Spokane Mayor Woodward’s social media posts are drawing more heated attention to one of the most controversial measures in years — whether to add fluoride to the city’s water.
On Thursday, Mayor Woodward reposted a tweet from an account called ‘Grain of Sand.” The anti-fluoride user tweeted at the mayor directly saying in part, “I feel there is an agenda being pushed to circumvent the will of the people.”
The mayor retweeted the message and added, “You’re right! The will of the people is being circumvented. It’s being pushed as a COVID “emergency” to prevent my ability to veto it. BTW, just .3% of our water supply is ingested.”
You’re right! The will of the people is being circumvented. It’s being pushed as a COVID “emergency” to prevent my ability to veto it. BTW, just .3% of our water supply is ingested. pic.twitter.com/75FQfRYqUV
— Mayor Nadine Woodward (@MayorSpokane) September 10, 2020
A closer look at Grain of Sand’s profile reveals some tweets that support the conspiracy group QAnon and others that say 9/11 and the COVID-19 pandemic are hoaxes. Mayor Woodward said the retweet does not mean she endorses those messages.
“I get thousands of pieces of email every month and there’s no way to vet out everyone who has a question,” Woodward said. “I didn’t vet out this person, but I answered the question that was directed to me and that’s why I retweeted his question or her question or whoever it was.”
On Friday afternoon, Mayor Woodward tweeted an update that reads, “To be clear – my previous tweet about fluoridating Spokane’s water was an answer to a question directed to me. Nothing else! Thank you.”
To be clear – my previous tweet about fluoridating Spokane’s water was an answer to a question directed to me. Nothing else! Thank you.
— Mayor Nadine Woodward (@MayorSpokane) September 11, 2020
As far as the fluoride debate goes, Spokane City Council president Breean Beggs said the Washington Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that decisions like this are administrative–meaning they fall under the authority of council. He disagrees that passing the ordinance would go against the will of the majority.
“In the last three years, there have been multiple polls in Spokane, and the majority of voters in the city according to the polls favor it,” Beggs said. “About one-third of city voters polled don’t favor it and actually a third of the people already think we have fluoride in the water.”
Another point Woodward made in her retweet is “it’s being pushed as a COVID emergency to prevent my ability to veto it.” The ordinance would declare an emergency if it passes. It also does mention COVID-19 in several places, but Beggs said he’s not pushing a pandemic agenda.
“One of the reasons we’re working on this now is we have an offer on the table that will likely expire for $4 million to get our system set up,” Beggs said. “That’s where the urgency is coming from.”
The Spokane City Council will make the decision on Monday, and the emergency ordinance will require five votes to pass. Beggs said the extra fluoride won’t be added for several more years if it passes.