FARMINGTON — Fluoridated drinking water has floated back onto the ballot in Davis County.
The same trio of county commissioners who allowed Davis County residents to vote for fluoride in public water systems in 2000, voted unanimously Tuesday to hold another vote on the matter in 2004.
“The job before the commission today is not to decide if fluoride is good or bad,” said commission Chairman Dannie McConkie. “Our job is to preserve the people’s right to have another go at the ballot box.”
He cautioned residents that the fluoridation equipment has already been purchased and installed in the county and in many of the communities.
The debate over whether to put it on the ballot took on several forms that were represented by the nearly two dozen people who attended Tuesday morning’s commission meeting.
Layton resident John Hooper said he attributes several of his health problems to the fluoride he drank while a resident of Anchorage, Alaska.
“This is not an issue of cost,” he said. “My issues are the health problems it creates.”
Others say it is a civil-rights matter.
“No one, not even all those people who voted for it the first time, has the right to force it on their neighbor,” said Bountiful resident Charles Bradford.
Fluoride supporters attended as well. Beth Beck, the chairwoman of Utahns for Better Dental Health, did not speak at the meeting, but told reporters she was not surprised that the anti-fluoride faction pushed the issue to another vote.
“Hopefully, people will be rational,” she said. “We’ve had fluoride in our water for months and the cat’s still healthy, the lawn didn’t turn red and everybody’s OK.”