In August I spoke at the Town Board meeting. What I discussed was the troubling language used in Berthoud’s Mosquito Control Policy that was passed along with Resolution 15-16 last year.
I apologize for the length of this. I will highlight a few of the most troubling parts here. I have included links to download copies of my entire notes from which I spoke and the recommendation to spray from Adrienne LeBailly.
From Section 3, first half of the first paragraph of Resolution 15-16, Mosquito Control Policy:
Upon notice of a Vector index of .5 or higher or on recommendation from Colorado Mosquito Control, Larimer County Public Health or the CDC, adult control will be implemented town-wide and spray exclusion area will not be recognized. Such control measures shall occur at the direction of the Town staff without further Board action.
1) There was no emergency. The policy states that upon “recommendation” adult control “will be” implemented. In a call with Derek Turner of the Larimer County Health Department, he stated “it was a recommendation, not a have to”. The way the Policy is written it turns the “recommendation” into a “have to”.
In the recommendation from Adrienne LeBailly, the Director of Larimer County Department of Health and Environment, she said it would be “prudent” for the town to spray.
To make matters worse, the town staff and Colorado Mosquito Control used incendiary language to ramp up this “recommendation” into an emergency.
Chris Buckridge used the phrase “real and Imminent threat” in an email reply. In a response from Ms. Boze, of CMC, she called it an “emergency public health application.” And in the email notification from Mike Hart, the Town Administrator, to the trustees, he stated the following, “now determined to be a ‘public health risk’ by the Director of the Larimer County Department of Health.”
Why then is town staff and it’s contractor using incendiary language and refusing to honor shut-off requests when the email from Director LeBailly, was only a suggestion? What is the town’s motivation for ramping up language into an “emergency” situation when it was not? Why is the town staff so motivated to create an “emergency” out of a suggestion and blanket the town with insecticides?
If Director LeBailly is NOT using the language of “emergency”, then that should be reflected in town’s actions.
2) The decision to spray is up to outside organizations and the Town Board has no say in it what so ever. The policy is written in such a way that Colorado Mosquito Control, Larimer County Public Health or the CDC can “recommend” that the town spray and then we “have to” spray. Later in the policy is states that the spraying will be carried out by the town staff without further board action.
The first thing is that Colorado Mosquito Control should NOT be recommending that the town spray. That is a conflict of interest. They should be noted as a service provider only and so noted in the policy.
Secondly, the board SHOULD have the right to review the “recommendation” and decide to move forward or not. There may be many other factors to consider in making such an important decision and the Board should be involved in it.
3) Spraying “will be” implemented upon notice of a Vector index of .5 or higher or on recommendation from one of the above mentioned entities.
The location of the Vector Index is not specified. This means it could be in Northern Fort Collins, Weld County or some other location. A radius should be specified around Berthoud.
And the more troubling part of the highlighted text is the word “or on recommendation” which means even if there is not a high Vector Index, one of the above mentioned entities could make a “recommendation” and the town would have to spray.
4) “spray exclusion area will not be recognized.” If it’s not deemed an emergency by Adrienne LeBailly, then spray exclusions SHOULD be honored by anyone who requests them.
If you find this policy troubling, please write a polite email to the board members telling them what you object to and that you want them to revise or rescind Resolution 15-16.
Link to my complete comments:
Link to notice from Adrienne LeBailly including town correspondence: