John George has addressed City Commission about the “poison” added to the public’s water. He has talked to his Second Ward representatives, including mayoral candidate Rosalynn Bliss, about it.
Unsatisfied with the response he’s gotten, the retired engineer with a Libertarian bent wants to take matters into his own hands – he’s running for mayor with the primary goal of removing fluoride from the city’s water.
“If I win, I’m going to fight like hell to get fluoride out and I’m going to fight like hell to use the budget we have in the most efficient manner we can, like an engineering project,” said George, 64. “I’m not just some lone wolf (on fluoride). It’s not just me. There’s a lot of evidence out there.
“It is poison that they’re putting in our water. I don’t think governments should be in the business of forcing citizens to do anything with their bodies that they don’t want to do. This is very invasive.”
Whether or not George becomes mayor, he’s trying to raise awareness of the fluoride content in city water. In 1945, Grand Rapids was the first U.S. city to put fluoride in its water in an effort to improve dental health. There’s a monument to that history along the Grand River near the J.W. Marriott hotel downtown.
But fluoride causes ADHD in children and balding scalps in women, George claims. He put a filter on the tap in his northeast Grand Rapids home, and says it has kept his hair from turning gray.
George compiles fluoride information on his campaign Web site, providing brief summaries of articles and links to full reports.
“I’m just trying to wake people up,” George said. “If you have children, you should see what this is doing to your children.
“My worst fear is not not getting elected. My worst fear is we continue to put this crap in our water.”
Bliss said she has read the materials that George has sent her and fellow commissioners.
“The data is mixed and, as of today, I’m supportive of the amount of fluoride we put in our water,” she said. “The dental association is still recommending it.”
George, who’s a Rand Paul supporter and has marched in parades for U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, calls himself a “fiscal conservative” who wants to tighten up the city budget. He is by far the most policy-heavy candidate in the field in terms of what he posts online, with views on pension reform, bike lanes, policing and other topics.
Privatizing the city’s refuse collection programs also is on his agenda.
“Do we have to spend $100,000 for fluoride? No. That’s just a drop in the bucket of the city budget, but how many drops make up a half a gallon?” he said. “Can we use that (refuse program) money somewhere else?
“The city budget’s huge and the state budget is much larger. Unfortunately, politics has become ‘We’re doing the best we can and we’ve got to have more money if you want something else,’ and nobody looks at are there things put in place 40 years ago that we don’t need anymore.”