More than enough fluoride petitions filed: Matter could go to voters in November or Feburary, or be adopted by commission

fluoride webBenjamin Gohs

News Editor

Boyne City residents hoping to put the water fluoridation matter to a vote of the people collected 99 more signatures than they needed according to Boyne City Clerk Cindy Grice.
In a Tuesday Aug. 5 letter to Boyne City Manager Michael Cain, Grice stated that the group Citizens United for Dental Health had presented her with 747 signatures—647 of which matched the Boyne City voter registration list—though only 548 signatures were necessary to have the proposed legislation appear on the ballot this fall.
“Having provided more than the required number of valid signatures, Section 7.20 of the (Boyne City) Charter requires that the clerk present the petition to the (Boyne City) Commission at its next regular meeting,” stated Grice…. “Section 7.21 of the charter requires the city commission, within 30 days, unless otherwise provided by statute, to either: (a) adopt the ordinance as submitted by an initiatory petition; (c) determine to submit the proposal provided for in the petition to the electors.”
She added, “Section 7.21(b) of the charter is not applicable since this is not a referendary petition.”
The Boyne City Commission was expected to consider the matter at this week’s Tuesday Aug. 12 meeting (go to www.boynegazette.com for an update on this story following the meeting).
If the city approves the ballot language, which follows, at this week’s meeting, the issue would be up for a vote on Tuesday Nov. 4; if it waits its statutory 30-day maximum to make a decision, the matter would go to a vote in February of 2015.
Proposed ballot language: “For the purpose of promoting public health through prevention of dental disease, the city manager is hereby directed to establish and maintain fluoride levels in the city’s waterworks system as prescribed by the State of Michigan. The city manager shall establish a testing program that accurately show fluoride levels in the public water supply on a monthly basis and those results shall be posted on the city website within 30 days after the test results have been obtained.”
In a written statement released last week, Boyne City resident Carl VanDomelen, who has spearheaded the ballot issue, stated, “This is a great day for the citizens of the City of Boyne City. The issue of fluoridation will now be up to the voters—not in the hands of the commissioners.”