Change on Tap? Council on Fluoride.

The City Council only needs a simple majority vote of four to alter or abolish the water fluoridation policies. But with three of the council members the Chronicle spoke with opposed to a change in fluoridation policy, the chances of a revision seem slim.

Mayor Lee Leffingwell: "Right now, the science we're looking at says fluoridation of drinking water is a benefit. ... And it doesn't cost very much money – 50 cents per person, per year. If somebody else has better science, science that's documented, certainly, we can take a look at that, but right now, the science side is in favor of fluoridation. [Austin's fluoridation] was actually a result of a public referendum ... and I would think at a very minimum, if the decision was made not to do that, it should have to go back to the voters."

Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez: "Right now, staff is telling us there just doesn't seem to be this looming evidence [of fluoride's dangers]. We should have worldwide health problems if it's as dramatic as it's being portrayed. But maybe some would argue we do have worldwide health problems. ... If folks want to look into our fluoride policies, fine – there are bigger issues to be dealt with."

City Council Member Chris Riley: Assistant City Manager Rudy Garza's report "makes an impressive case as regarding the widespread support for fluoridation. I think it adds to our understanding of the case for maintaining that practice here in Austin."

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