The Mosquito Control Board (MCB) has a very important mission that affects many aspects of our lives in the Florida Keys. The life experiences of each board member are very important to our success. Mosquito Control involves a broad range of disciplines from business, finance, accounting, administration, biology, entomology, chemistry, chemical engineering, diseases, flying, law, economy, environment, parliamentary procedures and more. The MCB is not an advisory board but makes the final decisions that determine our success or failure. The collective knowledge, vision and experience of that board guide the district in hopefully the right direction. So we better know what we are doing.
The Board gives final approval of a $ 15,000,000 annual budget, offers guidance to the director, who is a scientist, and has total oversight of what is a highly technical organization. Not everyone on the board needs, nor should they have, the same background. To optimally function, their collective experiences should span a wide range of important and relevant disciplines and complement each other. One of our current members is an attorney and one is a pilot. Both of these backgrounds increase our scope. My background as a businessman, developing and managing many budgets much larger than Mosquito Control, my knowledge of the chemistries and technologies we use combined with my knowledge of our local environmental needs also broaden our scope as a board.
Concerning our budget, it is not just a matter of reducing costs or raising taxes. To optimize the budget includes identifying and eliminating waste and shifting that money into killing more mosquitoes. This adds more value to our services for the taxpayers and allows us to continuously improve and better control costs. We have eliminated much waste at Mosquito Control in the past three years which has allowed us to offer good service and lower costs. My number one goal is to provide increasingly better Mosquito Control in the Keys but this does not necessarily involve spending more money or hiring more people. It does involve using what we have more efficiently, more effectively, demanding a return to the taxpayers on what we do spend, and knowing what we are doing. Someone who has never run a successful business will have difficulties to understand this. We have to spend our hard earned tax dollars in the right places. Accomplishing this takes much experience. We do not need to increase taxes as long as we have waste that can be cut; finding that waste is all our jobs. We all know there is a lot of waste in government and Mosquito Control is no exception. It often takes a deep understanding of what we are doing to find it. I had years of experience in finding and eliminating waste in my own technology based company which helps me to find it at Mosquito Control.
Better technology is one of the ways to provide better service and control skyrocketing cost. We must sometimes seek these better technologies ourselves because in a small industry segment like Mosquito Control they do not always knock on our door. A person who has never been in a fast paced technology industry will have problems understanding this. What happened on Big Pine Key last year, when we had to curtail adulticide spraying for a year, was a real eye opener and proved this point to many. If we had not earlier expanded into larviciding technology and continuously improved that technology each year, this incident would have caused more problems that it did and it caused plenty. This occurrence is likely to happen again in other areas of the Keys due to ever increasing environmental concerns from other agencies over what Mosquito Control sprays. We must be ready. We have to get better at killing more mosquitoes and impact the local environment less. This is no small order and will require new innovations and much creative thinking from all of us. As a chemist and entrepreneur, I have much experience in this arena.
If the MCB members have limited relevant experiences to assist in these and other pertinent areas, we then become a rubber stamp for the staff’s decisions. This was partly the cause of Mosquito Control’s problems experienced only four years ago when the board repeatedly turned a deaf ear to pressing issues. The director, staff and employees are important to our success but the Commissioners alone answer to the taxpayers. We better know what we are doing.
My background and experience is a good complement to the MCB as I am the only one with both a business and technical background. I have used my background and experiences in the past term to make decisions and guide the District and I have made a difference. We have made much progress in the past three and a half years but there is much more we must do.
I am Phil Goodman and I ask for your vote for District 2 Commissioner, Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board in the General Election. If you have any questions or concerns, please call me at 305-600-8441.
Phil Goodman has been endorsed by the Keynoter and the Key West Fire Fighters.