetings Every Other Month

Apr 13, 2016 12:17 PM

The leaders of four community groups in Flanders and Riverside want to make it easier for their neighbors to get involved in their organizations by occasionally holding joint meetings.

Later this month, members of four of the area’s five community associations—the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association, the Bay View Pines Civic Association, the Waters Edge Civic Association, and the Flanders, Riverside, Northampton Citizens Advisory Committee—will host their first joint meeting at the David W. Crohan Community Center on Flanders Road in Flanders. The first meeting is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27.

Members of the Friends of the Big Duck, the fifth group in the area that focuses on activities at the local landmark, will continue to meet separately.

“Friends of the Big Duck is not participating,” said Fran Cobb, president of the group. “We are not a political group, and we don’t serve the same purpose as the other groups. Our focus is fundraising.”

Earlier this year, leaders of the other four groups met and decided that, every other month, they would hold a joint meeting and invite all of their members to attend.

“I am a member of all five of the civics in the area, and I am constantly at meetings,” said Ron Fisher of Flanders, chairman of both the Bay View Pines Civic Association and the Flanders, Riverside, Northampton CAC and who was unanimously elected chairman of FRNCA on Monday night.

“I have realized that each group has their own followings of eight to 10 people, and that is it,” he continued. “So, you are having all of these meetings catering to the same people, and then we were inviting the same guest speakers to come and visit the other civics.”

Vicki Farruggia, president of the Waters Edge Civic Association, said she supports the idea of joint meetings every other month. “That way we have a larger attendance at the CAC meetings because people from all of the organizations can participate,” she said.

Though he was elected FRNCA chairman on Monday night, replacing Vince Taldone who was named the group’s treasurer, Mr. Fisher said he has no intention of eventually combining the different organizations, each of which has its own bylaws and agendas. He emphasized that the joint meetings are designed to eliminate the duplication of efforts when it comes to scheduling guest speakers, and also make things more convenient for community members.

According to Mr. Fisher, who first pitched the idea, in most instances guest speakers are unable to make the rounds and attend multiple meetings. The goal, he said, is to host one combined meeting every other month, starting this month, to try to cut down on the redundancy.

The first joint meeting on April 27 will feature Nancy Carney, superintendent of the Riverhead School District, who is scheduled to make a presentation about her district’s proposed spending plan for next year.

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