An overflow crowd jammed Rumson’s council chambers to air concerns about an addiction recovery house in town. Below, Barbara Russell returns to her seat after speaking with borough Attorney Marty Barger. (Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Rumson residents packed a borough meeting Tuesday night to demand action regarding Oxford House, an addiction-recovery residence where a tenant died of a suspected drug overdose 10 days ago.
Seated on the floor and standing in the hallway outside the bimonthly meeting of the town’s governing body, neighbors teed up Oxford House for setting up a residence at 61 South Ward Avenue without notice and for a self-governance model they say isn’t working.
“They’re sitting on the porch and they are drinking,” in violation of Oxford’s own bylaws governing locally chartered houses, Washington Avenue resident Barbara Russell said of the house’s nine residents.
Having recently completed alcohol and drug treatment programs and then allowed to live together without supervision, Oxford’s young clients are naturally “going to come out and have a party,” said Russell, who described herself as a recovering alcoholic for 26 years.