The man who operates Manhattan Beach’s Beachside Neighborhood Patrol officially cut his ties with the Manhattan Beach Community Group (MBCG) this week, alleging that the organization was freezing him out.
Albert Hasson, already a member of the Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association – the group that broke away from the MBCG earlier this year – said that he was leaving because he was allegedly being prevented from presenting regular monthly updates abut the patrol at MBCG meetings.
“The MBCG has, despite its long history of a close relationship to Beachside, fully rejected Beachside,” Hasson wrote in an email.
Members of the Beachside Neighborhood Patrol kick in as much as $400 a year to pay a private firm called Bay Ridge Security to cruise up and down neighborhood streets.
According to MBCG President Ira Zalcman, Beachside’s membership is on the decline with only 15 percent of Manhattan Beach households taking part in the enhanced security program.
“With dues at $400 per year and with some homeowners given special unexplained lower rates, many feel the membership formula is unfair,” Zalcman wrote this week in an email.
Hasson maintains that it was Beachside members themselves who “asked to raise the price to increase coverage” and that those who couldn’t afford the $400 fee were given an opportunity to participate at a lower rate.
Bay Ridge Security currently patrols Manhattan Beach seven days a week. In years past, MBCG members agreed to kick in an extra $3,000 to pay for even more security during the summer months.
This year, however, those enhanced patrols may be in doubt as Manhattan Beach’s squabbling factions continue to feud.
Hasson blames the decline in Beachside’s membership on Zalcman’s “boycott” of the neighborhood patrol.
Zalcman says that Hasson was given an opportunity to make a presentation at this month’s MBCG meeting, but chose to resign instead.
“It is absurd and ridiculous for anyone to imply that I or the Manhattan Beach Community Group (MBCG) Board of Directors do not care about safety and security in our community,” Zalcman wrote. “The MBCG was an originator and constant supporter of Beachside since its inception 38 years ago.”
Despite the flap, Hasson is confident that the Beachside Neighborhood Patrol will continue.
“People who care about security will be members regardless,” he said.