4 March 2005

Monroe County Executive
110 County Office Building
39 West Main Street
Rochester, New York 14614-1476
Phone: (585) 428-5301
Fax: (585) 428-216

Attn.: Maggie Brooks

Re: Neighbor Notification Law

M. Brooks,
I’m a resident of Rochester (23rd district) with a family lineage in the green industry in this city since 1840. I want to express my opposition to Monroe County’s Legislation considering adopting the proposed ‘Neighbor Notification Law’. (The added Sections 33-1004 and 33-1005 to Article 33, Title 10 of the Environmental Conservation Law).

The news media has implied that this proposal will benefit the environment and help protect our county residences from incidences of cancer. Both these claims are not accurate and I think I have provided persuasive arguments with third party references supporting this in my web page titled “Open letter sent to my customers” posted on my web site.


I invite you to take five minutes to visit this site and read this letter.

Advocacy groups may have your ear now, but the majority of the population in our county are single family (& voting) homeowners who understand that their home & properties are (in most cases) their greatest asset. And if you push for the passing of this legislation, making it more difficult for them to maintain & protect their properties, it will not be received positively over time. I believe that the general public wants to be able to maintain & protect their properties without government interference.
Our local government should have the insight, intelligence, courage & leadership to SEE & be able to express the faults in this proposed legislation. I know as a politician, you cannot appear ‘soft on environmental issues’, so I’d suggest that to save face, that you say that there are much more effective directions that can be explored on this issue as an alternative.
I for one, think that making it a law that commercial applicators must practice I.P.M. (Integrated Pest Management) would be innovative, have a positive impact and certainly would be welcomed by environmental groups. Make it illegal for a lawn care company to apply a weed control or insect control to an entire lawn simply as a course of maintenance. With IPM, they would be required to evaluate the necessity of an application and if an infestation exceeds an acceptable level, only then would treatments be made & only to the areas that are deemed necessary.
Intelligent, reasonable, environmentally sound...
And the contractors get paid for their scouting & evaluation efforts so their resulting income for the services they provide shouldn’t be effected by a huge degree.

Everybody wins.

(There are companies that have already adopted the I.P.M. method on their own (simply as a matter of conscience towards their environment & community. This Includes the company that was mentioned as being responsible for that alleged incident in Irondequoit seven years ago...)

Let’s make any new legislation that’s designed to protect ourselves & our environment, one that has some real substance!

Regarding ‘the cancer’ angle on this; It looks good for all the slanted news reporting in our D&C and local television news, but you have to know that the facts don’t support it. There are just too many respected third party studies that can be referenced supporting this. The cancer side is pure emotion & scare tactics. It can only work for the short term because the facts will show that it has no substance and eventually, the people will be made aware of this. The truth always comes out. When this happens, where do you want to be standing?

This slanted reporting we’ve had to endure has absolutely shocked me.
I’m going to contact Bob Smith at WXXI (1370 Connection) and suggest he also read my letter. I’ve always respected him & considered him to be ‘the voice of reason’ in our community and I cannot believe he’ll allow the wool to be pulled over his eyes regarding the facts on this issue.

Regarding the neighbor notification issue, our industry has already offered as an option to your 48 hr. proposal, to make it a requirement for applicators to offer the immediate neighbors (on each side of their customers) the option of being notified (if they desire). So with this, you’ll be able to satisfy a sizable portion of the people concerned on this issue without any effort on your part or additional expense to us taxpayers.
Who can argue with offering notification to only those who want it?

However, if this proposal does pass in our county, I’ll use whatever influence I have to attempt to keep any of the legislators that voted ‘in favor’ of it from being reelected. It certainly will not be difficult to influence my customer base on this, as they’ll be reminded every time they have a pest maintenance problem and my ability to address it for them efficiently & effectively will be hampered by these unreasonable restrictions & rules, ...all growing season long.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact me & I'll do my best to try to clarify.

Thank you.


Thomas A. Ewart,
owner; Love Arboreal


A copy of this note has also been forwarded to all the legislators of the districts I currently do business in.
(Districts: 9,10,11,14,15,18,23,24).

I’ve also uploaded a copy of it to my web site.