By Jessica Tuggle
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY - Election time is drawing near and the race for mosquito control district representation is buzzing.
Incumbent David Foster is being challenged by businessman Thomas Lureau and familiar political figure Charles Sembler II.
This article will feature Mr. Sembler and Mr. Foster.
Charles Sembler II
Mr. Sembler has served in various elected positions, including Sebastian Inlet District commissioner, state legislator and most recently, county tax collector.
Mr. Sembler has served the public at various times in various ways with the same mentality: to get a job done. He doesn't describe himself as a usual politician, or even a politician at all. Instead, he is the person people choose when they want something done.
"I am different from anyone else," Mr. Sembler said.
He said he is the type of person who will load up a truck of adulticide and spray down a community if that's what it takes to get the job done and save money.
And saving money by cutting costs is an area Mr. Sembler would like to focus on.
Areas he would look to cut are in travel, overtime and maintenance, though he would like to see a thorough budget cutting exercise, Mr. Sembler said.
The health and safety of the public is very important and making sure the area is properly treated for mosquitos is priority No. 1.
It's not only humans who need to be careful of mosquitos carrying illnesses, but it affects horses, too, Mr. Sembler said.
"I'm plain and simple and to the point. Some people may say I'm too blunt, but at the end of the day, I get it done," Mr. Sembler said.
Mr. Foster has served as a district commissioner for a little more than seven years. He always had an interest in politics, and with his background in landscape management and experience with pesticides, mosquito control is a perfect match.
"The biggest challenge we face is matching the level of public safety with the threat of West Nile (virus) and encephalitis with the financial constraints," Mr. Foster said.
In comparing the 2005-06 and the 2012-13 district budgets, there is less than a 3 percent increase, which is noteworthy because in that time, the cost of fuel and insurance has doubled, and the cost of the chemicals has also increased, he said.
"I'm very proud of holding the line on spending," Mr. Foster said.
Since he was first elected, the district has moved from a larger treatment of the adult mosquito population to treating mosquitos in the larvae stage.
"It's a system that takes time to set up. It reduces the amount of chemicals needed and actually switches from a chemical to a bacteria," Mr. Foster said.
While the cost of the larvicide, which is frequently distributed by field agents by hand, is more than adulticide, which is usually spread by truck spraying, the cost basically balances out because it reduces overtime pay and fuel costs, he said.
One element Mr. Foster takes pride in for his terms is that there has been a 30 percent reduction in overall service calls.
He believes that is a direct result of the district doing an excellent job in serving the public.
Mr. Foster has lived in Indian River County for 18 years and is married with two children.
Hometown News is attempting to contact all candidates for Indian River Mosquito Control District seat 1 for a profile.
To see more candidate profiles, read Hometown News or search online at www.myhometownnews.net.