The Brooksville City Council recommitted to public health this week, siding with science and common sense over fearmongering and obfuscation. The council reversed an ill-conceived vote from 2011 and voted Monday night to resume adding fluoride to the city's drinking water.
The city's 7,700 residents have been without fluoridated water since a unanimous council irresponsibly killed funding two years ago in a rushed vote with no public input or council debate. The issue resurfaced in January after the state health department learned of the council's action and asked the city to reconsider. Since then, dentists and health department officials have refuted the inaccuracies and misrepresentations from fluoride opponents and the misdirection grandstanding from Mayor Lara Bradburn. Her final, futile pitch Monday night was that stored fluoride would pose a health hazard to the city's first responders and open taxpayers to expensive liability. Nonsense.
A more measured response came from council member Frankie Burnett, who told his colleagues, "I've yet to see a death certificate that said that person died because of fluoride.'' Credit an organized effort by dentists and other health professionals who provided the facts and statistics to give council members the information they needed to do the right thing.
It took longer than it should have for established science and common sense to prevail. But Burnett and council members Joe Johnston, Kevin Hohn and Joe Bernardini finally decided the oral health of Brooksville residents, particularly children, should not be sacrificed to scare tactics.