CHAIRMAN OF STATE'S MOSQUITO COMMISSION REELECTED FOR 25th
What's the buzzword? It's not mosquitoes.
Rather it's the fact that 90-year-old West Orange resident
Aaron H. Rappaport has been reelected for the 25th time
as chairman of the state's Mosquito Control Commission.
Rappaport is no stranger to vector control.
Rappaport first became involved in the important task of
mosquito control in 1960 when he was appointed a member
of the Essex County Mosquito Extermination Commission. There,
he served 19 years--two years as president, and as treasurer
for 14 years where he oversaw a budget of over $800,000.
During his service, Rappaport witnessed new developments
such as the use of right-hand drive vehicles to treat the
over 60,000 street catch basins to control the mosquito
larvae that breed there and the use of amphibious equipment
to remove debris and sediment from clogged water ways such
as the Passaic River.
"The Essex County Mosquito Control
Commission evolved as a premier mosquito control agency
earning state and national recognition which exemplifies
the reputation that New Jersey still has in this science
thanks to Rappaport's leadership," said State Environmental
Protection Commissioner Bob Shinn.
Rappaport guided the agency through several
episodes of the mosquito-borne diseases such as the Eastern
Equine Encephalitis outbreak of 1959 and the St. Louis Encephalitis
outbreak of 1975. His experience led to an appointment to
the state Mosquito Control Commission in 1976, and he was
nominated chairman a year later. His 25th re-election as
commission chairman occurred at the commission's annual
reorganization meeting in October.
"With the exception of biologists
and scientists, probably no one knows better the history
of vector control than Aaron Rappaport," said Bob Kent,
administrator of the New Jersey Department of Environmental
Protection's Office of Mosquito Control Coordination. "He
is one of the most respected and esteemed individuals in
the mosquito control profession and brings a breadth of
knowledge unsurpassed by others."
From the Eastern Equine Encephalitis outbreak
of 1959 to the most recent infectious mosquito-borne disease,
the West Nile virus, Rappaport has been involved in making
sure that the state Mosquito Control Commission reacts swiftly
to protect the public from mosquitoes and the threat of
During his watch he oversaw the implementation of several
new programs initiated by the state commission including
the development of the biological control program which
uses mosquito-eating fish as an all-natural control practice
and the implementation of an Integrated Pest Management
Strategy which has reduced the use of insecticides for mosquito
control. Currently, the commission has a yearly budget of
$1.2 million for the state-aid program that assists the
statewide network of country mosquito control agencies in
this important work.
Rappaport joined the New Jersey Mosquito
Control Association, a professional society of scientists
and commissioners, in 1967. He served as a long-time member
of the auditing committee, a member of the executive committee,
and the association's president in 1986.
A recipient of the Jesse B. Leslie award
for outstanding service presented to him by the mosquito
control community in 1981, Rappaport was also recognized
by Rutgers University where he received the Cook College
award for Meritorious Service in 1988-the only time this
award was presented to a member of the mosquito control
Rappaport is the retired owner and president
of Rappaport Oil Company in East Orange and a former Captain
of the West Orange Police Reserve. He served in the Army
from 1944-1946 with the Infantry where he was Chief of Classification
for the Adjutant General's Department.
He has been a member of numerous civic
and business organizations including Oil Heat Council, Fuel
Merchant's Association, American Legion, Post 22 of West
Orange, Jewish Center of West Orange, and Suburban Club
of West Orange. Also, YMCA of the Oranges, Irvington Lodge,
F.A.M. #251, B'nai Birth, Ezekiel Lodge, #90, Greater Newark
Community Chest, the United Jewish Appeal, and the American
Rapport resides in West Orange with his
wife, Anne, and has a daughter, Laurie Ellen, and a grand
and great-grand daughter.
The state Essex Mosquito Control Commission
was organized in 1914 following the discovery that mosquitoes
were directly responsible for the transmission of some of
the most deadly diseases. Today, the control of mosquitoes
in the state is addressed at every level of government ranging
from seasonal programs at the municipal and federal levels,
to year-round programs administered by counties and state
The state Mosquito Control Commission was
established in 1956. The commission is staffed full-time
by the Office of Mosquito Control Coordination which is
part of the DEP. Membership on the commission includes six
public members and four state officials. The Governor, with
advice and consent of the Senate, appoints the public members
who serve for four-year terms. The commission is responsible
for the monitoring of mosquito control activities in the
state. It recommends to the Governor and State Legislature
changes to existing laws needed to efficiently carry on
mosquito control efforts throughout the state.