MBCG Strikes Back Against Rival Group's Rhetoric

Courtesy of hollykoffler via Flickr

In the wake of a Sheepshead Bites report last week detailing a rival group’s verbal bashing, the Manhattan Beach Community Group has issued a statement calling the claims “blatantly untrue, a cold lie.”

MBCG Traffic Committee Chair Judy Baron wrote the letter published on the group’s website on Sunday, taking aim at statements made by Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association President Alan Ditchek during an August 2 meeting. Ditchek was discussing progress made during a meeting with Public Advocate Bill de Blasio in implementing traffic safety proposals, when he unleashed a tirade against MBCG, saying the group was busy “patting themselves on the back” instead of getting things done.

“Last week was not the first time that their President has ‘bashed’ us and it probably won’t be the last,” Baron wrote in a preamble to her letter. “We are flattered that the MBNA would take our traffic ideas/projects as their own. Because what’s important is getting the job done, not getting the credit.”

The letter went on to detail earlier MBCG meetings, where similar ideas that were later put forth by the MBNA were originally discussed. Baron pointed out that several MBNA members attend MBCG meetings, and her committee’s proposals were previously publicized.

“The Ditchek/Dweck team had to have known all along that almost all of the traffic ‘solutions and suggestions’ they just proposed and are taking credit for, were  discussed in depth at MBCG open Board meetings in October 2009, in May 2010 and discussed at other Board meetings as well,” Baron wrote. “These proposals came directly from the MBCG Traffic Committee after many deliberative sessions. We are well aware of the fact that some members of the Ditchek/Dweck team attend MBCG meetings and it is a fair assumption that some report to Ditchek/Dweck with the details of our Traffic Committee reports.”

She also said that suggestions originating from an independent traffic expert invited to speak at an MBCG meeting have worked their way into the MBNA’s proposals.

Baron also sought to dismiss the assertion Ditchek made that most of the Manhattan Beach traffic problems emerged on MBCG’s watch, pointing out that the group has been battling these problems for several administrations. The only gap in progress, she suggested, appears to be when Ditchek and MBNA Public Relations Chairperson Edmond Dweck helped run MBCG, prior to the division of the group.

Neither Ditchek nor Dweck made any effort in the past, while Members and Directors of the MBCG, to work towards any solutions.  They could not have been unaware of the prolonged efforts on the part of the many past Presidents of the MBCG ( Link, Schreibman, Salzman, Singer, Nieporant, Fleischer, Geller, Borell, Klapper, Chernin, Biondo, Zalcman to name a few), in addition to our elected representatives as well as past and present Chairs of the Community Board to rectify these problems.   It is hard to believe that Ditchek and Dweck were not aware of the fact that despite past community-wide efforts to solve problems, City agencies unilaterally added zebra stripes, poorly placed bicycle lanes, vision blocking planters along with Mayor Bloomberg’s blinking yellow traffic signal on Oriental Boulevard.  All of these actions taken against the wishes of everyone concerned!

MBCG’s Traffic Committee Chair is also blaming the division between the groups for fostering an environment in which city administrators have been able to turn their backs on the neighborhood. She urged the MBNA to close shop and rejoin the MBCG.

It is common knowledge that because there are two groups in Manhattan Beach, the Departments of Transportation and Parks have made it clear that as a result of this “division” in the community, these City departments do not have to do anything!  This division was caused by the Ditchek/Dweck team as a result of their founding of a second small group in this community.  If they truly care about all of the people in Manhattan Beach, they will put aside their egos, disband their group and come back to the MBCG where, together, we can accomplish what will otherwise be impossible under the current situation.

Do you think the two groups should put aside differences and reunite? Tell us why!