WATSONVILLE, Calif. — More than two weeks after election day, the results of a key local race are finally known.
Measure “S,” the initiative banning fluoride or other additives from Watsonville’s water, has passed with a simple majority of 51 percent “yes” to 49 percent “no.”
While Watsonville voters have decided they don’t want fluoride in the city’s water supply, the state Department of Health Services says it will review whether to take action against the city. The state has insisted that it doesn’t matter whether voters in cities pass a referendum against fluoride, because the state will add it to their water supply anyway.
A state bill mandates the fluoridation of water systems that have 10,000 or more hookups, but a condition of the bill exempts municipalities unless funding is provided by a source other than the water agency or the taxpayers of that water system.
Backers of Measure “S” remain defiant.
“If the state really believed that’s what state law says then they would have come to Modesto and forced Modesto to fluoridate, which voted overwhelmingly a couple of years back. The city of Santa Cruz, which was on the list to fluoridate — the voters there rejected it. I have yet to see the state force them to fluoridate,” Measure “S” supporter Nick Buliach said.
A spokesperson with the state Department of Health Services told Action News that they are aware of the results of the election in Watsonville, but have not made a final decision on the next steps.