I received a few phone calls today about last nights meeting in Middletown to discuss the COAH rule revisions that will be taking effect. I wasn’t there but from what I have been told it turned very ugly.
As it turns out, the story about the meeting last night that appears in today’s Asbury Park Press does not go into any detail about what happened during and after the public comments portion of the meeting.
After opening the meeting for comments, a very long, uncomfortable moment passed without anyone interested in speaking. Just before the meeting was going to be closed, Matt Morehead, Chairman of the Bayshore Young Democrats raised his hand to address the crowd.
It was at this point, I am told that it got ugly. Even before Mr. Morehead could get a word out he was immediately bombarded with hisses and catcalls. It seems as though the auditorium was packed with local members of the Middletown Republican Party, who were all just waiting for Mr. Morehead to speak.
When Matt finished his comments and attempted to leave the building he was accosted and surrounded in the lobby of the Middletown Arts Center by the same people who would not allow him to speak his mind inside of the auditorium. I am told that he was called several choice names that can not be printed along with being labeled as a communistic socialist.
It is unfortunate that these people have to act so childish. Instead of taking out their anger on the true culprits, the township’s Republican leadership who had 23 years in which to fully comply with COAH, they instead direct threats and insults at Matt Morehead for pushing the affordable housing issue to the forefront of discussion. For some reason these people feel Matt is responsible somehow for the state’s elimination of the use of RCA’s to help towns meet their affordable housing requirements, which is simply not true. The elimination of RCA’s had been discussed long before Mr. Morehead arrived on the scene.
I am sure that Matt will have more to say about this on his blog “A Voice for the Youth” soon.
You can click on the headline to read the APP’s account of what happend at the meeting.