With Jon Calvert’s election to the Clarksburg Water Board, the three-member panel’s split decision to stop buying fluoride will likely be reversed, both sides agree.
Meanwhile, the water board’s other split decision — to remove three of its dams — remains as murky as the West Fork River, despite Calvert’s preference for keeping the structures in place.
Calvert collected 913 votes in Tuesday’s election to claim the seat being vacated by Charlie Thayer, according to unofficial results.
Allen Gorrell finished second in the race with 817 votes, while Frank Robinette came in third with 524 votes, according to the results.
“I’m happy that all my supporters showed up at the polls like I knew they would, especially the teachers,” said Calvert, an educator. “I worked really hard, and I think the hard work paid off.”
Regarding fluoride, all three candidates spoke out against the board’s April 28 decision to stop purchasing the substance.
Thayer and board member Paul Howe voted to stop buying fluoride over concerns that longtime consumption of fluoride could be harmful to people’s health.
Board President Al Cox voted against the move based on several public health agencies’ contention that fluoride is good for people’s teeth and not harmful to their health.
Calvert, who takes office in July, is in Cox’s corner when it comes to fluoride.
“I’m assuming that one of the first orders of business is to repurchase that before the supply runs out,” said Calvert, whose supporters included Wilson Martino Dental and Premier Dental.
“There will be plenty of time to get that purchased and put back in the tanks,” he added.
Howe conceded fluoridation will continue with Calvert’s election.
“Jon has publicly said he’s for that,” Howe said. “I think it’s been a great discussion, and people are educating themselves.”
Local and state governments decide whether to fluoridate the water systems under their jurisdictions, while the federal government recommends how much they should add if they choose to do so.
While the board’s decision on fluoride will likely be reversed, its decision regarding the dams is uncertain.
The board recently voted 2-1 to enter into contract with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife over the removal of the dams. The federal agency has secured funding to pay for the demolition of at least two of the structures…