Date of publication: November 19-25, 2008
Timberville (VA) – Timberville’s plan for a November 2009 fluoride referendum hit a snag last week at council meeting. Timberville’s attorney, Mark Callahan, presented officials with a copy of Section 24.2-684 of 1950 Code of Virginia as Amended which deals with the state’s referendum regulations. The section states, “the provision of this section shall govern all referenda. No referendum shall be placed on the ballot unless specifically authorized by statute or by charter.”
In a memo to Town Manager Austin Garber, Callahan stated, “I can assure you that there is no reference to Fluoride Referendum in statute or charter. Furthermore, in order to have a referendum, it needs to be submitted to the court.”
However, Callahan told officials that a bill for a fluoride referendum could be introduced to the General Assembly.
Councilwoman Sharon Jones told council she would contact 26th House District Delegate Matt Lohr on Friday.
“The General Assembly can decide if it can be put up for referendum and that’s what I’m working on,” Jones said in a later interview. “He [Lohr] said that we need to write up a paper stating why this should be brought up for a referendum and he will take it to the General Assembly when they go back into session [Jan. 14]. This should be the citizens of Timberville’s decision, not six people on council.”