Pelham’s mayor and regional councillor were coy Monday about how they will vote on a fluoride question at regional council Thursday.
Welland Regional Coun. George Marshall will present a motion to restore fluoride to water in Welland. Pelham receives its water from the Welland treatment plant.
Two weeks ago, regional council – at the end of a five-hour session involving a string of delegations – voted 14-9 to defeat a motion to put fluoride in all regional water.
However, Marshall will try to restore it to the Welland water system.
The service was stopped without informing the public. He says there is an obligation to provide it.
At a Pelham town council meeting Monday, Pelham Regional Coun. Brian Baty said he wants to hear the motion first before saying how he will vote.
However, if it reflects the original motion at regional council, he will support it.
It would be good for the dental health of children, particularly those from lower income families, he said. It would similarly benefit seniors, 50 per cent of whom do not have dental coverage.
Baty said the region needs to pass a motion to formally discontinue fluoride service in Welland. The service was dropped without notifying regional council.
Mayor Dave Augustyn, who sits at the region as Pelham’s other regional councillor, similarly said he wanted to hear how the motion is worded before making a commitment.
Both Baty and Augustyn voted for fluoridation at regional council two weeks ago.
During Baty’s regional councillor report Monday, Coun. John Durley asked how the two regional representatives assessed the feeling of Pelham residents on the issue.
“Do Pelham residents want fluoride?” he asked.
“I’ve never heard an answer.”
Both the mayor and the regional councillor said they made their decision on the basis of a health department report and recommendation.
Coun. Sharon Cook said to have it imposed on people, “I find a little bit disturbing.
“Fluoride is not a good thing chemically,” she said. “We no idea how much were getting each day” through food and other sources.
In answer to a question from Coun. Peter Papp, Baty said water service is a regional responsibility. Local bodies such as Pelham town council would not vote on a water service.