>Methadone Clinic Uproar At Town Hall

>I briefly attended last nights Middletown Township Committee meeting, I was there for only the first 45 minutes, leaving at 8:45pm. It’ to bad that I did because I could tell from the get go that it was going to be one hell of a night.

The first indication that it was going to be a hot one last night was the parking lot, nearly every space was full and that has happened in a very long time.
The other indication was the agitation of many in the audience. The standing room only, overflowing into the lobby crowd, was a mixed bag of residents who had never attended a Township Committee meeting before until last night and wanted to express their displeasure at having a methadone clinic open up just outside of the only way in and out of their neighborhood.
Having never been to a meeting before they were unaware of the protocol of following the agenda and couldn’t understand why they had to wait to speak their mind.
Many hemmed and hawed having to wait their turn while sitting through the solar project presentation presented by a Birdsall Engineering representative that rushed through the presentation and a couple of public hearings on different ordinances, which by that time I had to leave.
Before I left however I did speak to a few individuals who expressed their dismay at not being informed of the methadone clinic a head of time, wondering exactly how something like this could happen and were hoping that the Township Committee would stand up to the clinic and somehow, someway have it shut down.
As I expected and found out earlier today from talking to a few that were their and reading online accounts, those that govern the Township told those in attendance that nothing could be done, that the clinic is in it’s legal rights to be there and anything that the Township did to try and prevent the clinic from operating could possible lead to a very costly law suit that more than likely be decided against the Township.
When I asked if last night’s meeting was really as loud and crazy as it was made out to be by the online accounts from the redbankgreen.com and MiddletownPatch I was told “most definitely”. More raucous then some meetings from last year when the planned turf fields were being fought against by members of SONIC, LVGA and the Pop Warner Chargers of Trezza Field? Absolutely I was told. The reason being, which made a lot of sense, was because while SONIC, LVGA and the Chargers were against a proposed plan that hadn’t been implemented yet, the residents of Apple Brook development, who’s only way into and out of their neighborhood is directly past the methadone clinic, didn’t have a say into whether or not they wished to be living within walking distance of a clinic that distributes one dangerously addictive drug to stop the cravings of another and who’s clients have potential criminal records. And when you consider what could happen to the values of their homes because of the presence of the Middletown Medical clinic, I understood why.
So what’s their recourse? According to those on the Township Committee, the Municipal Attorney and Township Administrator not much, but I have heard talk that the residents are thinking of hiring lawyers in order to, somehow, force the town to take action or force the clinic to move, neither of which I think will be effective.
I’ve also heard word that residents may start picketing the clinic to draw more attention to it, which would then drive away those seeking treatment, that way the for-profit clinic may come to the conclusion that it wouldn’t be prudent for their bottom-line to continue operating at the location and move on their own.
I hope to have some audio of the meeting later this week for posting so that myself and others can hear how crazy it actually was.

12 Comments

Filed under Birdsall Service Group, committee meeting, heroin, methadone clinic, Middletown Medical clinic, Middletown Patch, Middletown Township Committee, opiate addiction, RedBankGreen.com, treatment center

12 responses to “>Methadone Clinic Uproar At Town Hall

  1. >Once again, we hear the excuses from the TC and Nelson that it wasn't their fault and they didn't know.The best thing Steve Massell has said since he's been sitting up there was "we should have known"At least he's honest.I feel for those people in that neighborhood. No one knows or really cares what is happening in Middletown until something like this suddenly hits them in their own back yard.It shouldn't happen and shame on the leaders of this town for allowing it.

  2. >According to The Independent, the mayor stated at the meeting:“This is a huge township. You’re the eyes and ears, and if you see something there, we need to know about it,” he said.Does he not get it? Maybe the residents don't want to be living "on patrol". Maybe they don't want knots in their stomach when they send their kids to the bus stop. Talk about adding insult to injury.

