For the second straight November, residents of Mt. Pleasant will decide whether or not fluoride should be added to city water.
By taking no action on a citizen initiative Monday night, city commissioners allowed the ballot question to automatically head to the Nov. 8 election.
In a memo to commissioners, the city clerk said that the commission cannot change or repeal an ordinance approved by voters for 24 months after its passage.
The city charter also says that if the commission did nothing, the initiative would move to a citywide election.
Fluoride was removed last December following a 52-48 percent vote (3,234-2,990) in November on a proposal that never specifically mentioned fluoride, but which eliminated adding only it from city water.
That led to some criticism that the voters were deliberately misled by confusing ballot language.
An earlier attempt to stop adding fluoride to the water failed by a 70 to 30 percent margin (1,315-572) in 1997.
Mt. Pleasant dentists spearheaded the petition drive, which was signed by 605 people.
In July, dentist Dr. Dan Kane said “there may have been a lot of confusion on the last ballot initiative. That’s why we are trying to get this reinstated.“
If passed, the measure would require adding enough sodium fluoride to the public water supply to add up to one part of fluoride per one million parts of water. Mt. Pleasant’s water has natural fluoride at about .3 or .4 parts per million.