Proponents of the two most-public populist causes in Western Springs each gave a single prepared speech at Monday night’s Board of Trustees voting meeting, in stark contrast to the two-issue, hour-long back-and-forth that dominated the meeting of two weeks ago.
Speaking in support of the Openlands proposal to preserve Timber Trails Unit II as open parkland, Eleanor Roberts, a lifelong resident of the Village who recalled a time “when Field Park actually had fields,” spoke of her sadness at seeing the “green” of Western Springs stripped away over the years, including the demise of Vaughn’s Garden Center.
“I’ve watched it happen once, and I don’t want it to happen again,” Roberts said. “Peace and serenity of lovely green open space is disappearing from Western Springs. I grieve for the loss… We see the interests of Openlands in the preservation of the Timber Trails property in its natural state as a wondrous window of opportunity to restore some of that open green beauty to our Village.
A seemingly-impressed Village President Bill Rodeghier called it a “tough act to follow,” a challenge taken up by Marcy Rossi, spokesperson for the newly-christened Western Springs Residents Concerned About Fluoride.
Rossi presented a bevy of statistics and recent studies about the common water additive, which has been phased out by a growing minority of communities in the U.S. She said that fluoride’s only benefit—preventing tooth decay through topical application—is obsolete in an era of easily-accessible, highly-fluoridated toothpaste, and not worth the risks of fluorosis, thyroid problems, lowered IQ in children and other health risks from fluoride exposure, or the expense of using the additive.
“The goal is to take the time to have a public discussion about the recent science as well as the amount of fluoride we are currently receiving from all sources, so that residents can decide for themselves if they are comfortable with the projected levels of fluoride in our water,” Rossi said, quoting her organization’s mission statement.
Note was made that the Public Works Department has been diluting the high-fluoride Well No. 4 water with some water from Well No. 1 (typically inactive) to bring levels down from 2.1 mg/L to 1.67 mg/L.
“The process by which we’re going to determine the makeup of our water will be done in a public meeting or in an appropriate committee,” Rodeghier responded. “It’s not going to be done without significant input from people like you… I think it’s something that we’re going to take into account.” …