The City Council has selected six questions that will be asked of opposing committees at a city water fluoridation forum Oct. 22.
Council members unanimously chose the queries Tuesday after they had graded 20 questions. Ten questions were offered by each of the two committees, one for and one against fluoridation.
The forum will be at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 321 E. Fifth St., as part of the preparation for an advisory survey that the city will mail to about 10,000 city water users inside and outside the city limits Nov. 6.
The City Council will review the results before deciding whether to continue fluoridating city water after May 18, when the city’s 10-year fluoridation pledge expires with the Washington Dental Service Foundation.
On Tuesday, council members ranked each question on a 1-10 scale, with 10 indicating the most interest. A top overall score of 70 points was possible for a single question on the seven-person council.
The top score for any single question was 54.
Top three questions
Here are the top three questions council members chose Tuesday from the pro-fluoridation committee headed by Dr. Tom Locke, followed by each question’s cumulative score:
? ? What studies and reviews demonstrate the safety of community water fluoridation? Score: 54.
? ? What studies and reviews show that community water fluoridation works to prevent tooth decay? Score: 48.
? ? Who are the organizations that either support or object to water fluoridation? Score: 45.
Here are the top three questions council members chose from the anti-fluoridation committee headed by retired Dr. Eloise Kailin, followed by cumulative scores:
? ? If a person wants to ingest fluoride, what other sources of fluoride are available? Score: 49.
? ? Please provide one prospective, randomized controlled trial of fluoridation’s efficacy. What modern, peer-reviewed published study, controlled for socioeconomic, racial and age factors, reports statistical significance supportive of claims of a 30 percent reduction in tooth decay? Score: 49.
? ? What accounts for the fact that the incidence of tooth decay in [nonfluoridated] developed countries, like [those in] Western Europe, has decreased at the same rate as in fluoridated cities in the United States? Score: 47.
“These are good questions,” Councilman Dan Gase said at the meeting Tuesday.
“I think we accomplished what we hoped to accomplish.”
The committees had identical top average overall point totals of 38.5 out of 70 for each group of 10 questions.
Mayor Dan Di Guilio said Wednesday a clear top interest did not emerge on the council.
He expected to see at least one score of 60.
“I was surprised that the council didn’t focus on one question,” he said Wednesday.
“The high-priority questions were spread throughout the council.
“I think we want different levels of information about certain issues as it relates to fluoridation.”
The Oct. 22 forum will be followed by a meeting from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Oct. 29, also at City Hall, that will be reserved for public comment.
No public comment will be taken at the Oct. 22 forum.
That forum, which will be moderated by the Clallam County League of Women Voters, will include 10-minute opening remarks by each side.
The committees will have four minutes to answer each of the six questions, one minute for rebuttals and 15 minutes for closing statements.