The City Clerk of Watsonville has notified the circulators of the Safe Drinking Water Product Quality Control initiative that sufficient signatures have been validated to qualify for the City-wide ballot.
The Watsonville Safe Drinking Water Initiative prohibits the addition of any substance to the public water supply for the purpose of treating people, rather than the water, that has not been specifically approved by the U.S. FDA for safety and effectiveness in accordance with health claims made, at all levels of consumption.
In addition, the proposed citizen-created ordinance would prohibit adding any substance to the public drinking water for treating humans that contains contaminants that exceed already-established California and U.S. public health goals.
Citizens were forced to circulate the petition to place the proposed ordinance on the ballot after, on September 25, 2001, five members of the City Council refused to enact the ordinance proposed by Council Member Judy Nielsen and supported by now-Mayor, then-Council Member, Betty Bobeda. The same five Members previously voted to initiate fluoridation of the City’s water supply.
The certified initiative is scheduled to be placed on the July 9 City Council agenda for further action. Barring any attempt by the majority of the City Council to derail the voters right to decide the issue, the City Council has the option of immediately enacting the ordinance in its exact form, or submitting it for placement on the ballot.
The qualified initiative:
Be it enacted by the voters of the City of Watsonville:
In order to ensure that the public water of Watsonville is safe to drink, it shall be unlawful and a public nuisance for any person, agent, or any public or private water system, to add any product, substance, or chemical to the public water supply for the purpose of treating or affecting the physical or mental functions of the body of any person, rather than to make water safe or potable, unless the substance meets the following criteria:
1) The substance must have been specifically approved by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration for safety and effectiveness with a margin of safety that is protective for all adverse health and cosmetic effects at all ranges of unrestricted consumption.
2) The substance, at Maximum Use Levels, must contain no contaminants at concentrations that exceed U.S. Maximum Contaminant Level Goals or California Public Health Goals, whichever is more protective.
If any provision of this act or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, that invalidity may not affect other provisions or applications of this act that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this act are severable.