Thursday, May 20, 2010

Letter from the President - 2010 is off to a Busy Start with Many Legislative Issues

This first appeared in the spring issue of The Standard, the quarterly newsletter of the Ohio Pest Management Association.

By Andrew Christman

This year Cleveland ranked #1 on the Forbes “10 worst winter-weather cities” list, with Columbus also receiving accolades at #8!! Boston and New York debuted at #2 and #3, respectfully. Now that we have all survived one of the worst winters in our lifetime, it is time to enjoy spring. May Mother Nature bless us all with an abundance of insects and termite swarms this year!

Legislative Day in Washington, D.C., took place in March, and was well-represented by the Ohio contingency – with over 17 OPMA members in attendance! On Monday March 1st, OPMA attendees enjoyed great camaraderie, memory sharing and contagious laughter at our sponsored dinner. We dinned at an authentic Italian restaurant that was located in the basement of a historic brownstone home. Thank you to Karl Hinderer at Southern Mill Creek Products, Cam Renn at UNIVAR, Jason Carpenter at Environmental Pest Solutions, and Bob Rosenberg at NPMA for sponsoring such a wonderful evening. We had a blast and can’t wait to do it again next year.

The following morning, it was time to get down to business as we had our appointments with Congress. We had the opportunity to meet at the offices of Senator George V. Voinovich (R), and Senator Sherrod Brown (D), followed by meetings at the offices of our House Representatives Jean Schmidt (R-2nd), Steve Austria (R-7th), John Boehner (R-8th), Marcia Fudge (D-11th), Pat Tiberi (R-12th), Steven LaTourette (R-14th) and Mary Jo Kilroy (D-15th). We provided Congress with Pest Management Fact Sheets, along with handouts detailing our three main Legislative issues. It was a busy and productive day.

Our areas of concern were what congress can do about the bed bug epidemic, and how they can support Ohio’s Section 18 Emergency Exemption request for the indoor residential use of propoxur for bed bug control. Our other issues included the School Environmental Protection Act (SEPA), and the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) otherwise known as “card check”.

Legislative issues have never been more important to our industry than they are today.

This is a crucial election year in Congress for small business owners. Please consider supporting OPMA’s PAC Fund. We need your support. In less then a year, EPA’s new political appointees have completely reshaped the Agency’s pesticide policies, and YOU will likely soon feel the impact. With that being said, we are fortunate enough that our industry has two representatives running for office. Fred Daily, former director at the Ohio Department of Agriculture is running for Congress in Ohio’s 18th District. Robert “Bob” Dold, Jr., family member and owner/operator of Rose Pest Solutions in Chicago, Illinois is the 10th District Congressional Candidate. Congratulations and Godspeed to both Fred and Bob!

Please understand that donations do not need to be large. Donations of $20, $30, $50 or even $100 can make a huge difference. Did you know that the majority of President Barack Obama’s campaign funds came from those who donated LESS then $100.00?!!

I continue to represent the OPMA at steering committee meetings and member meetings for the Central Ohio Bed Bug Task Force (COBBTF), as well as the Ohio Department of Health Bed Bug Workgroup. Weekly updates for the COBBTF are posted on OPMA’s Web site for your review.

On Wednesday March 24th I provided testimony as a proponent for Representative Mallory’s House Resolution 182 at the State Capital. HR 182 is a proponent for Ohio’s Section 18 request. Other proponent testimony included Dr. Susan Jones of OSU-E, Brad Corso of the Ohio Department of Health, Michael Evans of the Ohio Hotel and Lodging Association, and Matt Beal of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. We were able to answer a lot of good questions from committee members, while setting the record straight. Thank you to our lobbyist Belinda Jones, and Lonnie Alonso, president of OPARR and owner of Columbus Pest Control, for their generous time and support. Lonnie also provided the same testimony as a proponent for State Senator Kearny.

I continue to encourage you to join a committee and/or attend an OPMA board meeting. This is your right as a member of the OPMA and a privilege to your company. Please contact me directly with your interest and I will be sure to place you on the appropriate committee. We have recently placed two new committee members – Gerald Moore of Terminix is now on the Education Committee, and Chris Snow of First Choice Pest Control is now on the Membership Committee. Congratulations Gerald and Chris!

We look forward to working with you.

The Summer Meeting Committee (with Scott Steckle of Varment Guard, and Craig Farrell of Expert Pest Management) has planned a casual and EXCITING summer meeting for the whole family to enjoy. We are going back to the family format that so many of our members have enjoyed over the years. Look at it as a well-deserved mini-vacation. The meeting will be held at the beautiful Cherry Valley Lodge Resort and Spa in Newark/Granville, Ohio. Cherry Valley Lodge and the City of Granville has so much to offer including a full spa inside the lodge, a 50,000 square foot water park resort, premium arcade center for the kids (and dads!), 5 pool side cabanas with flat screen TVs that the OPMA has reserved, a national historic downtown (with known ghosts that haunt the buildings), a winery and an award-winning golf course. Please save the date now! We can’t wait to see you on Friday, July 16th. Look for information to follow in the mail soon.

Please do not hesitate to call me if you have any recommendations or ideas to make OPMA and even a better organization then it already is. I am here to serve you.

Contact: achristman@ohioexterminating.com. Work phone is (614) 294-6311 x11, or cell number is (614) 374-9609.

Have a prosperous spring!


Sincerely,

Andrew Christman, OPMA President

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