Excerpt from article titled:Fight old, fest new, move overdue

Old Fight, New Day

A new round on an old debate takes place Wednesday when the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority is asked to remove fluoride from Escambia County’s drinking water.

Opponents question the safety of fluoride, which the ECUA added to drinking water in 2000, a few decades after it was installed — only to be removed.

Yes, kids, we’ve been there, done that.

In the 1960s, Pensacola’s City Council voted to fluoridate the water to improve dental health. One leader of that move was a young council member named Vince Whibbs.

Two years later, the council came up for re-election. Whibbs and other pro-fluoride council members were swept from office and fluoride was removed from the water.

His stand on fluoride wasn’t fatal. In 1978, Whibbs was appointed Pensacola mayor, and went on to become one of City Hall’s most beloved figures.