The Kennebunkport Board of Selectmen was scheduled to discuss a proposed warrant article asking voters to consider removing fluoride from the Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Wells Water District July 24, but learned the proposal is no longer moving forward.
Residents have taken the proposal to a number of the seven towns within the KKWWD and would need at least four of those towns to support placing the question on the November ballot in order for it to move forward. A total of seven towns receive water from the district — Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Arundel, Wells, Ogunquit and parts of Biddeford and York.
Kennebunkport Town Manager Laurie Smith said that organizers requested the agenda item be removed from the board’s meeting, stating that “the other towns were not voting to bring it forward.”
“We would not need to act on this until the next gubernatorial year,” Smith said.
The topic of fluoride has sparked debate at meetings in recent weeks with proponents of its removal saying it is a “pollutant” and local dentists saying there are benefits to fluoride in drinking water.
Micky Bergman, one of the organizers behind the proposal for a warrant article on the November ballot, said separately that it “became obvious that due to the timing of the process and the lack of fluoridation awareness, we were not going to meet our objective.”
“Some selectmen seemed genuinely amenable to the idea of allowing a warrant article, while others felt pressured and were resistant to making any decisions. We wanted citizens to have the opportunity to make an informed vote at this time,” Bergman said. “Fortunately, fluoridation is being challenged in many other communities in the U.S. and Canada, so there is a great deal of awareness now. Inevitably, this controversy will result in an informed citizenry that will bring an end to this unethical practice. I have every confidence that two years from now customers of the KKWWD will demand it.”