Hard as they try to change the focus of their campaigns by creating nonexistent issues, Pinellas County Commissioners Neil Brickfield and Nancy Bostock can’t change their votes to remove fluoride from the county’s drinking water. Brickfield has mischaracterized his opponent, Janet Long, as being a tax-and-spend Democrat as a Seminole City Council member. Bostock has suggested Pinellas County Administrator Bob LaSala is behind some sort of ideological plot to remove her campaign signs from the public rights of way. The real issue isn’t partisan posturing or paranoia. It’s the misinformed decision by Brickfield and Bostock to ignore established science by voting to stop adding fluoride to the drinking water and putting the dental health of 700,000 water users at risk.
Brickfield has sent a last-minute flier accusing Long of raising Seminole taxes and spending. He conveniently forgets to mention those numbers increased because property values increased and the city annexed neighborhoods while the property tax rate remained the same. And Bostock has no proof LaSala had anything to do with the removal of her signs.
Don’t fall for the misdirection plays or the mischaracterization of the fluoride issue as a question of individual choice. This is about elected officials caving in to a vocal, misinformed minority. Mainstream Pinellas voters — Democrats, Republicans and independents — can stand up for the majority on Tuesday and hold Bostock and Brickfield accountable for failing to stand up for them.
Copyright 2012 Tampa Bay Times