A Town of Medley council meeting that was moving along at a pretty good pace came to a grinding halt last Monday night (Oct. 6) when a possible important issue, and a pesky one at that, was brought up.
Mosquitoes, what to do about them, and the service company currently employed by the town became a topical discussion.
Councilman Edgar Ayala made it a point to bring up at the conclusion of the meeting, when each council member is allotted time to bring up their own issues that are not neccesarily on the agenda, his dissatisfaction with the current company, Pest Doctor, and how it has or perhaps has not been properly servicing the town.
He provided photo proof of a doorway to a house infested with mosquitoes and suggested that maybe Pest Doctor was not getting the job done properly and perhaps an RFP (Request For Proposal) could be sent out and other options explored.
No vote was taken on anything but there was plenty of discussion about the problem.
“The mosquito season, I believe, is June through November, so it’s coming to an end this year,” Ayala said. “But I just wanted to bring it to the mayor and this council’s attention because mosquitoes are a real problem in this town, as evidenced by the photo I have provided.”
Medley mayor Roberto Martell didn’t necessarily disagree with Ayala but cautioned him that all options needed to be explored and also pointed out that the picture didn’t just depict mosquitoes but another kind of fly as well.
“You have to make sure you get the right chemicals because it’s not just mosquitoes in that picture but another kind of fly as well,” said Martell, who was later informed that they were not flies but a different kind of mosquito referred to as Blind Mosquitoes or Midges. “We also need to make sure that if we should wind up getting another company that it is within our budget because it could wind up being more expensive.”
Vice Mayor Griselia Digiacomo then chimed in with her thoughts and said that making sure Medley citizens were properly educated on the issue and that perhaps residents are more of a problem than Pest Doctor.
“I have seen quite a few areas where there are old tires with standing water and we can’t have that,” said Digiacomo. “We need to educate them on how to prevent the problem before it becomes a problem.”
Victoria Martinez, administrative assistant to the mayor, then approached the podium to inform the council that Pest Doctor has sent photos to the town showing all of the standing water that is left unattended to around the town, thus creating a real haven for mosquito reproduction.She also said that those photos had been forwarded to the Code Enforcement Department.
“If you do decide to make a change in companies, it’s a good time to do it because we are on a month-to-month agreement with them at the moment,” Town Engineer Jorge DeCorzo said, referring to the current arrangement with Pest Doctor.
Town administrator Mary Taylor also came up to inform the council that the county has offered to come out and give some free workshops on the matter to better educate folks.
No decisions were made but Martell suggested that more information be gathered, including a report that current FEC Vice President Jose Gonzalez is putting together, and that the issue be addressed again at a special town meeting, scheduled for Oct. 22.
IN OTHER COUNCIL NEWS:
It was a big night for presentations, promotions and honoring a lot of people on Monday night as that took up nearly half the meeting.
• Two new police officers were sworn in. Jose Lugo had ties to Virginia Gardens as he was a former lieutenant for the VG police department for nine years. Jennifer Casanova also was sworn in by Chief of Police Jeanette Said-Jinete and Casanova also was local, as she came over after serving five years with the Miami Springs Police Department.
• Officer Elio Cardenas produced a wonderful video that he shared with the packed chambers as a group of local Medley teens participated in a summer program that not only netted them many community service hours but allowed them a day-long trip to Camillus House where they spent the day not only feeding the homeless but learning and getting educated on how Camillus House works. (More on this story in next week’s Gazette).
• There was a presentation by Tobacco Free Workshop and the Students Working Against Tobacco group (SWAT) on issues affecting Florida youth on flavored tobaccos.
• Town Attorney Steve Helfman busied himself at one point reading out three separate Second Reading Public Zoning Hearings.
First was Ordinance C-380 concerning the billboard situation in the town. It represented an effort by the town to work with the industry in trying to come up with a set of regulations that could be implemented easily and set in place the ability to convert some of the older billboards to a digital or trivision format.
Second was C-381, an ordinance that formally designates the council as the town’s local planning agency and that they as an entity will now be responsible for reviewing changes to the Comprehensive Plan and zoning code as they come along from time to time.
And finally C-382, an ordinance that does two things: It adds as a permissible use after a public hearing the recycling of cardboard products and, secondly, revises the special exception procedures the town currently has in its code to make them more definitive in terms of how many days in advance of a meeting a notice has to go out.
Digiacomo made all three motions and all three ordinances passed unanimously, 4-0 (Councilman Jack Morrow was absent).