Fluoride Action Network

Gothenburg: Understand fluoridation wording

Source: The Gothenburg Times | City Administrator
Posted on October 19th, 2008
Location: United States, Nebraska

The City Office has been approached by some voters in the community regarding the upcoming vote on fluoridation.

There is some concern over the language on the ballot, and also concern as to the necessity of the vote (especially since fluoridation was voted out by the community in 1996).

In regard to necessity of the vote. The Legislature recently passed legislation requiring all communities over 1,000 people to start fluoridation by June 2, 2010. The bill also included an “out” for communities to vote out the mandate to fluoridate the public water system as required by this legislation.

The ability by a community vote against fluoridation and to have this placed on a ballot was allowed either by a vote of the city council or by a successful petition by the voters to have it placed on the ballot. In response to the legislation, the City Council decided to put the issue on the ballot and have fluoridation voted upon again.

I believe they did this because they recognized that the community had previously voted against fluoridation, and to be proactive in asking the community to again decide on this issue.

In regard to the language. The city used model language provided by the League of Municipalities for the ballot. Other language was considered that was more descriptive, but would not fit on the ballot. Therefore, please take the time to read the ballot correctly. Following is hopefully an explanation that will help:

YES vote: If you are against the addition of fluoride to the Public Water System, you need to vote yes to direct the City Council to adopt an Ordinance to prohibit fluoride.

NO vote: If you are in favor of the addition of fluoride to the Public Water System, you need to vote no. A no vote will direct the City Council to not adopt an Ordinance that would have prohibited the addition of fluoride.

I realize this may be still confusing. If you still have questions over the language, please stop by the City Office and talk with the city clerk, Connie Dalrymple, or I would be happy to meet with anyone with concerns.