Florida Keys News - Key West Citizen
Friday, June 20, 2014
Cousineau runs for bug board

Key West Realtor Roger Cousineau is putting his efforts toward mosquito control, and it goes beyond just picking up a fly swatter.

He is making his first run for elected office, seeking the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District seat currently held by Commissioner Phil Goodman. The seat represents people from Big Coppitt Key to Marathon.

Cousineau called mosquito control one of the most "intriguing" local government agencies, because it deals with a great deal of science and biology, and the service has an impact on the quality of life and public safety of both residents and visitors, he said.

"They deal with something that impacts people on a day-to-day basis, all day -- mosquitoes," Cousineau said. "I am intrigued by the science behind it."

Cousineau toured the mosquito control facilities in Marathon on Tuesday to learn more about the agency and the technology it utilizes. He was impressed by the employees' enthusiasm, he said.

He wants to make sure that the agency's budget is not cut to a point that the level of service is jeopardized. The candidate argued the service is responsible for stopping threats of such tropical mosquito-transmitted viruses as dengue fever and chikungunya, which is quickly spreading across the Caribbean.

He is also opposed to the idea of privatizing the agency.

"Damage could be done that would be hard to reverse," Cousineau said. "We have to make sure they have the resources to do their job."

His opponent, incumbent Goodman, has been the fiscal watchdog on the board, and questioned some of the salaries of district employees and expenditures the district has made.

Cousineau, 55, is an agent with Century 21 Schwartz Reality. He received a bachelor's degree in English from College of Steubenville in Ohio.

Cousineau, a Democrat, will face Goodman, a Republican, in the Nov. 4 General Election.

tohara@keysnews.com

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