WELLS — The Board of Selectmen is considering supporting placing a question on the November ballot that would ask voters if they want to remove fluoride from their drinking water system.
During a Tuesday, July 15 meeting, the Board of Selectmen discussed whether to approve putting a question on the November ballot that would allow citizens to vote on the issue of the continued use of fluoride being added to the Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Wells Water District (KKWWD).
In 2002, the towns making up the KKWWD — Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Wells, Arundel, Ogunquit, and portions of York and Biddeford — supported fluorinating the water. Four of those seven towns would have to support placing the question on the November ballot prior to Aug. 5 in order for it to be placed on the ballot.
Town Manager Jonathan Carter said state statute mandates that the question be approved by the towns at least 90 days before the election.
The proposal has stemmed from a group of residents approaching town boards asking to have the question placed on the ballot.
KKWWD Superintendent Norm Labbe said the district had previously maintained a neutral position on adding fluoride to the public water supply, but on Tuesday he told selectmen that the KKWWD board gave him the authority to say that the KKWWD believes they should cease adding chemicals to fluorinate the water.
Selectman Robert Foley said he doesn’t think there is enough time to properly vet the issue before the Aug. 5 deadline.
“That’s not good policy in my opinion,” he said.
Several dentists who attended the meeting showed their support for continuing to fluoridate the water, with one asking the board to not move the proposal forward.
“I urge you not to put it on the ballot,” said Lisa Howard, an orthodontist based out of Scarborough.
Resident Mickey Bergman said a few words in support of adding the question to the ballot.
“Fluoride is poison,” he said.
Selectman Richard Clark made a motion to have a public hearing at the next Board of Selectmen’s meeting on August 5, but it did receive a second and therefore did not move forward.
Chairman Karl Ekstedt said that the board would make a decision by Aug. 5 if it will support adding the question on the November ballot.
In other business…