Fluoride Action Network

Auburn, Derry won’t vote on fluoride

Source: The Union Leader | September 10th, 2004

MANCHESTER — Auburn and Derry voters will not be voting in Tuesday’s primary election on whether they want fluoride in water supplied by Manchester Water Works.

Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Philip P. Mangones yesterday denied a request by fluoride opponents for a court order requiring a vote in the two communities on fluoride.

Assistant Attorney General Orville Fitch, who represented the Secretary of State in the case, said parties to the case were told late yesterday the injunction was denied.

“Beyond that, it is not at all clear (what the order says). The expectation is the order does not alter the election,” Fitch said.

On Tuesday, Manchester, Bedford, Londonderry, Goffstown and Hooksett residents will vote on whether the water works can continue putting fluoride in the public water supply, as it has for the past four years.

State Rep. Barbara Hagan and other plaintiffs had asked that ballots be provided Tuesday to municipalities excluded from voting on fluoride.

The request for a preliminary injunction contended that excluding citizens in Auburn and Derry from voting violated their constitutional right to equal protection under the law.

According to statements made at a court hearing Wednesday, Manchester Water Works determined Auburn would not get a vote because it does not have the threshold 100 water connections required by new legislation.

The water works excluded Derry because the town buys its water from Manchester wholesale and then bills residents, charging a 30 percent markup, and the Derry water users are not direct customers of the water works.

Fitch said if voters reject fluoridation on Tuesday, the Hagan lawsuit will end.

“I presume they would drop their case. But if the majority of voters support the continued use of fluoride, any number of possible events could occur in terms of this action or new actions,” he said.