An East Baton Rouge Parish Mosquito Abatement and Rodent Control employee made an inappropriate and erroneous statement to an Iberville Parish employee which resulted in an embarrassing news story in the Dec. 7, Advocate.
I apologize to you, Mr. Mayor on behalf of this agency. The EBRPMARC employee referenced in the Advocate article corroborates the Mayor’s statement in that he has never met the Mayor, never had a conversation with the Mayor and certainly was never directed by the Mayor to spray or not spray any area. The employee apologizes to you.
Since speaking to Mr. Koran Addo of the Advocate [late yesterday afternoon] I have determined that the EBRPMARC employee named in the article did in fact make an inappropriate comment to someone in Iberville Parish. However, it was not the Iberville Parish employee named in the news story.
EBRPMARC does spray in other parishes in LA with our aircraft under Public Service Agreements. Most of the work is done in parishes surrounding EBR Parish. The aerial mosquito spraying helps the residents of those parishes and EBR Parish residents since mosquitoes often are blown in by prevailing winds into EBR Parish from surrounding areas.
The Public Service Agreements originate in our office at the request of the other parish. After receiving the request we send the Public Service Agreement to the parish and it is signed by the appropriate official and returned to us. From this office the Public Service Agreements go to the Parish Attorneys office for review and to the Mayors office for his signature. We have encouraged parishes to make requests for Public Service Agreements at the beginning of the year so the contract will be in place in the event they need our assistance later in the year as it takes some time to complete the agreement.
I did not receive a request from Iberville Parish for a Public Service Agreement this year. The last request we received from Iberville Parish was in 2008 and we had a signed agreement for that year. Our first contact this year was after Tropical Storm Lee, not following Mississippi River flooding as stated in the news story. Our aircraft was in use here in EBR Parish at that time and unavailable to assist Iberville Parish. In addition, we did not have a contract in place with Iberville Parish because they had not requested one. No one at EBRPMRAC had any conversation previously with the Mayor or anyone else in the Mayors office about spraying in Iberville Parish prior to that time.
Again, I apologize. This is a personnel matter and I will make no further comments on the topic. As in the past, we will be happy to assist Iberville Parish with mosquito control spraying when our aircraft is available as it helps citizens of both parishes.
EBR Mosquito Abatement and Rodent Control Director, Matthew Yates, issued re: the news story about misunderstanding with Iberville Parish.