News Story on Mosquito Control Agency Omitted Some Key Facts

By Sundeman, John | The Florida Times Union, July 23, 2007 | Go to article overview

News Story on Mosquito Control Agency Omitted Some Key Facts


Sundeman, John, The Florida Times Union


Byline: John Sundeman

This is in response to a Times-Union news story on Saturday, July 14, "Mosquito control district battles insects, themselves."

The article is misleading journalism. It is misleading to the 125,000 registered voters of St. Johns County and to Times-Union readers.

Significant events that occurred at the Anastasia Mosquito Control District meetings of July 10 and July 12 were omitted that, when disclosed, show a 180-degree turn of events.

First, it was not disclosed that when Chairman Barbara Bosanko called the sheriff on July 10 to remove citizens exercising their constitutional right to speak, the deputy who responded did an onsite investigation and removed no one.

Reason: no grounds for calling the sheriff in the first place.

Second, the reporter failed to disclose what I believed to be the real reason that Bosanko called the sheriff - to keep a highly embarrassing issue from being disclosed on public TV.

Don Girvan, a retired U.S. Army colonel and veteran pilot, disclosed that the Mosquito Control District could have purchased a helicopter, made specifically for mosquito control, for $350,000 instead of the one purchased for $1.8 million - a $1,450,000 savings!

Prior to Girvan's attempt to speak, he had issued a "written memo" to the commissioners disclosing the huge savings. In an attempt to keep this disclosure from the public, Commissioner Linda Wampler attempted to stop Girvan from continuing.

She knew if he were to "spill the beans" it would further humiliate Mosquito Commissioners Bosanko, Linda Wampler and Emily Hummel - all supporters of the district's $1.8 million six-passenger-seat, luxury helicopter, to be used for treating swamps.

This helicopter is designed to carry executives for passenger transportation.

Commissioners Jeanne Moeller and I were against this helicopter purchase. This luxury helicopter purchase has made the Mosquito Control District of St. …

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