Mosquito Control District incumbents prevail
The board of the Mosquito Control District will stay the same with the two incumbents, David Foster and Janice Broda, holding on to their seats.
Foster scraped by opponent Charlie Sembler with 43 percent of the vote to Sembler’s 41 percent.
Broda won in a landslide against challenger Scott Stradley. She got about 67 percent of the vote to Stradley’s 33 percent.
Sembler, a former fisherman, state legislator and tax collector, ran a campaign focused on cutting the district budget.
Foster’s campaign focused on keeping the public safe from mosquito-borne diseases, first, and, second, on saving money.
Ultimately, Foster persuaded more of the voters to support him.
“I’m hoping to continue to serve the public well,” said Foster, who has already been on the board for almost eight years and who directs landscaping at John’s Island.
Sembler, who is in New Jersey helping with the Hurricane Sandy clean-up, could not be reached for comment.
But his wife, Beth Sembler, said she had called Foster to congratulate him.
“Foster ran a great race and I thanked him,” she said.
Local businessman Thomas Lureau also ran for the same seat but his vote count was about a third of that of both of his opponents. Like Sembler, Lureau’s campaign promoted cutting costs.
Also keeping her seat was incumbent Broda, who has been on the Mosquito Control District Board for 20 years.
She was challenged by Scott Stradley, a local accountant, whose campaign slogan was “Mosquito Control is out of control.”
Though Stradley took issue with the travel expenses, employee medical insurance and the overtime expenses of the mosquito control district, Broda’s campaign of public health first and foremost carried the day with voters.
Broda also listed protecting the lagoon and budgeting wisely as issues of great concern to her. In the final analysis, her vote count doubled Stradley’s.
“The results show that voters were not mislead by a negative campaign of misinformation,” said Broda.
“Even if I didn’t win the election, I still won because by running, I helped mosquito control become more aware of how it spends money and look for ways to control spending,” said Stradley, an accountant and financial planner.
Broda writes educational software for entomology programs at the University of Florida and is well-versed in mosquito control.
She helped edit the 259-page book “Florida Mosquito Control,” which was published by the Florida Department of Agriculture in 2009.
She is also active in a number of environmental conservation causes in Indian River County.
Broda and Foster will be sworn in the first week of January and will hold their seats for four more years.
The budget of the Mosquito Control District in Indian River County is $5 million.
“We’ve kept our budget in check with very little growth,” said Mosquito Control District Director Doug Carlson, "and we’ve also kept the mosquito population well under control. We’ll continue to find wise ways to spend the taxpayers‘ money.”