(WICHITA, Kan.) — “This is an issue that certainly has polarized the community,” said Jeff Longwell, Wichita City Councilman for District III.
And now it's up to Wichita City Council members to decide what happens next. Will they decide to fluoridate the water in the city or leave the decision up to Wichita voters? That's the choice the council now has after a petition from the group Wichitans for Healthy Teeth was certified.
Eleven thousand Wichitans signed the petition to fluoridate city water. The Sedgwick County Elections Office certified the petition. Now it's the City Council's move. They can pass the ordinance as it is written in the petition, essentially beginning the process to get water fluoridated immediately, or send it on to the voters and let them decide. The one thing the council can't do is drop the issue entirely.
“We don't have the opportunity to vote it up or down,” said Longwell.