I should tell you that I spent part of my several days off earlier this month writing “Alan Pryor is right” 100 times on the blackboard the kids have set up in their bedroom.
Yes, this would be the same Alan Pryor — the outspoken guru of the Natural Resources Commission — who has been my arch-nemesis for much of the past decade. Dear Alan has penned scathing op-eds hoping to enlighten the town about the error of my ways on a variety of city issues. He’s dissed me during “public comment” in front of our esteemed City Council and he’s pretty much told anyone who is willing to listen to him just how far off base my opinions are.
I’m sure, though, that I could beat Alan in a mano-a-mano foot race around my East Davis neighborhood or a winner-take-all free throw shooting contest in the driveway of my East Davis estate.
So why was I wasting my time writing “Alan Pryor is right” 100 times on a blackboard?
Well, because I believe in giving credit where credit is due, and Alan was the leader of the band when it came to opposing the city’s plan to dump fluoride into our otherwise pristine source of drinking water.
And, due in no small measure to Alan’s efforts, the City Council put its collective finger to the wind to determine that this was something the voters of Davis did not want. As a result, they resoundingly rejected a proposal to fluoridate the city’s water supply.
So Alan, even as we speak, I’m raising a tall, frosty, water-based beverage in your honor and asking the Good Lord to bring blessings upon your household. I do, however, reserve the right to remove you from my prayer list should you go south on me on several other critical issues facing this city.
For those who missed it, last week the council ganged up on Dan Wolk to reject his fluoridation motion by a 4-1 vote. Some council watchers were shocked by this action, and indeed it did make the front page of Davis’ Only Daily Newspaper, above the fold no less.
But it should come as no surprise, given how close the recent vote was on our expensive water project, a measure that was put to the voters without a hint that the council planned to fluoridate the very “clean” water the project is supposed to provide.
Mayor Joe Krovoza and Councilman Lucas Frerichs admitted as much when they told their council colleagues the water project may well have failed had fluoridation been part of the package presented to the voters.
Indeed, many disgruntled voters believe our council members engaged in a bit of sleight-of-hand when they put the water project on the ballot last March while keeping secret their intention to introduce fluoridation immediately after voters approved the project.
They also might have been looking at the city of Portland, where voters were so upset about the prospect of fluoride polluting their God-given rain water that they recently voted 61-39 percent against fluoridation.
For his part, Frerichs put his finger exactly on the concerns that many of us have raised when he argued that “Putting a chemical in our water supply, to me, seems to be an inefficient way to deliver fluoride, particularly when 99-plus percent of it ends up down the drain, flushed down the toilets, watering the yards and or greenbelts and a number of other possibilities. But it does not end up where it does its most effective job, topically on teeth.”
Yeah, but now how am I going to keep my front lawn from getting cavities?
Still, if the council is going to act so reasonably and responsibly in my absence, I just may extend my vacation another week or two to see what else they’ll come up.
Mayor Krovoza, who is currently engaged with Councilman Wolk in a battle-to-the-death cage fight for a seat in the California Assembly, stated that “When you’re regulating in the area of what people are going to put in their body, I think the bar of regulation becomes extremely high.”
Especially when there are so many cheap and efficient ways to provide fluoride to those who wish to have it.
Piling on in this parade of common sense was Councilwoman Rochelle Swanson, who accurately noted her belief that “there are alternatives out there that we can do, and for that I think we have to be cautious, we have to look at providing good, clean reliable water to our community. I don’t think fluoride is a component of that at this time.”
Amen, sister Rochelle, amen.
— Reach Bob Dunning at email@example.com