The idea of forcing residents of Alleghany County to ingest fluoride in their tap water was forcefully criticized at Monday afternoon’s county commissioner’s meeting.
But later during the session, when Commissioner Milly Richardson suggested a motion opposing the practice, she was met with caution.
Commission Chair Ken Richardson won agreement to have the issue put on the first agenda for November before further action could be taken.
“We need to hear more than one side of the story,” he said.
Commissioner Doug Murphy agreed. Noting he has issues of his own with fluoridation of water, he nevertheless added, “I want to have both sides of the argument. I want to be fair.”
Asked about the position of the Sparta Town Council, County Manager Don Adams said none so far exists.
Milly Richardson pointed out that the council was never asked for its position by the Virginia-Carolina Regional Water Authority, which wants to impose fluoridation in both Sparta and neighboring Independence, Va.
But when pressed again by Ken Richardson, she agreed to the November hearing.
Commissioner Steve Roten said the authority ought to have held a public hearing, but Milly Richardson said the authority is an autonomous body that doesn’t have to listen to anyone.
True, said Roten, but the authority is overseen by eight residents of both Sparta and Independence, as well as both counties, who could well speak up if they wanted to.