Last November, Mayor Dave Eggers said he didn’t want fluoride in the city’s water supply.
Three weeks ago, he announced that he’d changed his mind.
Eggers, up for re-election this November, publicly reversed his stance on water fluoridation nearly a year after he cast a losing vote to take it out in a 3-2 commission decision, that ultimately upheld maintaining the water process, during a city candidate forum at Hale Senior Activity Center on Sept. 26.
During his closing statements, Eggers shared his stance on several controversial issues, including fluoride in the city water supply and the land dedication ordinance.
About fluoride, he explained:
On fluoride, I voted to take fluoride out of the water last year when the vote was already 3-1 to keep fluoride in the water. I said then that I was on a journey with this issue. I’d just started looking at it for the first time. I have since had meetings with good folks for and against fluoride, and have met with the founder of a dental clinic for the disadvantaged and had many conversations. Because of the preponderance of scientists and residents wanting fluoride, the apparent health protection to all of us, and the patience of the people I’ve met with educating me, I will now support fluoride in our water. But I think it’s important to understand that those people were uniters, and not dividers.
Commissioners Ron Barnette, David Carson and Julie Scales all voted to keep fluoride in the city water supply on Nov. 29, 2011. City staff originally proposed removing the fluoridation process from the water purification process as a means to save $50,000 during the 2012 budget review process.
The issue came to a head when the city called a special meeting on Nov. 29, 2011, which resulted in passionate discourse that centered on a person’s right to choose and the government’s obligation to public health.
At the time, Eggers said he’d read enough research against fluoridation to raise enough doubt in his mind to vote against it and he then challenged people to continue reading about fluoride.
“Lets be creative about how to deliver this product to those that do want it,” Eggers said as he cast his final vote. “That’s not easy; the easy way to do it, is to do it the way we do it right now.”