Gerritsen Beach Group Closes Meetings To Press, Pols

Following the Halloween controversy, the Gerritsen Beach Property Owners Association decided to close its doors to the public for an undetermined amount of time.

Local officials who requested not to be named are reporting to Sheepshead Bites that they were “disinvited” from the group’s meeting last night, and reports that the meetings are now closed to all but “Class A” members.

We’ve heard that GBPOA President George Broadhead decided not to attend last night’s meeting, for reasons currently unknown to Sheepshead Bites.

Class A members are property owners who have paid a membership free. Class B members are renters with membership benefits. reports:

Because the group, which dates back to 1922, has never received public funding and is not a non-profit, it can legally close their meetings. However, actions speak louder than words. The group acts and intends to be a local civic organization and this is a dangerous slippery slope they are headed down. They intend to have the community come to them with issues that can be voiced and hashed out in public.
… There is no reason for anyone to be less than candid just because the public is watching.
… I believe that the Property Owners is retaliating against the community and reporters because of a video that surfaced of last meeting. Despite promises of transparency and a member vote, they are closing the meeting. Groups like this should do their business in public unless there is a compelling reason not to.

The video referred to in the excerpt was shot by Sheepshead Bites, and showed the meeting as it was overtaken by upset parents berating’s blogger, Daniel Cavanagh, for exposing their children’s violent antics on Halloween.

Our reaction? So be it. Now how do we close off Brooklyn from Gerritsen Beach?