The debate over fluoride in the City of Plattsburgh turned ugly Thursday night.
Former councilor William Provost appeared at the council meeting to tell councilors and Mayor Donald Kasprzak that he believes fluoride is harmful and should be removed from the city’s water supply.
Provost and Gerald Carpenter have been appearing before the council for the past several weeks reading material that claims fluoride is harmful.
The fluoride debate has been raging in City Hall for the past nine months, but the council is not expected to vote until Nov. 19 on whether to keep it in the water.
In the past, several supporters of fluoride, including local dentists and representatives from the Clinton County Department of Public Health, have also appeared before the council.
Thursday night during the public comment period of the meeting, Provost berated the mayor, saying Kasprzak refused to meet with him or anyone else to talk about fluoride.
The mayor said that was not true and explained that he felt Provost was out of line when he confronted him and his wife at a concert their son was playing in Wednesday night.
He said Provost, who is bald, was wearing some kind of wig and insisted on discussing a possible meeting on fluoride.
“That was inappropriate,” Kasprzak said.
As the exchange continued, Provost pointed at the mayor and called him a liar.
“Don’t you call me a liar,” Kasprzak retorted.
Provost also railed about the city trying to take away free speech in reference to Corporation Counsel John Clute’s explanation last week that if the public comment period is being abused, the council can regulate it or end it.
“It’s a sad day in this city when free speech is on the line,” Provost yelled.
The mayor said free speech is not on the line in the city.
“We’ve always allowed dialogue here; however, it is quite evident that Mr. Provost continues to be disrespectful to people who do not agree with him and to others who attend these meetings,” Kasprzak said.
“I find this unacceptable, and I hope the council has the conviction to change the rules if this is going to be continued. No one has the right to be disrespectful to anyone whether they agree on the issue or not.”