INDIAN RIVER COUNTY - Each candidate was asked the same three questions and given 150 words to respond.

Janice Broda:

Q: What is the most important priority for the Mosquito Control District?

A: Public health is the most important priority for the Indian River Mosquito Control District. Florida is home to more than 90 species of mosquitoes. Domestic mosquitoes that live around human habitations transmit dengue fever, chikungunya, and Zika virus. Some woodland mosquitoes transmit St. Louis encephalitis and West Nile virus. Saltmarsh mosquitoes that are produced along the Indian River Lagoon can infest our entire county and transmit dog heartworm.

Mosquito-borne illnesses can have a terrible impact on individual lives and our economy. Some tourists did not come to Indian River County in 2016 when Zika virus was raging in south Florida.

Safe and effective mosquito control requires a well-trained professional staff. Claims of runaway costs and salaries are inaccurate. A resident with a $150,000 home and a simple homestead exemption will pay $25.15 per year for mosquito control, the same amount that they have paid since 2016.

Q: How should the environmental sensitivity of habitats affect the use of pesticides and herbicides?

A: Protecting the health of our natural resources is of paramount important to our economy and to human health. The Indian River Mosquito Control District has worked in concert with the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory to use water control measures in sensitive areas along the Indian River Lagoon to control mosquitoes and to minimize the use of pesticides. I have long supported the use of biorational products derived from natural sources in environmentally sensitive habitats, even though these products are more expensive. The Indian River Mosquito Control District does not apply herbicides to aquatic vegetation or to weeds.

Recent research has emphasized the negative impacts of pesticides and herbicides on the health of the Indian River Lagoon. I have worked professionally and as a volunteer for more than 25 years to encourage the reduced use of pesticides by homeowners, lawn care professionals, and mosquito control.

Q: How do your qualifications and experience make you the best candidate for this position?

A: I bring an extensive understanding of mosquito control, have run my own business, have taught computer science and economics at Indian River State College, and have a proven track record, professional and volunteer, of protecting our natural resources. In 1991, I began to work at the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, University of Florida, a mosquito research center, writing instructional software for mosquito control districts. So began my sustained and substantial interest in mosquitoes, the diseases that they transmit, and their control. I began to serve as a commissioner of the Indian River Mosquito Control District in 1992. The taxpayers have invested in my mosquito control education, and I want to continue to pay back that investment with public service and volunteer service to our community and the mosquito control community. I have the experience and understanding to protect public health, our natural resources, and the taxpayers.

Jeff Andros:

Q: What is the most important priority for the Mosquito Control District?

A: I believe several priorities need to be addressed right away. First and foremost is wasteful spending, yearly raises at the top positions, travel, “wish list” spending, lax accountability for petty cash disbursements and reimbursement checks, and ADA Compliance. The district needs to improve accountability, transparency, and customer service. The current board rubber-stamps budgets, and there is little to no discussion on these items. The old practices of sitting back and collecting a check on the taxpayer’s dime needs to end. I will work diligently on all the items above to ensure our residents get their money’s worth from this district. The current board has forgotten they are public servants. It is time for accountability, transparency, customer service, and a change.

Q: How should the environmental sensitivity of habitats affect the use of pesticides and herbicides?

A: Environmental impacts should always be accounted for when using pesticides and herbicides. I will admit this is not my strong point, but I am willing to learn. The district employs entomologists and other experts that I would rely on for their expertise in these areas. A seat on the Mosquito Control District is an oversight position. Therefore, I would read the studies and listen to what the employees in that area have to say along with the public and make the best decision possible.

Q: How do your qualifications and experience make you the best candidate for this position?

A: I have worked in fiber optics on high-tech supercomputers for IBM. I enjoyed working with a top security firm and have programmed security systems for many industries, including bank chains. I am a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Southern New Hampshire University, where I achieved a BS in Information Technology. I am currently a consultant based in Vero Beach, working with different firms locally, throughout Florida, and several other states. I am a graduate student attending USF, working towards a master’s degree in Cybercrime. The one thing I am not is a politician. My ability as a self-employed person has provided me the foresight to balance a budget and make tough choices in making expenditures. I am not running for the salary, health insurance, retirement, etc. I am running to give back to the community and am tired of paying taxes to find the money wasted.

Craig MacCoy:

Q: What is the most important priority for the Mosquito Control District?

A: I believe it is important that the district should put the lagoon and wetlands as its first priority, followed by public education and information. Of course being good stewards for our taxpayers as well.

Q: How should the environmental sensitivity of habitats affect the use of pesticides and herbicides?

A: We should always strive to use the best integrated pest management systems available, low earthen dykes of our impoundments should be a large focus. Impoundments help lessen the use of chemicals. Drones would also help with direct placement of chemicals to lessen the use of chemicals.

Q: How do your qualifications and experience make you the best candidate for this position?

A: As a business owner, state certified contractor and avid outdoorsman. I feel that my business experience with budgets, long-term planning project management along with my construction experience are needed aspect on our district board.

(1) comment

Terry McGinn

I would like to add several comments for voters. 1) It is clear who has the directly relevant education, in service learning and experience to provide the forward planning and management needed. Oversight is a weak catch all word for a science and environment driven 7 million dollar business. 2) Learning on the job from the same people you say are paid to much is an interesting concept. This is not an internship position, it is the most critical agency in the county for health safety and environmental awareness. 3) Watch every forum or Board meeting and take note of which candidates everyone defers to or looks to for facts, science and operations. "We Need New Blood" is a cute sound bite but not correct. We Need the Old Blood with experience to guide the Agency. The person that was attacked for being paid for his experience and results just announced his retirement by year end. So the "New Blood" succeeded in forcing out the best guy in the industry in Florida. It's a new ball game and you need to elect the one person that bats above their average day after day. That is the 29 year incumbent Janice Broda

Terry McGinn

(Sebastian voter learning about mosquito control)

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