Pinellas County Commissioners reaffirms removing fluoride from drinking water supply

A week after Pinellas County Commissioners stunned the Tampa Bay area by voting to eliminate adding fluoride to the drinking supply in the county, the issue was back up for a lengthy discussion today in Clearwater - but the final result remained the same.

Commissioners on both sides of the argument said that the reaction from the community has been explosive and divisive, and the the calls and e-mails to their offices showed a split electorate.

Though there were several officials representing dental associations and the medical community who urged commissioners to reverse their vote, they were outgunned by a plethora of citizens, many lavishing praise for the four commissioners who supported the decision last week (Norm Roach, Neil Brickfield, Nancy Bostock and John Morroni), while skewering the three who did not, in particular Commissioner Ken Welch.

Receiving equally as much criticism was the St. Petersburg Times, who in an editorial last Thursday blasted the vote, referring to the board's vote as taking "a big step backward on public health, siding with the extreme rhetoric of a vocal conservative minority over sober scientific analysis and the county's medical community."