A Town of Medley council meeting that was moving along at a pretty good pace came to a grinding halt on Oct. 6 when a pesky issue was brought up.
Mosquitoes — what to do about them, and the service company currently employed by the town — became a hot discussion.
Councilman Edgar Ayala broached the topic at the end of the meeting, voicing his dissatisfaction with the current company, Pest Doctor.
He provided a photo of a doorway to a house infested with mosquitoes and suggested that an RFP (Request For Proposal) could be sent out and other service options be explored.
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No vote was taken, 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 cautioned Ayala that all options needed to be explored.
“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 said that 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 [residents] on how to prevent the problem before it becomes a problem.”
Victoria Martinez, administrative assistant to the mayor, approached the podium to inform the council that Pest Doctor has sent photos to the town and the Code Enforcement Department showing all of the standing water around the town, creating a real haven for mosquito reproduction.
“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 give some free workshops on the matter.
Martell ultimately 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 people.
• Two new police officers with local ties were sworn in. Jose Lugo has ties to Virginia Gardens, where he had been a lieutenant for their police department for nine years. Jennifer Casanova came over after serving five years with the Miami Springs Police Department.
• Officer Elio Cardenas shared a video he produced about local Medley teens who participated in a summer program for community service hours. The group went on a day-long trip to Camillus House where they spent the day feeding the homeless and learning 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 flavored tobaccos and how it impacts Florida youth.
• Town Attorney Steve Helfman read 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 to come up with regulations to easily 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 occasional changes to the Comprehensive Plan and zoning code.
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.
All three ordinances passed unanimously, 4-0 (Councilman Jack Morrow was absent).