Environment is priority

Letter published in Daily Local News, 3/6/17 (not online there)

Heartfelt thanks to Carolyn Comitta, who always stands up for the health of her community. In September of 2015 when the spraying of Marshall Square Park with the pesticide Permanone was imminent, Carolyn responded to a petition signed by over 400 Borough residents asking for a delay in the application of this pesticide to our beautiful community.

Carolyn spoke with the Health Department and negotiated a waiting and fact finding period. And spraying was not conducted.

Carolyn then spearheaded a task force with representation from across the community, from borough government and the county Health Department to work together on this issue. With her support, we launched the West Chester Borough Don’t Spray Me organization to educate citizens about eliminating standing water and reducing mosquito breeding spots. We recruited 116 block captains to work with their neighbors. We were able to reduce the number of mosquitoes and we did not get sprayed last summer.

Carolyn Comitta expressed confidence in us, her constituents, and with her help and support, we succeeded. The number of mosquitoes in West Chester last summer was significantly lower than during the preceding summer and so the Health Department did not spray.

The task force is still at work with a goal of creating an outline for other communities to use in addressing mosquito and spraying challenges. In 2017 new Don’t Spray Me chapters are forming in East Bradford, West Goshen and Westtown Townships.

Thank you Carolyn for listening to your constituents and for making environmental concerns a top priority. Thank you too for being a masterful negotiator who can bring us all together to solve problems.

Margaret Hudgings, West Chester