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Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
  • City will put sales tax on ballot in November; no action on fluoride

  • The Wellington City Council voted to put a sales tax measure on the November ballot, and decided to not put voting on fluoride on the ballot, at its meeting Tuesday night.
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  • The Wellington City Council voted to put a sales tax measure on the November ballot, and decided to not put voting on fluoride on the ballot, at its meeting Tuesday night.
    The council voted unanimously to put a sales tax question on the ballot for November to support the hospital. This has been discussed for several meetings. Hospital officials say they are doing better financially since they hired a surgeon, but they still need the city’s report to survive.
    People in Wellington already pay a half-cent sales tax to support the hospital.  That is due to expire next year. If the measure passes in November, the half-cent tax would be cancelled. The sales tax would be in effect for 10 years.
    The council had until the end of November to put questions on the November ballot.
    A couple of meetings ago councilman John Tracy raised the idea of putting a fluoride question on the ballot. The city already does treat the water with a small amount of fluoride, and has done so since the early 1980s.
    Some people have complained, and Tracy wanted to let the citizens decide whether to continue the practice.
    Tracy said he has heard from people on both sides and both sides have their evidence.
    “To me it is not an issue of whether it is good or not, it is an issue of giving the public a choice,” he said.
    He said communities that fluoride their water are “medicating citizens without permission.”
    Councilman John Brand said it was an exaggeration to say the city is medicating without permission.
    “I feel this would needlessly stir up controversy,” he added.
    Brand noted that most mainstream health organizations back the practice.  He said studies show it makes the most difference in children who do not have access to good dental services.
    He said the people it affects the most are too young to vote, and he opposed putting it on the ballot.
    The vote was 3-3, with Tracy, Jim Valentine and Jan Korte voting yes. Brand, Vince Wetta and Kelly Green voted no.
    The city attorney pointed out that with a tie vote, the mayor may vote yes to break the tie, or decline to vote. Mayor Roger Stallbaumer declined to vote so the measure failed.

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