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. Car bomb kills 13, injures 24 in Baghdad; Islamic State claims responsibility

    World

    BAGHDAD — A car bomb exploded outside a popular ice cream shop in central Baghdad just after midnight today, killing 13 people and wounding 24, hospital and police officials said.

  2. Leaping shark floors angler in Australia

    World

    In The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway's protagonist battles for three days to pull in his prized catch. For Terry Selwood, it came a little more suddenly.

    A 9-foot shark lies on the deck of a fishing boat at Evans Head, Australia on Sunday. Fisherman Terry Selwood said he was left with a badly bruised and bleeding right arm where the shark struck him with a fin as it landed on him on the deck. [Lance Fountain via AP]
  3. Rays rally twice to beat Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ARLINGTON, Texas — Starting Erasmo Ramirez on Monday after he closed out Sunday's marathon win turned out, despite the Rays' best intentions and rigid insistence, to be a bad idea as he gave up four runs without getting through three innings.

    Erasmo Ramirez, starting a day after closing a 15-inning marathon, struggles against the Rangers and comes out after throwing 43 pitches in 21/3 innings.
  4. Britain investigating missed signals over Manchester bomber

    World

    LONDON — Britain's domestic intelligence agency, MI5, is investigating its response to warnings from the public about the threat posed by Salman Abedi, the suicide bomber who killed 22 people and wounded dozens more in an attack at a crowded Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, last week.

    People gather Monday at St. Ann’s Square in Manchester, England, to view tributes to victims of the suicide bombing that killed 22 on May 22 as a concert by Ariana Grande was concluding.
  5. Trump condemns killing of pair who tried to stop racist rant

    Nation

    The mayor of Portland, Ore., on Monday urged U.S. officials and organizers to cancel a "Trump Free Speech Rally" and other similar events, saying they are inappropriate and could be dangerous after two men were stabbed to death on a train as they tried to help a pair of young women targeted by an anti-Muslim tirade.

    Coco Douglas, 8, leaves a handmade sign and rocks she painted at a memorial in Portland, Ore., on Saturday for two bystanders who were stabbed to death Friday while trying to stop a man who was yelling anti-Muslim slurs and acting aggressively toward two young women. From left are Coco's brother, Desmond Douglas; her father, Christopher Douglas; and her stepmother, Angel Sauls. [Associated Press]