STUART — Residents will decide in November whether they want fluoride added to their drinking water. But first, the Stuart City Commission must decide Monday how the question will be put to voters on the ballot.
The City Commission has two options, which were released Thursday morning.
The first is a straw ballot, which would not be binding on the City Commission. Instead, it would simply tell commissioners what city residents want. Commissioners can then adopt a resolution or ordinance based on residents’ general opinion.
The second is to put actual ordinance language on the ballot and allow voters to adopt or reject the provision themselves.
Commissioners will pick between the two at a City Commission meeting Monday.
The question of whether to fluoridate Stuart’s drinking water has been a matter of heated debate between pro-fluoride dentists and anti-fluoride activists for months now.
Proponents of fluoridating the city’s water supply argue that it is a safe and cost-effective way to prevent tooth decay among children of families who cannot afford regular dental care.
Opponents argue that fluoride may have harmful effects in certain concentrations, with symptoms ranging from tooth discoloration to kidney damage and bone cancer.