Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Brooksville City Council votes to restore fluoride to water supply

Dr. Pedro Lense, senior dentist for the Hernando County Health Department, says he was happy to see the City Council side with scientific facts over rhetoric. “The people who will benefit the most from this will be children who have no other method of dental security available to them.”

MELISSA LYTTLE | Times (2011)

Dr. Pedro Lense, senior dentist for the Hernando County Health Department, says he was happy to see the City Council side with scientific facts over rhetoric. “The people who will benefit the most from this will be children who have no other method of dental security available to them.”

BROOKSVILLE — The debate raged on for weeks, with opposing sides waging a fervent battle of statistics, scientific studies and personal beliefs before the Brooksville City Council.

But the proponents on the council wishing to restore fluoride to the city's water supply had more than persuasive arguments. They had the votes.

Monday night's 4-1 decision to resume fluoridation reversed a unanimous vote two years ago to end the city's 25-year-old fluoride program, a vote that came as the city attempted to balance its budget.

This time, the majority included Vice Mayor Kevin Hohn, who previously had opposed putting the tooth decay-fighting chemical into the municipal water supply as a "matter of public policy."

Prior to the vote, Mayor Lara Bradburn reiterated her position that putting fluoride back into the water supply was something favored primarily by "outsiders," and that she had not heard a single Brooksville resident come forward in favor of it.

"The citizens aren't asking for it at all," Bradburn said. "So why do it?"

Council member Joe Bernardini said he had heard just the opposite when talking with residents.

"It's not something that they think about, but quite a few people said they liked the benefit of having it," Bernardini said. "If the citizens opposed it, I think we would have heard from them."

Over the past several months, the subject of fluoridation had become a hot-button issue that attracted attention from area dental professionals, as well as nationally known author and antifluoridation activist Paul Connett, who was invited by Bradburn to take part in a presidential-style debate before the council in September.

Unable to entice an expert from the pro-fluoride side, Connett instead delivered an hourlong presentation that many in the dental community later refuted.

Monday night's meeting was attended by several people from the county's dental community, including Dr. Pedro Lense, senior dentist for the Hernando County Health Department, who said he was happy that the council chose to side with scientific facts over rhetoric.

"The people who will benefit the most from this will be children who have no other method of dental security available to them," Lense said.

City Manager Jennene Norman-Vacha said it will take 30 to 45 days before the fluoridation program resumes.

Utility bills will carry a notice that the chemical is being added to the water supply, she said. The fluoridation program is expected to cost less than $10,000 annually.

Logan Neill can be reached at lneill@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1435.

Car stereo law

moves ahead

A measure to amend the city's car stereo noise ordinance got unanimous approval on first reading Monday night by the Brooksville City Council.

The original ordinance, adopted in 2006, called for fining the driver of any vehicle whose audio system could be heard beyond 25 feet. However, city officials chose to stop enforcing the ordinance while a case challenging a similar law was being decided in the Florida Supreme Court.

Council member Joe Johnston said that while he supported the idea of muffling car stereos, he was concern that such an ordinance could be seen as targeting certain individuals in the community.

"I'm not saying that it has happened, but some people worry that it could be abused," Johnston said.

The ordinance will come before the council for its final reading Oct. 21.

Brooksville City Council votes to restore fluoride to water supply 10/08/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 7:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Whatever USF has to say about Temple waits till Thursday

    College

    "The holes were wide open. Anyone could have run through them."

    South Florida Bulls cornerback Mazzi Wilkins (23) intercepts a pass during the second half of the home opener for the South Florida Bulls against the Stony Brook Seawolves at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  2. 'Rick and Morty' Rickmobile is coming to Tampa next week

    Events

    We now have details on when and where Rick and Morty's belching Rickmobile will be when the rolling promo for the cult hit Adult Swim show swings through Tampa on Sept. 27.

    Ricky and Morty fans will head to the Lowry Parcade and Tavern in Tampa on Sept. 27 where a pop-up merch store that will operate out of a Rick Sanchez-shaped truck.
  3. Joe Henderson: Other good works can't balance theft from vulnerable victims

    Columns

    What price can you put on your good name?

    This renovated group home once was operated by HARC. The group's former CEO Richard Lilliston was credited with raising millions for the agency but has been sentenced to prison for stealing Social Security from clients with developmental disabilities. [Times file]
  4. Clean Bandit postpones Oct. 3 concert at the State Theatre until 2018

    Blogs

    Believe it or not, here's a concert postponement that DOESN'T have anything to do with Hurricane Irma.

    Clean Bandit
  5. Five reasons why Kentucky can beat Florida for the first time since 1986

    College

    By Matt Baker

    GAINESVILLE — Florida's 30-game winning streak over Kentucky is one of the most impressive feats in the country.

    Florida Gators offensive lineman Martez Ivey (73) celebrates Florida Gators running back Mark Thompson's  (24) touch down in the first quarter, putting Florida on the board 6-0 during the game between the University of Florida and the University of Kentucky in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, in Gainesville, Fla. Florida defeated Kentucky 45-7. ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times