MANCHESTER — Town Meeting decided to kick more single-use plastics to the curb, keep sodium fluoride in the public water supply and splurge on an electronic voting system.
The 251 residents attending, all registered voters as required, passed all articles on the warrant during the meeting’s single session Monday night…
No change with fluoride
When asked, “Do you want industrial sodium fluoride added to the public water supply?” 143 attendees voted yes and 80 voted no.
The group that petitioned Article 18, Manchester Residents for Removing Sodium Fluoride from Public Water Supply, believes water fluoridation is harmful to the public and environment. Its members also believe including it in the town’s drinking water goes against individual choice and freedom.
However, before the vote, Deb Bradley of the Manchester Board of Health stated there was “no credible evidence” that the 0.7 milligram per liter of fluoride in Manchester public water, an “incredibly low level,” is dangerous to “humans, animals and the environment.” She said the Board of Health recommended the article be approved.
Selectmen cosigned the Board of Health’s recommendation. In addition, Selectmen Eli Boling claimed the wording of the article was “vague” and did not offer a clear direction forward for the board. Also, selectmen believed the article as written introduced bias to the petitioners’ point of view.
Voters were reminded the question was non-binding and selectmen would not have any authority to stop adding industrial sodium fluoride to the drinking water regardless of the outcome. In order to do so, selectmen would need to draft special legislation to be voted on at an election. This process would require a vote at another Town Meeting to begin…
Here’s how the town voted on the rest of the articles:
… Asks non-binding question: “Do you want industrial sodium fluoride added to the public water supply?” PASSED, 143-80.