CENTERVILLE —Fluoridation may have been approved in November’s election but a group of Centerville residents are gathering signatures to sway city council members to exempt the city from the county-wide fluoridation effort.
The group distributed a flyer in the Clipper, asking residents to contact one of three members of the group to sign the petition. They have also put up notices in area stores and are going door-to-door asking for signatures.
“We hope to get 4,000 signatures — more than voted for fluoridation,” said resident Richard Brown, who is spearheading the effort.
Once those signatures are gathered, they plan on presenting them to council members, probably in April.
The ad ran Thursday and by the weekend the group had received some response, Brown said, although he couldn’t cite numbers because of the numerous sites signatures are being gathered at.
The city authorized the petition, as they must under state law, but council members have not discussed it, according to City Manager Steve Thacker. “I don’t even know where my council members stand, with the exception of one of them,” Thacker said.
Brown is adamant in his view on fluoride. “The issue is that’s not the proper function of government to medicate water. It’s entirely different than chlorine in the water. That’s to treat the water, not to medicate our bodies,” he said.
Brown isn’t against fluoride used topically. “In my mind I believe it absolutely works topically, to prevent dental caries. The mischief starts though when it is ingested.” He said that even his dentist agrees.
In its flyer, the group notes that although the city has a contract with Weber Basin Water Conservancy District to purchase additional “pure, unmedicated water if we need it,” they see the city’s water supply as separate and independent of other cities and unincorporated areas of the county.
But it’s the county health department’s contention that because every city gets at least some of its water from Weber Basin, it should be considered one system, not separate entities.
The county’s stand is that the vote was a county-wide vote and that no city can opt out of county-wide voter approval
Brown said he’s been fighting the fluoride battle since the 1950s. He’s looking to find support from other cities who may be considering fighting fluoridation in their water.
Such a city is Woods Cross, where residents voted not to place the chemical in water. The city council has discussed its options, although has made no decision. However, it faces the matter of the county-wide vote.
Brown also supports the court case which may be filed by several groups opposed to fluoride, but he said that process seems too slow, so he took the matter up within the city.
Brown expects to have the signatures by April 1. They will then be presented to the council, which must approve or reject the initiative petition. If they reject it, the petition must go back to the voters next November.