Port Angeles City Council to discuss fluoride Dec. 5

PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles City Council will discuss a failed ballot proposition to reintroduce fluoride to the municipal water supply at its next meeting Dec. 5.

More than 57.5 percent of city voters rejected a measure to add fluorosilicic acid to the water in the Nov. 7 general election.

The controversial practice of adding fluoride to the water ended in August 2016.

The non-binding measure said the council “will be guided by the results of this ballot in deciding whether to resume fluoridation.”

“Looking at the auditor’s report, it was the largest voter turnout for not only City Council candidates, but our propositions as well,” Councilman Lee Whetham said at last Tuesday’s council meeting.

“It received the most votes total. So I would like to see that come forward as a discussion item shortly after the auditor has certified our elections.”

The results of the Nov. 7 general election will be certified Tuesday.

No council member objected to adding fluoride to the Dec. 5 meeting agenda under “other considerations.”

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the City Council chambers at City Hall, 321 E. Fifth St.

Opponents of water fluoridation want the council to guarantee that fluorosilicic acid will stay out of the water by passing a resolution making it so.

Mayor Patrick Downie has said an anti-fluoridation resolution is unnecessary because council members and those elected to the council have agreed to honor the election results.

The proposition failed with 3,175 no votes to 2,346 yes votes — a 57.51 to 42.49 percent difference.

“Obviously, there was an overwhelming response in the community,” water fluoridation opponent Susan Moorehead said at Tuesday’s council meeting.

The fluoride measure garnered 5,521 total votes, exceeding the number who cast a ballot in the successful William Shore Pool debt capacity measure (5,312 votes) and contested City Council races between winner Kate Dexter and Travis Berglund (4,808 votes) and winner Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin and Artur Wojnowski (4,786 votes).

“A majority has spoken, and so one of my hopes is that if indeed you go with what the community wants and discontinue fluoridating our water that the equipment will also be taken apart so that we don’t have to use monies to maintain the equipment,” Moorehead said.

“If we’re not using it, let’s get rid of it.”

Said Councilwoman Sissi Bruch: “As soon as the election is certified, we’ll have that discussion.”

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at rollikainen@penin suladailynews.com.

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