How many opinions do aldermen need?
As city officials continue to debate their authority to go ontoprivate property to spray, it appears the mosquito problem will notgo away until cold weather takes care of it the not-so-distantfuture.
The mosquito spraying issue has been a summer-long struggle ascity officials have sought multiple opinions from the AttorneyGeneral’s Office regarding the legality of going on or acrossprivate property to control the insect populations. Despite theAG’s latest clarification, City Attorney Joe Fernald believes theopinion is still open to interpretation.
Fernald has expressed concerns about haphazard application ofthe spraying service, suggesting that it could be done for some andnot for others. He said the law requires all citizens to be treatedfairly and equally.
The attorney’s concern has merit in that the mosquito problem isnot limited to one area. Mosquito breeding grounds, which propertyowners should take steps to eliminate where possible, can exist allover the city.
That concern, however, is further evidence of the importance ofaddressing the problem.
City crews have been conducting nightly sprayings for much ofthe summer. More intense efforts in problem areas could provideadditional help in reducing the potential health threat.
But time has about run out for addressing the mosquito problemthis year, for their foot dragging has allowed them to dodge makinga decision – something they do quite well.
The only problem is the mosquito spraying issue will again beback buzzing away on the table next spring.