VALPARAISO — Pro-fluoridation experts will get their chance to make a pitch Thursday to those charged with deciding if the city should continue to fluoridate its water supply.
The Commission also will allow others to ask questions and comment at the 5 p.m. meeting at City Hall, but comments must be pro-fluoridation.
“If you’re opposed come back in about a week on June 25,” said Stu Walesh, facilitator for the commission.
Walesh hasn’t confirmed who’ll be the anti-fluoride experts on June 25. Questions and comments also will be allowed at that meeting at City Hall.
The Commission has two state experts — both dentists — scheduled for Thursday and space for others.
State Oral Health Director James R. Miller, from the Indiana State Department of Health, is scheduled to address the panel as is E. Angeles Martinez Mier, who works in preventive and community dentistry in the Binational/Cross-Cultural Health Enhancement Center at Indiana University School of Dentistry.
Walesh said he also wants to add local dentists to the list of speakers.
The two expert meetings are close together for Commission members “so it’s fresh in their minds,” Walsh said.
At a future meeting, Commission members will ask follow-up questions and clarify information from the experts and from city officials assisting the Commission: Utilities Director Steve Poulos, former Utilities Director John Hardwick and Water Operations Manager Dr. Shihua Chen.
The Commission will meet three more times to clarify matters and present a draft report by Sept. 30.
The city decided to consider fluoridation after citizens approached the city with concerns.
Other cities also are looking into fluoridation and possible health effects.
“The issue here is not whether fluoride is good. The issue is to decide if the city should continue to add fluoride to the water,” Walesh said.