New York Daily News

August 19, 2004

Moonlight rally irks Mike's block

BY ADAM NICHOLS and DAVID SALTONSTALL
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

The cops and firefighters who protested outside Mayor Bloomberg's townhouse early yesterday didn't disturb Hizzoner - but they sure did wake his neighbors.

And the neighbors aren't happy about it.

"I had always had sympathy for what they are asking," said Patrick Dent, 47, a marketing consultant who lives on Bloomberg's block. "But I have to admit, this isn't the way for them to keep it."

Dent and many of his neighbors were roused about 1a.m. when a large group of police and firefighters kicked off a raucous rally near Bloomberg's E. 79th St. townhouse to protest stalled contract negotiations with the city.

The rally was the latest in a series of efforts by police and fire unions to heckle Bloomberg as he moves about the city. But the event in the wee hours was the first time they turned up near his home.

Perturbed, Bloomberg said he was not impressed or awakened by the protesters, who were kept down the block from his five-story townhouse by on-duty cops.

"All the yelling and screaming isn't going to accomplish anything, other than keeping them up late at night," Bloomberg said. "I slept very well."

The same could not be said for his neighbors.

"It just seemed to go on and on and on," said Stephen Burke, 37, of E. 79th St., who was roused by the protesters shortly after 1 a.m.

"What did they think it would achieve?" he added. "There are people with kids living on this block."

Police and fire union officials suggested that members of the public direct their wrath at the mayor.

"We hope the mayor's neighbors will tell him to sit down and negotiate fairly," said Tom Butler, a spokesman for the Uniformed Firefighters Association. "We'd prefer to be home with our families."

Added Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch, "You should have interviewed members of the public who routinely join us during these events, and who joined us last night and are in complete support of our cause."