The Southies got the crowd they wantedand the startled attention of Red Bank’s governing bodyas an overflow throng descended on the Borough Council Monday night to demand a halt to rising property taxes.
Responding to a recent leafletting campaign launched by South Street homeowners, residents packed the council chambers, catching elected officials off guard both with their numbers and with their calls for an end to tax hikes.
“I obviously didn’t know we were going to have this many people here,” Mayor Ed McKenna said near the outset of the meeting, a remark that was echoed by two council members.
“We’re here to tell you we’re hurting,” rally organizer Marta Rambaud told the council. “We need to change the trend. We’re hurting and we need help. That help has to come from you, or we’ll have to move away.”
By the end of the nearly two-hour session, the audience had been treated to an emotional call by McKenna for respect he said was due him for “over one thousand nights of my life” spent attending public meetings; yet another volatile exchange between McKenna, who is not seeking re-election, and mayoral candidate John Curley; and a Leighton Avenue resident’s Vaudevillian re-enactment of his encounter with a topless prostitute as he retrieved his morning newspaper recently.