POYNETTE — The water here will remain without fluoride.
Despite voters favoring by more than a 2-to-1 margin in last week’s election putting fluoride back in the water, the Poynette Village Board voted 3-2 on Monday to keep fluoride out of municipal drinking water.
Village Board member Dave Branish said he voted against the referendum results because not enough people went to the polls. “The numbers for and against just don’t justify putting it in,” said Branish.
Residents voted 278-128 in support of putting fluoride back into the village’s water last week. About 25 percent of the village’s eligible voters cast ballots, said Sue Finstad, village clerk.
Branish was not re-elected to the Village Board last week after he finished fourth in a race for three trustee positions. One of those finishing ahead of Branish was incumbent Gary Guitzkow, who died April 5 of a heart attack. The Village Board will likely choose a replacement for Guitzkow next month and the board could reconsider the fluoride vote at any time, Finstad said.
Kevin Marquardt and Jenny VanSchoyck Teeter also voted to keep fluoride out, but Andy Ross, who abstained in the vote, said Branish’s rationale was flawed.
“It’s an error to go ahead and assume the population as a whole hasn’t had their say, because I think they have,” Ross said. “(Low voter turnout) happens in all elections.”
The village’s water has been without fluoride since July, when the Village Board decided to end the practice. The decision at that time was based on a recommendation from the public works committee.