Friday, October 08, 2010
SUPPORT MS. CATHY BRANDHORST FOR MOSQUITO CONTROL COMMISSION, REJECT HELICOPTER, TAJ MAHAL BUILDING, CONSOLIDATION
The Anastasia Mosquito Control District of St. Johns County (AMCD)is an independent scientific and technical organization that protects public health from mosquito-borne diseases. It is under attack by some St. Johns County officials, who want to take it over. The future of public health in our county is critical.
That's why I'm supporting Cathy Brandhorst for the open seat on the Anastasia Mosquito Control COmmission of St. Johns County. Former owner of a pesticide company, she's got new ideas on natural pesticides, and has already shown the perspicacity to report environmental, safety and health violations that have already been cured.
Ms. Cathy Brandhorst's opponent, Ms. GINA LABLANC, the former AMCD education specialist, is supported by MARY TARVER WILLIS, notorious former Chair of the Mosquito Control Commission -- LABLANC and WILLIS want to waste your money on a new Taj Mahal building at I-95 and SR16 and a hare-brained consolidation scheme that would waste your money.
LABLANC and WILLIS want to close, sell and consolidate existing substations, wasting money. They want to buy a helicopter. They want to sell land to developers.
All of these plans have been rejected by the current board. Rightfully so.
WILLIS is most noted for voting to buy a $1.8 million no-bid luxury Bell Jet Long Ranger helicopter without competitive bidding. The current board rightly canceled the plans and got a refund of the $81,000 deposit. The no-bid purchase was claimed to be "sole source," which was patently false. This "sole source" canard was based on bad legal advice from attorney GEOFFREY DOBSON, how Of Counsel to a law firm that wants to be hired by the District (McCabe/Vaughn). The $1.8 million no-bid luxury Bell Jet Long Ranger helicopter was a flubdub, symbolic of waste in our county.
The AMCD Board members who canceled the helicopter and canceled the Taj Mahal building were heroic. Let's empower them to continue.
LABLANC falsely states the building would cost $2.5 million. The fact of the matter is that it would cost a minimum of $3.5 million, at minimum -- adding land acquisition costs, the cost is really nearly $5 million. And the cost would truly be higher with consolidation, because the $3.5 million pricetag does not include the space needed to consolidate operations from Hastings, Anastasia Island and the Northwest. In fact, the Ponte Vedra substation should be reopened.
Consolidating operations and building a central location and buying a helicopter, the District would spend more money, not less. LABLANC needs to explain that.
MARY TARVER WILLIS also pressed to buy a $1.2 parcel of land from her friends, the USINAS, without competitive bidding, a survey, or an appraisal.
Was MARY TARVER WILLIS' record worth emulating by Ms. LABLANC -- or was her recorde one of waste, fraud, abuse, misfeasance, malfeasance, nonfeasance and good-ole-boy chicanery.
The goofy helicopter and Taj Mahal building plans are off the table -- unless Ms. LABLANC gets elected. Then there could be enough votes at the table to waste money again.
Vote for Cathy Brandhorst for AMCD.