Fluoridating Public Water
During the past year, the Orono and Veazie Town Councils have discussed and voted to hold a Municipal Referendum Election on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 for the purpose of allowing the voters to consider whether to cease fluoridating the public water supply. State Law vests all power regarding the decision to add or remove fluoride from the public water supply in the voters of the communities served by that public water supply. Neither the Orono Town Council or the Orono-Veazie Water District Board of Trustees have taken a position on this question; rather, both organizations have stated that the referendum makes sense given recent community interest in this topic and the fact that the last public vote on this issue occurred nearly sixty years ago. Included below is the wording from the Town Council Order which allows the Special Election to be called.
APPROVED ORDER OF THE ORONO MUNICIPAL OFFICERS
Pursuant to 22-A M.R.S.A. § 2656, the Municipal Officers of the Town of Orono hereby directed the Town Clerk to place the following articles on the Municipal Election Warrant to be voted by secret preprinted ballots on June 8, 2021. All registered voters within the affected public water supply system shall be eligible to vote on this article per the date of said warrant.
ARTICLE 1. Shall fluoride be added to the public water supply for the intended purpose of reducing tooth decay?
SUMMARY: On December 12, 1960 the Orono Board of Selectman authorized the Penobscot County Water Company to add fluoride to the public water supply in Orono and directed an article to this purpose be added to the Town Meeting Warrant. On March 20, 1961, the Town Meeting warrant contained an article allowing registered voters to weigh in on the practice. Registered voters approved the article, and fluoride was then added to the public water supply. In Maine, the water supply within a consolidated water district, will be fluoridated only if, the majority of ballots cast by registered voters of said municipalities are in favor of the practice. Conversely, should the same majority of registered voters vote against the article, fluorination will be removed from the water supply.
The article, if marked YES by the voter, would CONTINUE the practice to ADD fluoride to the general water supply as was originally voted upon by registered voters through the March 20, 1961 warrant article.
The article if marked NO by the voter, would DISCONTINUE or END the practice of adding fluoride to the general water supply as was originally voted upon by registered voters through the March 20, 1961 warrant article.