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Tug of war - Beach patrol’s future in flux

Manhattan Beach’s own little civil war has broken out on a new front this week – right behind the wheel of its private security force.

Tensions between the Manhattan Beach Community Group’s leadership (MBCG) and Beachside Neighborhood Patrol director Albert Hasson have been on a slow burn ever since Hasson threw his lot in with the breakaway Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association (MBNA) earlier this year.

Last week that animosity boiled over when the MBCG announced that it would fund Beachside’s supplemental summer patrols – but only after the organization’s executive committee had an opportunity to inspect financial statements supplied by Hasson.

In addition, the MBCG leadership also called for the formation of a new three-person committee to oversee Beachside’s operations from here on.

Hasson officially quit the MBCG a couple of weeks ago after complaining that he was being prevented from delivering Beachside reports at board meetings.

“Albert wants to keep doing what he’s doing and that’s unacceptable to us,” MBCG Vice President Bunny Fleisher told group members at Kingsborough Community College on June 18. “We’re interested in bringing the Beachside chair back to our group. Albert can work with Beachside as long as we are in control of the money and where it goes. We need the checks and balances.”

Hasson maintains that the Beachside Neighborhood Patrol is and will continue to be independent of the MBCG.

“They have expelled Beachside and now they think they can buy it back,” Hasson told the Bay News. “I have met earlier this week with representatives of the MBCG to resolve any concerns that they may have. After that meeting and after their continued shenanigans at their board meeting, there shall be no further negotiations with MBCG on this matter whatsoever in this regard.”

According to Hasson, the Beachside Neighborhood Patrol can continue to roll without any support from the MBCG.

Late last week he announced that the MBNA has agreed to kick in the $3,000 needed to pay for added summer patrols.

When the MBCG met at KCC for their last meeting before the summer break, longtime member Alexander Singer adamantly opposed relinquishing control of Beachside to Hasson and the MBNA, explaining that Beachside started out as a creation of the MBCG to protect the civic from possible liabilities.

“We were always the alter-ego,” Singer declared. “The Beachside chair served at the whim of the (MBCG) president. Beachside is not part and parcel of whatever that other group is…it should be part of our group – if not, they should not get a dime.”

Manhattan Beach residents pay as much as $400 annually to keep the private security force going. It is unclear just how many members of the MBCG and MBNA are actually dues-paying members of the Beachside Neighborhood Patrol.

“If they were serious about the safety of their neighbors, they would have contributed the funding for enhanced security coverage a month ago, or at the very least contributed to the funds this month,” Hasson argued. “The fact that they keep looking for reasons to oppose Beachside shows their true colors. Such an organization is never to be trusted with the important responsibility of neighborhood security.”

MBCG President Ira Zalcman made the motion at the group’s board meeting held last week making the $3,000 available to Beachside contingent on the approval of its financial statements.

“We have to be safe…if we’re not safe, forget it,” Zalcman said. “Beachside is important. I wouldn’t do anything to hurt it.”

Hasson insists that the MBCG leadership is opposed to the safety patrol.

“More than half their board – president included – is opposed to Beachside and neighborhood security, and as such should not have any influence over the organization,” he said.

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