Courtesy photos Michele Kemper and Zach Hall are both running for Issaquah City Council Position 2 in the Nov. 5 General Election.
Michele Kemper and Zach Hall are vying for Issaquah City Council Position 2.
Kemper is a retired vice president and chief compliance officer of the financial services industry
who holds a bachelor’s degree in social services and public administration from Pacific Lutheran
University and her Master of Business Administration from University of Washington.
Hall holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Washington and currently works
as a legislative assistant to the Washington State House of Representatives. He has lived in
Issaquah for more than 20 years.
Where do you stand on the decision of whether to fluoridate the city’s
Kemper: Communities are reassessing the wisdom of fluoridation. Many reached the conclusion:
when stripped of endorsements and well-meaning intentions, fluoridation makes no sense.
Fluoridation is the practice of adding industrial-grade fluoride to water to prevent tooth decay.
We now know drinking fluoride does not stop tooth decay — you have to apply fluoride directly
to the teeth (toothpaste). Our city takes seriously delivering a clean supply of water. How to do
this includes cost, supply source and public health. I place weight on public health. Here’s why
I do not support fluoridation — this is mass medication. Unlike all other water treatment processes,
fluoridation does not treat the water itself, but the person consuming it. You don’t need to add
drugs to water — particularly when fluoride is readily available in toothpaste. Swallowing fluoride
is ineffective — it must be applied directly to teeth. The Center for Disease Control (CDC)
acknowledges that fluoride’s main benefit is topical contact, not ingestion. The CDC notes
toxic side effects with mass fluoridation. Kids can develop dental fluorosis (discoloration of teeth).
Others with kidney, arthritis, thyroid and bone diseases may suffer side effects. Residents can
buy toothpaste with or without fluoride. Residents can’t choose what comes out of their tap.
Hall: Issaquah should follow best practices in public health policy. That’s why I support including
fluoride in our city’s water supply. Decades of scientific research has concluded its safety and
effectiveness, and public health professionals at the University of Washington, the American
Dental Association, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognize and endorse
its health benefits. The real issue I’ve heard in my hundreds of door-to-door conversations is the
equity and affordability of our water rates. Before we commit to building a costly water treatment
plant here in Issaquah, we should work with our regional partners, like Cascade Water Alliance
and Sammamish Plateau Water, to determine whether purchasing surplus water from them would
be a more affordable path forward. Issaquah also provides a water utility discount program for our
low-income senior residents. I think it’s time we explore expanding this discount program to other
residents living on low and fixed incomes. What it comes down to is this – Are we being cost-effective
with our city’s tax dollars? And are we doing everything we can to ensure reasonable rates for our
residents? If we answer no to either of these questions, we’re doing our city a disservice.
Issaquah has had four unsuccessful state audits in the past four years, how would you
ensure financial accountability for the city?…