This year, I made it my goal to get a bill introduced in the State legislature to give the people a voice on fluoride being added to their public water supply. Water Boards are unelected and often unaccountable to the wishes of their customers. Legislator Joey Hensley was so fed up with the Water Boards in Lewis County that he sponspored legislation last session to require the Boards in Lewis Co. to be elected. This legislation gives the people a voice where they have none.
Linda and Joe King and Karen Miller have been attending the South Blount County Utility District meetings for years presenting the latest research on the dangers of fluoridation. They, along with others, gathered about 1,400 signatures requesting an end to the fluoridation but were told by the Board that they didn’t care if they got 10,000 signatures.
Former Mayor Jerry Cunningham strong armed the Board into fluoridating. Mayor Ed Mitchell said he would appoint new people to the Board while campaigning and after election when he spoke to the Smoky Mountain Tea Party. He has failed to keep his promise, reappointing some of the same members.
Linda King filed a lawsuit to simply find out what South Blount Utility District was adding to the water, but the Court said the Board didn’t have to tell her. Citizens asked the Blount County Commission to let them vote on the issue. That also fail on deaf ears.
Thus, the good people of Blount County have exhausted every peaceful remedy they have at the local level and their petitions and request have been ignored and treated with disrespect. The height of that may have been when former County Commissioner Steve Hargis told Linda King that 1,400 signatures wasn’t that many. This is the same Commissioner that told the owner of South Blount Excavating that the signatures that he collected to be allowed to extend his business operations onto adjacent land was a lot of signatures, even though it was less than the number of signatures requesting that fluoridation stop.
The total failure of local government to respond to the request of it’s citizenry is why I went to the State legislature and presented what we’ve experienced and asked that we be given an opportunity to vote. Some legislators have been receptive and HB1186 and SB1211 are the result. Thank you to Representative John DeBerry and Senator Stacey Campfield for sponsoring the legislation.
The legislation was written by me, except for (i), which concerns me because any time you give bureaucrats the ability to promulgate rules you should be concerned. There are some minor changes in the rest, but it is basically as I wrote it.
As written, the legislation will not allow for a referendum to be used to put fluoride in the water. It simply allows for the people to vote to either keep it or remove it, where fluoridation is already occurring.
The Business and Utilities Subcommittee in the House will hear the bill. This is where we must start working to get support for the legislation to finally get the poison out of our water supply.