PORTLAND – The Portland City Council voted 3-1 to move a water fluoridation vote to this May, a year before citizen proponents wanted the vote.
The decision blocks a unanimous vote by the council in September to add fluoride to Bull Run water, which serves the City of Portland and other water users, prompting a successful citizen effort to put the issue to a vote.
Portland Mayor Sam Adams and Commissioners Randy Leonard and Nick Fish voted for the measure, with Amanda Fritz voting no.
Opponents of fluoridation did not want the vote moved up, instead asking that a impartial commission be formed to study the science behind fluoride.
“The current motion before city hall is a slap in the face to all of the voters who signed this referendum who believed that (2014) was when the vote was going to take place,” said Kim Kaminski, a fluoride opponent.
Opponents say fluoride is an industrial waste product being forced onto Portlanders without their consent.
Commissioner Randy Leonard wants Portland voters to vote in 2013 so if the referendum fails the city can go forward with fluoridation sooner.
“No other issue is as important as letting Portland voters to be able to vote to fluoridate our water, sooner rather than later," said Leonard.