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SEAL BEACH : Residents Skip Leisure for Protest

October 28, 1994|RUSS LOAR

About 50 Leisure World residents interrupted their leisure Thursday morning, taking picket signs in hand to march around the giant spinning globe at the entrance of the retirement community in protest of management policies.

Carrying signs reading "Enough is Enough" and "Resident Power," the disgruntled seniors said the administrator of the 8,700-resident retirement community is paid too much and contended that his contract violates conflict-of-interest rules.

Resident Dick Kissam, 76, said Leisure World administrator Habir Narang, who earns $160,000 a year, is paid more than any city manager in the county. Kissam and others say Narang also profited from $215,000 earned last year by the J.L. Moyer Co., which has an exclusive contract for the resale of Leisure World condominiums.

The company is a division of Narang's First Columbia Condominium Management company, which manages the 6,608-home community.

"We're not saying he's not a good manager. He probably is," Kissam said. "He's just getting too much money."

The board of the Golden Rain Foundation, which governs Leisure World, does not agree. The board renewed Narang's contract Sept. 20, with only three of 18 board members dissenting.

"They just found themselves something to do," board President Howard McCurdy said of the protesters. "It will probably die off."

Narang said most residents support the combination of management and sales as a "cost-effective" operation. "It's been running this way for 30 years," he said.

Seal Beach Mayor George Brown, a Leisure World resident, said he supports Narang. "If we had a group in support of the administration, we'd have more than 7,000 people out there," he said.

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