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Aug 10, 2010 3:21 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Association cancels beach guards

Aug 10, 2010 3:21 PM

A planned protest against the Amagansett East Association’s effort to limit access to the beach walkways in the Beach Hampton development in Amagansett never materialized last weekend. The protest wasn’t necessary, as it turned out, because just the threat of it apparently convinced association officials to scuttle the idea of posting guards at access points.

“Bill Frisbie made such an issue out of it, we decided not to have the walkways guarded,” said Rona Klopman, president of the association, which maintains the Beach Hampton walkways and beaches. “We decided it was just too much controversy.”

Mr. Frisbie, a resident of the area, had urged others to join him in protesting the effort to limit access.

Residents of Beach Hampton were advised last week that guards, off-duty police officers, had been instructed to turn away anyone who wasn’t a resident or any residents who hadn’t paid their dues.

As a result of the notification, a windfall of paid dues came in, Ms Klopman said. “We got in $5,000 in dues, she said.

The association’s board thought guarded walkways would help reduce the number of outsiders who have been parking on association roads and using the beaches. Many non-residents have discovered Hampton Beach as an alternative to the crowded Atlantic and Indian Wells beaches, Ms. Klopman said.

Mr. Frisbie said Monday that he always suspected that the real reason behind the plan to use guards was to collect unpaid dues.

He said he was against having the walkways guarded because they would change the community. “This is a very relaxed community,” he said. “Putting guards there changes that entirely. The other issue is spending the money on guards. It’s not the job of the association to provide security for the walkways. We never empowered them to put restrictions on the walkways.”

“They are doing their job maintaining the walkways and the beaches. I don’t have a personal axe to grind with Ms. Klopman,” he continued. “It’s just that it’s not their job to provide security unless the community really wants it.”

KATY GURLEY

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