Fluoride Action Network

Cadillac council postpones tough discussion on water fluoridation

Source: Cadillac News | September 19th, 2018 | By Chris Lamphere
Location: United States, Michigan

CADILLAC — Council members are reluctant at this time to begin a conversation that could become heated very quickly.

Cadillac City Manager Marcus Peccia gathered hundreds of pages of information for council to examine in preparation for eventual debate on whether or not the city should fluoridate its water supply.

Concerned about what she was seeing on a regular basis, local dentist Billie Ritzema recently approached the Cadillac City Council to inform them of grants that are available to pay for fluoridation.

Ritzema said she has noticed a lot of tooth decay in her patients — both young and old — and fluoride is proven to help prevent deterioration if present in water at certain thresholds.

Since 1965, the city of Cadillac has held four elections asking voters to approve the addition of fluoride to the water supply.

Each time, voters turned down the proposition, with the last vote held in 1977.

A few years ago, the Cadillac City Council briefly revisited the possibility of installing a fluoridation system using grant money.

The topic eventually was dropped because there was “not a compelling reason to move forward with it,‘ said Cadillac City Manager Marcus Peccia.

Council member Tiyi Schippers commented that past discussions about fluoridating the water supply were very difficult as people have very strong feelings one way or the other about the topic.

Mayor Carla Filkins said that even with grants, it still could cost residents an additional 50 cents to $3 per person to add fluoride to the water — a cost she wasn’t comfortable imposing at this time.

Council member Shari Spoelman said she sympathizes with the feelings of many residents who have told her they don’t like the idea of something else being added to their water.

“I’m the same way,” Spoelman said.

On the Cadillac News Facebook page, people weighed in on both sides of the debate:

• “Part of the reason I moved to Cadillac is because the water isn’t fluoridated,” said Tara Carlson.

• “Fluoride in water should be someone’s choice! Thank god we have well water! And if we ever thought of moving back to Cadillac this would be a game changer,” said Rhonda Lynn Richardson.

• “This needs to get done,” said Michael Hayes.

• “I’m not for one or the other but those crying fluoride is ‘toxic’ can’t justify. Water is toxic/deadly to us in large quantities. It really depends on the amount of the fluoride in the water,” said Jamie Stearns.

“Perhaps people in Cadillac have poor dental health because of poor diets due to low income, lack of employment that offers dental insurance, and the high cost of dental care,” said Shawna Theobald.

Considering the large volume of information gathered by Peccia, council members indicated they would like more time to mull over the materials before beginning formal discussions on the matter.

Peccia suggested the possibility of bringing the matter up again at a future workshop to discuss capital improvement projects within the city.

*Original article online at https://www.cadillacnews.com/news/cadillac-council-postpones-tough-discussion-on-water-fluoridation/article_c91ef5a0-3e38-54bf-acb0-899c471a51c2.html