Fluoride Action Network

Meadville’s Mark Gildea tapped for Water Authority seat

Source: The Meadville Tribune | April 18th, 2015 | By Earl Corp

A man who has spent a career installing and repairing water and sewer systems was unanimously chosen by Meadville City Council to fill the Meadville Area Water Authority seat that has been vacant since January.

… Gildea knows a hot button issue which has divided the community is whether the Meadville area should fluoridate its water. This decision rests on the five members on the MAWA board.

There are lot of pros and cons to fluoride, Gildea said, but he hasn’t formed an opinion yet.

“I’m not afraid to make a decision,” he said. “I just want to make an informed decision.”

“I’d like to congratulate Mark,” said Knapp, a local chiropractor, who is the spokesman of Clean Water Meadville, a group that opposes fluoridating Meadville’s water. “He has a skill set that is particularly useful to MAWA, and I’m sure he’ll serve the post honorably.”

Knapp said he plans to continue to keep informed regarding MAWA’s discussions about fluoridating Meadville’s water.

“This issue is so deep and complex,” Knapp said.

Dr. Denise Johnson is on the other side of the fluoride debate, chairing the Community Initiative for Improved Dental Health, a group in favor of fluoridating Meadville’s water. She is also an obstetrician/gynecologist who serves as Meadville Medical Center’s chief medical officer.

Johnson said she is positive City Council had vetted all of the MAWA candidates and put them through a process before choosing the next MAWA board member.

“They’ve selected someone who will represent their service area well,” Johnson said.

MAWA Chairman Tim Groves said all six applicants for the vacant seat were good, viable candidates, but he thought Gildea’s selection was the best fit for the board.

“I think he brings a unique skill to the authority,” Groves said.

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