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Fluoridation not on ballot in Davis - in ’98, anyway

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Davis County health officials have given up hope that municipalities will put fluoridation on the November ballot.

They instead plan a campaign to persuade officials in future years to let voters decide whether they want the cavity-fighter in their water."It's not an issue where you can ride up on your white horse armed with science and truth and all that good stuff and prevail," said Dr. James Saunders, executive director of the Davis County Health Department.

The department's board voted in May to urge Davis County cities to put the issue on their ballots. Not one city has agreed to do so and Centerville's City Council has ruled out fluoridation.

Earlier this year, the Salt Lake County Commission refused to put fluoridation on the ballot.

He intends to begin a series of meetings with Davis County and city officials to persuade them low levels of fluoride are safe and voters should get the chance to decide for themselves.

Saunders disputed one oft-quoted University of Utah study indicating higher incidence of hip frailty among the elderly in communities with fluoridated water.

In Centerville's case, cost was the deciding factor in council members' refusal to put the issue on the ballot. "They didn't even get into the public-health debate," City Manager Steve Thacker said.