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City Island Civic welcomes flamboyant leader

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With its longtime president moving away, another, more flamboyant leader is planning to move a local civic association into new territory, hoping to unify the residents of City Island.

Frank Fitts, president of both the City Island Civic Association and 45th Precinct Council, is now moving out of the area, likely passing the torch of leadership of the CICA to television personality and private eye “Wild” William Stanton.

While the election has not taken place, unless there is a challenge to his candidacy, Stanton will assume the role of president come October.

Stanton has been a resident of City Island for 38 years, and has been the star of two NBC specials called “Wild Bill, Breaking and Entering” and “Wild Bill – Watching Your Back.” He is a former New York City Police Officer and an active security consultant for different news agencies. In addition, Stanton creates television programs, including the popular “Growing Up Gotti.”

The expert in crime prevention is thrilled to be the presumptive replacement for Fitts, a man he thinks was a tremendous asset to the community who will leave big shoes to fill.

“Frank Fitts is a man who fought for years to improve City Island,” Stanton noted. “We are really going to miss him when he is gone. I think he’s underappreciated.”

While Stanton has only been involved in the CICA for two years, he nevertheless is ready to reach out to young people to get them involved in the organization, volunteering hours of his time and asking members to do the same. He said he wants to recapture the best of the island from a bygone era.

“I feel that Fitts is a member of the old guard, and he is leaving, and I feel a bit ashamed almost to fill his shoes,” Stanton said. “I want to instill the same kind of pride people had in this community when I was a kid here. We looked out for one another and parents made sure our kids didn’t get into any kind of trouble.”

One of Stanton’s pet peeves is overdevelopment, which he feels is playing a role in undermining the quality of life on the island.

“I cannot understand what value it adds to City Island to have several 2-family homes on the same piece of property formerly occupied by a 1-family house,” Stanton explained. “Our biggest enemies are not coming from outside of the community, but live on City Island.”

Stanton went on to cite numerous quality of life issues he said City Islanders are responsible for, including speeding, running red lights, and developers who are from the community, but nevertheless “willing to sell us all out for 13 pieces of silver.”

When contacted for an interview, Frank Fitts was reticent about his departure.

“City Island is history for me,” Fitts stated. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

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