New stink over school odors

Residents have been outraged by Mayor Yehuda Ben Hamo's responding to their complaints by saying the only thing he can smell is the "scent of elections."

The continuing stench at Kfar Saba's Golda elementary school has been a source of fury for parents and local residents since last year, and now it has sent forth some new fumes, reports the Hebrew weekly Yediot Hasharon. Residents who have accused the city of doing too little to solve the long-standing problem have been outraged by Mayor Yehuda Ben Hamo's responding to their complaints by saying the only thing he can smell is the "scent of elections." According to the report, residents first began complaining of odors coming from the sewerage lines at the school more than 18 months ago, and children and residents in the surrounding areas have reportedly suffered from migraines, nausea and other ill effects. At a stormy council meeting attended by many residents, opposition councilor Guy Ben Gal said the municipality was not doing enough to solve the problem. He said that although the city had hired a specialist company to investigate the smells, it had not acted on the company's recommendations to repair the sewerage system, and had merely placed an air purification device at the school. And Meretz councilor Yair Avraham said the mayor only acted when his reputation and position were threatened. But Ben Hamo said the city was planning to eliminate the smells with a high-pressure water pump, and it was expected that work on this would be completed this year. "The only thing I can smell is the scent of elections," he said. His comment caused a storm among the watching residents, who vowed that Ben Hamo would pay at the coming municipal elections for ignoring the problem.