Salisbury Select Board makes informed decisions

Last night the Salisbury Select Board confirmed that Mike Blaisdell (Chair of the BLSG Board of Trustees) had acknowledged that there were problems with the annual report BLSG had submitted for inclusion in the Town Reports of the five BLSG District Towns. Blaisdell approved a plan to allow Salisbury to delete a misleading paragraph about arboviruses before including the report in their Town Report.

Although Blaisdell acknowledged the improper nature of the report, he was apparently not planning to send a revised report to all the District towns without first getting approval from the BLSG board. Therefore misleading information could appear in the Town Reports of all other District towns. Select Board members from these towns might still have time to contact Blaisdell and get approval to delete the misleading information.

Also last night the Salisbury Select Board voted unanimously to move BLSG’s 2020-2021 budget request to an article on the Town Meeting warrant. On Tuesday, March 3, the Town Meeting Australian ballot in Salisbury will allow residents to vote for or against funding BLSG for the coming fiscal year. If the funds for BLSG are not approved, BLSG will not operate in Salisbury in 2020. 

Would it be a good idea for Salisbury to be without BLSG’s mosquito control in 2020? Below are seven reasons that Salisbury will better off without BLSG.

  • The mosquito control program is ineffective. Without enough money to apply larvicides effectively, BLSG depends on roadside spraying of insecticides. This program reaches only 4% of the District and provides little relief for most residents. A full discussion of this issue is here:
  • The BLSG leadership refuses to respond to requests from the community to modify its roadside spraying operation. For example, BLSG refuses to respect buffer zones for residents who have opted out of roadside spraying, and BLSG refuses to stop spraying private driveways unannounced and without permission.
  • BLSG refuses to acknowledge that the chemical insecticides sprayed along roads have potentially serious health effects. Residents of the BLSG District deserve to be informed about the true risks of the chemicals being sprayed on their front yards, gardens, children’s’ toys, and pets so they can make the important decisions about whether to opt out of roadside spraying or advocate to stop it completely.
  • BLSG refuses to acknowledge that the chemical insecticides sprayed along roads have potentially serious environmental effects. For example, BLSG was sued in 2018 in part for failing to describe how its roadside spraying might harm or kill endangered or threatened species such as the five species of state-listed bats that live throughout the District. This refusal to admit potential consequences of its activities cost the taxpayers in the BLSG District $56,000 in 2019, and this issue may continue to present legal liability for taxpayers.
  • BLSG uses public funds from District taxpayers to spray private yards upon request. Taxpayers should not be expected to subsidize this program which takes customers away from local businesses.
  • BLSG does not share the details of its operation with the public or the member Select Boards. Although BLSG is a quasi-public entity and is required to keep careful records, they apparently do not want the public to know many details of their operation.

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