According to an Anti-Pesticide Town Councillor …
« You’re all out of order ! »
Scarborough is a town on the southern coast of the U.S. State of Maine, with a population of less than 20,000.
On April 18th, 2012, amid finger-pointing, gavel-pounding and bickering that led to one councillor angrily leaving the meeting, the Town Council REPLACED a 7-month-old policy promoting the use of ORGANIC PEST MANAGEMENT METHODS ( i.e. Anti-Pesticide PROHIBITION ) with a new policy that ALLOWS CHEMICAL PESTICIDES on town-owned property.
The new Integrated Pest Management Policy calls for the town to use the least-harmful product available, rather than always using organics, as long as it still manages pests.
The policy also reduces the new Pest Management Advisory Committee from seven members to five, which would effectively REMOVE TWO PRO-ORGANICS ANTI-PESTICIDE MEMBERS.
A decision about who to appoint to the committee was tabled until the next Town Council meeting.
The new policy was approved 3-0.
Councillor Richard Sullivan recused himself and Anti-Pesticide Councillors Karen D’Andrea and Carol Rancourt abstained, saying THEY BELIEVED THE VOTE WAS OUT OF ORDER.
« I don’t think we should be voting on something that is in violation of our policy rules », D’Andrea said.
D’Andrea scolded councillors during the vote, which led to Vice Chair-Woman Judy Roy telling her she was OUT OF ORDER.
« You’re all out of order ! » D’Andrea shouted back before leaving the meeting.
Adoption of the new policy is opposed by some Anti-Pesticide Residents.
They are angry at the town for replacing the ORGANIC POLICY ( i.e. Anti-Pesticide PROHIBITION ) that took a year to develop before even implementing the policy or filling the advisory board it created when it was approved in September 2011.
« Let this, at least for one season, play out with the recommendations of the organic policy and go from there » said Loan Lorie, one of about a dozen Anti-Pesticide Residents who spoke against the new policy.
« I don’t understand why something that was decided in September after such a long policy would have to be reconsidered. »
Sullivan, who was the lone dissenter in the 4-1 decision to pass the organic approach in 2011, proposed the replacement policy, which adopts the « Best Management and Practices for Athletic Fields and School Grounds » approved by the Maine Board of Pesticide Control in February 2012.
Sullivan first proposed a replacement policy in March 2012, but it was removed from the agenda and not discussed.
The first goal of the Maine Board policy is to minimize the human exposure to pesticides.
It creates a ranked system, with Level 1 fields getting the most attention, and probably application of pesticides, and Level 4 fields getting little more than mowing and water.
D’Andrea, Rancourt, and Elizabeth Peoples ― a lawyer working with Citizens for a Green Scarborough, an Anti-Pesticide Organization that worked for a year in the Ordinance Committee to craft the organic policy ― believe Sullivan had no standing to propose the new policy because he voted in the minority in September 2011.
They cite a Town Council rule about reconsideration, which states that « only those Council members who voted in the majority can sponsor an item for reconsideration, or in the negative on a tie vote, to move a reconsideration thereof at the same, or the next stated meeting ».
They also cited a rule saying a petition cannot be reconsidered for at least a year.
Joel Messer, an outside attorney working for the town, said the rules on reconsideration govern only reconsideration at the same or next meeting, and that « petitions » are defined as requests that originate outside the council, not inside.
And so, Messer argues, Sullivan was free to make his request.
Members of Citizens for a Green Scarborough said they’re NOT FINISHED.
Some talked about taking legal action, others threatened a referendum to bring back the organics-only policy ( i.e. Anti-Pesticide PROHIBITION ).
« We are pursuing our options » said Elizabeth Lancaster Peoples, who also runs, not surprisingly, an organic pesticide-free herb farm, Mainely Herbs, in Scarborough.
Much of the debate at the meeting centered around the peripheral issue of whether Sullivan ― who runs a landscaping business, but has NEVER BEEN HIRED BY THE TOWN ― should have disclosed that his brother, Dan Sullivan, owns a landscaping business that DOES WORK FOR THE TOWN.
Rancourt accused Sullivan of violating a disclosure rule because his brother is paid 40,000 dollars by the Community Services Department for mowing and trimming.
Town rules stipulate that councillors must file a disclosure statement if a member of his or her immediate family does more than 1,000 dollars of business with the town.
Sullivan said he has made no such disclosure, but that he doesn’t believe he must because he has no reason to read contracts awarded by Community Services.
When councillors vote on the budget, he said, they don’t see every contract.
He said he barely talks to his brother, and that his brother doesn’t even use pesticides.
« We don’t have family functions, and we don’t go on trips », he said.
« I would never even know if my brother won or lost a contract. »
Sullivan demanded that Rancourt retract her accusation.
If she doesn’t, he said, he will demand a council hearing.
Before leaving the meeting, D’Andrea also accused Town Manager Tom Hall of acting unethically for « not implementing the ( organic ) policy ».
Hall later said that no pesticide applications, organic or otherwise, have been made since September 2011, with the exception of an emergency grub management application.
Even under the old policy, though, chemical pesticides may have been used in that case because of AN EMERGENCY PROVISION THAT ALLOWED THE TOWN MANAGER TO OPT OUT OF ORGANICS.
After the meeting, one Anti-Pesticide Resident shouted at Councillor Jim Benedict, who voted for Sullivan’s proposal.
Others talked with Town Manager Tom Hall, who said he sought a legal opinion from the moment Sullivan asked about bringing the new policy forward.
Hall tried to assure residents that the council and his staff are still dedicated to using organic pest control techniques, and that the new policy allows them to do so.
« All is not lost, in fact a lot has been gained », he said.
But for some Anti-Pesticide Residents, it’s not enough.
« You can’t go half way on organics » said Anti-Pesticide Activist Elisa Boxer-Cook. « It’s all or nothing. »
Eddie Wooden, a local business owner, Anti-Pesticide Activist, and philanthropist who supports Citizens for a Green Scarborough, said THE FIGHT IS NOT OVER.
« We’re not going away », Wooden said. « We’re going to be very aggressive about this. »
For the original version of this Force Of Nature Report, go to the following link …
For more on VICTORIES AGAINST TERRORISTS. go to …
NORAHG has archived even more information on The Pesticide Truths Web-Site …
CARNAGE CAUSED BY CATASTROPHIC ANTI-PESTICIDE PROHIBITION
FAILURE OF ORGANIC PESTICIDE-FREE MAINTENANCE
MYTH-BUSTING – CANCER, THE MYTH OF
MYTH-BUSTING – PESTICIDE BANS – THE MYTHS ABOUT ANTI-PESTICIDE PROHIBITION ( Long Version )
PEST CONTROL PRODUCTS – CHILDREN ARE NOT AT RISK
PEST CONTROL PRODUCTS – WATER QUALITY – MYTH ABOUT WATER
U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL TERRORISM – STATE PRE-EMPTION
U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL TERRORISM – HIGHLAND PARK, ILLINOIS
THE COMPLETE LIBRARY OF REPORTS & REFERENCES