Newport Beach City Council voted unanimously Tuesday evening to send a letter requesting the water district delay the start of water fluoridation so they can evaluate resident’s concerns.
“This is 2007. Nobody dies of a cavity,” said Newport Beach resident Dolores Otting in protest of the plan. “It’s a barbaric form of medicine to force us to swallow poison.”
Otting and several other area residents spoke out against the plan to begin water fluoridation out of concern for negative health effects. The anti-fluoride faction also expressed concern the water district had offered no data showing the benefits of fluoride over possible health risks.
“Not all the people here are going to say ‘yay’ to fluoride,” said Councilwoman Nancy Gardner. “I know their concerns are very real. If we could ask for this delay I feel we’d be serving our residents very well.”
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California plans to add fluoride at the Robert B. Diemer Treatment Plant in Yorba Linda Nov. 19, and the water district board agreed in 2003 to add enough fluoride to drinking water supplies to provide dental health benefits. The district provides 18% of Newport Beach’s drinking water.
District officials have advised the council municipal drinking water across the United states has undergone fluoridation for the past 60 years, but some residents at a council study session earlier this month expressed concern over the plan.
Council members expressed misgivings during a regular study session Tuesday over a proposal to put a wireless communications tower inside a clock tower in Mariners Park.
Officials from T-Mobile, a telecom company, want to build the clock tower next to the park’s baseball field. The tower, designed to conceal antennas and other electronic devices, also could accommodate a scoreboard for the baseball diamond and message boards for sports activities at the park. The 49-foot clock tower would exceed a 32-foot height restriction in the park and would require a special permit.
Councilman Michael F. Henn expressed concern the company had not done enough to notify residents living near the park of the proposed building project.
“It is clear there has not really been enough public outreach on this issue,” Henn said. “It is a tall structure. There may be people who live around this area who may be opposed to something on this.”
T-Mobile sent out a letter a week in advance to notify area residents of the public meeting, officials noted at the study session.
Council members also said they would like to see a more detailed plan and technical data on the need for a structure exceeding height restrictions in the park.