City Councilmember Mike Nelson and the leadership of the Manhattan Beach Community Group (MBCG) have buried the hatchet.
The neighborhood official returned to the MBCG last week quoting Groucho Marx and saying hello to old friends.
“I remember all of your faces. It’s been awhile,” Nelson told the members gathered at Kingsborough Community College for the MBCG’s August meeting. “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”
The MBCG leadership and Nelson have been estranged for months after a very public feud between the two broke out.
“I did feel a little miffed,” Nelson confessed to the Bay News. “It was only secondhand talk that got back to me…a few scurrilous statements made about me last year. So I felt a little bit awkward about coming. But I’ve grown up with most of those people and I have a sentimental feeling about them.”
The councilman said that he always planned on returning to the MBCG, it was only a question of when.
“I do like almost everybody in that room, and as of that night I like everybody in that room,” Nelson added. “We do have the same goal – maintenance and betterment of the community.”
Over the past several months, Nelson says that several members of the MBCG have approached him and asked when they might see him again at a meeting.
Aside from feeling “dissed,” Nelson said that caring for his ailing wife Sheila made it difficult for him to attend an MBCG meeting until now.
“I’m happy that Michael Nelson came to our meeting,” MBCG President Ira Zalcman later said. “I’m happy that he realizes it’s better to work together than apart.”
Nelson jumped right in updating MBCG members on his efforts to secure funding for Manhattan Beach, relocating the dog run and changing the flashing traffic signal at the intersection of Oriental Boulevard and Ocean Avenue.
“I’ve been calling it an ornament, what does it do?” Nelson told MBCG member Judy Baron. “Part of this fight is to get that to be a normal working light.”
Nelson, who won his City Council seat in a February 1999 special election and is due to be term-limited out of in 2009 unless term limits are overturned, concluded his first appearance back at the MBCG with the words of Abba Eban.
“Men and nations behave wisely after they have exhausted all other alternatives,” he said.