Capping more than a year long drama that originally saw the Pinellas County Commission remove fluoride from the drinking water supply, that same board today voted to reinstate the chemical - officially on March 1.
The Commission voted 6-1 in favor of fluoride, not a surprise at all after the board members expressed their views at a workshop last week. Commissioner Norm Roche, who at one point after the election had said that he had seen the light and would support fluoride, again went back to where he says he's been since 2003, when the county initially voted to add the chemical into the county's water supply.
"The science is not crystal clear," Roche said at the end of the three and a half hour meeting, again calling for a referendum to allow the citizenry to decide for themselves. Sensitive to charges that he is carrying the Tea Party's water on the board, Roche insisted that his thinking was "not ideological, not partisan," adding sarcastically that there had been no "super secret right-wing Tea Party meeting" that allowed him to come to his decision.
The hearing by citizens speaking either in support of or against fluoride. Actually, the vast majority spoke against it, and some speakers were visceral in their anger towards the commission.