Bug board OKs term limits

Pending state Legislature approval, future Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board commissioners will be limited in the number of terms served.

At its meeting Tuesday in Marathon, the Mosquito Control Board took the first step in the process and voted for a limit of three four-year terms. If a commissioner serves part of a four-year term and quits, it is still considered a full term served.

Currently, terms are four years with no limits on the number one can serve. That will change if the state Legislature approves because the Mosquito Control District was legislatively created. Should that happen, the term limits will take effect after each current commissioner has finished his or her term in the seat.

Commissioner Phil Goodman was pushing for a limit of two four-year terms.

“We’ve discussed this for the last three months and we’ve heard arguments on all sides,” he said.

Commissioner Tom McDonald agreed with the limit of two four-year terms, while commissioners Jill Craney-Gage, Brandon Pinder and Stan Zuba thought three terms would be more appropriate. Their vote carried the day.

“I think eight years is not long enough for this particular job,” Zuba said.

He, Pinder and Craney-Gage voted in favor of a limit of three terms.

The earliest the Legislature could approve the limits would be during the next legislative session in 2018.

“We’ll get the resolution to them soon and start working with them to prepare a deal to present to the Legislature,” Goodman said in reference to state Rep. Holly Raschein (R-Key Largo) and Sen. Anitere Flores (R-Miami and the Keys).


Site work continues at the district’s new $2.84 million Lower Keys operations building at 18 Aquamarine Drive, Big Coppitt Key, according to construction manager Bill Sprague of B.W. Sprague Consulting Services. He told commissioners concrete has been poured and retaining walls should be finished by next month.

Also, a set of trailers at $279,983 will house administrative offices and a small mosquito identification lab, but those will come later.

The district’s lease of a Key West city-owned building on Stock Island ends Dec. 31 and will not be renewed, which is the reason for the new buildings.

Katie Atkins: 305-440-3219