Independence residents are likely to have their say on fluoride in November.
The City Council decided Tuesday night to place on the Nov. 4 ballot the question of raising the fluoride level in the city’s water.
“We are elected to represent the majority,” Mayor Ron Stewart said.
The council was prepared to hear the first reading of an ordinance that would have raised the city’s fluoride level. Instead, the council voted 5-2 to remove that ordinance and instead consider a new measure at its March 3 meeting.
That ordinance would place the question before the voters as an amendment to the city charter.
Council members John Perkins and Renee Paluka opposed a public vote. Perkins wondered whether supporters of a higher fluoride level should produce enough petition signatures to force a fluroride referendum. Paluka questioned the wisdom of supporting such a charter amendment should scientific opinion on fluoride’s benefits change.
Other council members, however, endorsed a public vote, acknowledging the sometimes emotional fluoride dialogue the council has heard for several months.
“This is probably a wise move, to put it to a public vote,” said council member Jason White. “We’ve allowed for public hearings. This is a proper way to culminate the process.”