Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

After contentious debate, Brooksville reintroduces fluoride to water supply

Aside from an ongoing debate over the legal validity of its red-light camera program, the most provocative political issue of 2013 in the city of Brooksville was also a well-worn issue that had come before the municipality's governing body on other occasions.

The debate over whether to add fluoride to the city's drinking water dated back to the early 1980s, and although the city had been using the tooth decay-fighting chemical for more than two decades, the practice was abruptly halted during a 2011 budget hearing when the council axed the program in an effort to save tax dollars.

When the Hernando County Health Department urged the council in January to reinstate the program, sparks flew. Throughout much of the summer, pundits on both sides of the issue battled during the council's public comment period in the hope of swaying council votes. The issue drew several dental professionals who spoke in favor of fluoridation. The most notable opponent was well known anti-fluoridation author and activist Paul Connett, who was invited by council member Lara Bradburn to take part in a debate before the council in September.

That debate never happened because the council was unable to entice an expert from the pro-fluoride side. Connett instead delivered an hourlong presentation that many in the dental community later refuted.

In October, when council members finally brought the issue up for a vote, the measure sailed through on a 4-1 decision. The majority included Vice Mayor Kevin Hohn, who previously had opposed putting fluoride into the water supply as a "matter of public policy."

Brooksville began its fluoridation program in 1985 at the urging of several dental professionals, who said it would be particularly beneficial to children of low-income residents who lacked access to regular professional dental care.

Logan Neill, Times staff writer

After contentious debate, Brooksville reintroduces fluoride to water supply 12/26/13 [Last modified: Friday, December 27, 2013 6:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tim Tebow Week: 12 stories from his Tampa Bay tour

    Minors

    Alas, Tim Tebow Week — eight baseball games in eight nights that reunited Tebow with his Tampa Bay friends and admirers — is over. The fun ended Thursday night.

    St. Lucie Mets outfielder Tim Tebow meets fans and signs autographs before the beginning of the Mets at Threshers game at Spectrum Field on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 in Clearwater. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times

  2. Democrat Philip Levine won't attack Trump. Can he be Florida governor?

    Perspective

    If he decides to run, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine will be the most enigmatic and unpredictable candidate for Florida governor in 2018.

    Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine is introduced before speaking at a Tampa Tiger Bay Club meeting at the Ferguson Law Center in Tampa on May 19. (LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times)
  3. What you need to know for Friday, Aug. 18

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Read 'Hellfire from Above,' inside the Tampa Electric Co. power plant accident that left five people dead. [LUIS SANTANA | Times]
  4. Tampa is training ground for Team USA inline skating

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — The United States once dominated the sport known as international outdoor inline speed skating.

    Cotton Yarborough is one of five people from the Tampa Bay area on the national inline speed skating team. The team is competing in the world championships Aug. 27 in China. [Courtesy of Frank Holland]
  5. Grocery and hotel deals in reach for Tampa Encore project

    Economic Development

    TAMPA — After failing to land both Publix and Walmart, the Tampa Housing Authority says it is close to a deal to bring another well-known grocer to its Encore project.

    The Tampa Housing Authority's Encore project has housing like The Reed, pictured, but no retail. It is in talks to bring a grocer and two hotels to the site on the west side of Nebraska Avenue close to downtown Tampa.