  3. >So, what are you proposing? That the Township should have violated the law? That they should do so now?Should the employees who processed the paperwork have made the TC and administration aware of what was coming? Yes. But that's a political issue, not a practical one.Easy to criticize and to call for breaking the law and risking large legal fees and a huge judgment. Not so easy to do when you have the actual responsibility.Maybe we can convince the clinic to move to the Avaya site?

  4. >Legion,I like how comfortable you are with how poorly our TC performs their duties. Maybe having one in Middletown is more convienent for you? Stop sucking the Kool Aide and side with the hundreds maybe even thousands of residents who will be impacted by this "oversight". How about an adult store on the corner of your development?

  5. >Legion, since you're so quick to defend our elected officials you must have a personal interest in keeping the same old guard in place.Joking that should be put at the Avaya site is another example of the arrogance and utter lack of regard you must have the residents who just want to protect their community.If anything the Mayor should have addressed this immediately with the residents and alerted them. This is a pattern the TC has shown and that is why we don't trust them. For the Mayor to say we need to know about what's happening is laughable. When you do tell them they act all high and mighty and tell you what you want to hear. Especially Brian Nelson who is not elected by us, but works for US.They will say and do anything to stay in control.When are we going to elect people who's only agenda is to work for the people and not to satisfy the interests of a political party?

  6. >Legion,You sound like that idiot Scharfenberger. Stick with your appointed job, you made a mess of things in this town.

  7. >The Township had no problems rezoning properties from commercial to residential like the one next to Whole Foods on Rt.35, the Brown Fence Co. on Rt. 36, a prime business location on Rt. 36 next to Guttenplans in North Middletown and "Bennets Field" on Rt. 36 in Belford. They even requested and gained approval to buid an apartment building on land purchased with open space tax monies on Rt. 36 in Navesink. Why didn't they rezone this prime highway location when they had the chance? Surely, they could fit a few residential units on that property.

  8. >Anon 7:33- you don't have to go so far as an adult store- she yelled long and loud even at the thought of opening her neighborhood to more traffic during temporary construction. The hypocrisy is only exceeded by the arrogance.

  9. >Legion,Yes, the employees who process this kind and other kinds of paperwork could have made the Township Committee aware of the nature of the transaction. It is a practical matter and it can be previewed and it can be tracked. Generally, this kind of 'routine' processing is not a political matter, although this particular incident has become a major one. As Committeeman Massell said, "we should have known." If Massell is saying that, then I assume he, as an insider, knows that there was, and in the future is, a way for the Township Committee to track and know these kind of things. Incumbent elected Republican officials are complacent in their care for the majority of Middletown residents and very alert when it comes to serving the special interests minority inside and outside of the Township borders. And, 30 years of being in power doesn't make them feel insecure at election time each November. The Committee is only motivated by winning elections and staying in power so these special interests can be served first; and not the "Taxpayers First" as frequently advertised on Republican campaign signs. How much more evidence do the residents of Middletown need to say "ENOUGH!"; and, to know that the time to change the municipal status quo is past due? Its time to fix what has been broken. Clean the slate in the upcoming 2011 election by voting in two Democrats and at least one more in 2012. Failure to do so will ensure and promote further debasing of the quality of life in Middletown.

  10. >anon 1:21, it's unfortunate that it takes something like this to make people aware of how things operate in Middletown. Yes, there is an election coming up and the Republicans continue to win despite the blatant incompetence they've shown in the past.I'm an Independent but I have been thoroughly disgusted with the way our leaders have governed. I voted for the 2 Dems last year and will vote again for the Dems.I hope more people will realize that no checks and balances creates anarchy which is not healthy when it comes to efficient governing. We are long overdue for a change in leadership.

  11. >Nelson was the least impressive person in the whole room. He was there to say why they couldn't do anything rather than try to find a solution. If we have any shot of shutting this place it won't be with him. Johnny Cochrane he is not!

  12. >What part of "state law won't allow us to close the clinic" don't you understand?While it would have been nice for the TC to have been aware of this in advance, nothing would have changed, the clinic would still be legally operating there.The only way that clinic will close is if they either break the law and are forced to close, or they choose to leave. You can thank the legislature for that!

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