San Marcos residents voted in favor of a measure to forbid the city from adding fluoride to the municipal water supply.
With all precincts counted, about 61 percent, or 1,814, voted for Proposition 1, and 39 percent, or 1,173, voted against.
Anti-fluoride activists initially came out against the proposition as it is worded on the ballot, saying the wording gives the city a loophole to purchase already-fluoridated water. However, the group, Communities for Thriving Water Fluoride-Free San Marcos, later decided to support it. The proposition says the city “shall not add, or direct or require its agents to add fluoride” to the city’s water.
“We decided it was in our best interest to go ahead and support this, to show the city that people really do care about this,” said Sam Brannon, a member of the group.
The group is still locked in a court battle against the city over the wording of Prop. 1, and plans to put a more detailed anti-fluoride proposition on the ballot in 2017.
Fluoride critics claim it causes an array of health defects when consumed in drinking water. Most health officials, however, have said that the widespread adoption of the practice following World War II is a success story that has greatly improved dental health, and that fears of health defects, are based on shaky science.
A second proposition that would require verification of signatures on any petition for a city charter amendment also passed. Proposition 2 resulted from controversy over the anti-fluoride group’s petition to put the fluoride issue up for a vote. Initially, the city rejected the petitions that the anti-fluoride group collected because the signatures were not accompanied by signed oaths. A judge overturned that decision, however, and the city was forced to accept the petitions.
The city followed up with Prop. 2, which was opposed by the anti-fluoride group.
With all 19 precincts accounted, 55 percent, or 1,565 voted for Prop. 2, and about 45 percent, or 1,270 voted against it.
In city council elections, incumbent Shane Scott lost to challenger Melissa Derrick, who received 67 percent of the vote for the Place 6 seat. Scott, an independent filmmaker, was first elected to the council in 2010.
Scott Gregson prevailed in a three-way race for the Place 5 seat on the city council, with a little less than 63 percent of the vote. Frank Arredondo received just under 35 percent of the vote and Stephen Herrera got about 3 percent of the vote.