CASSADAGA - Those opposed to fluoridation of the Cassadaga water system used the public comment section of the village board meeting to voice their displeasure with the idea.
Kara Seekings, a registered nurse from Lily Dale who also attended the informational meeting, spoke in a measured voice.
"I am still concerned about what will go into our water," she said.
OBSERVER?Photo by Diane R. Chodan
Rudy Abersold, former deputy mayor of Cassadaga, speaks against fluoridation. Later in the meeting, he argued with Deputy Mayor Rodney Waite, in spite of a request to stop by Mayor LeeAnn Lazarony. Pictured in front of Abersold is engineer Greg McCorkhill and Emmy Chetnik, another fluoride opponent.
The former deputy mayor, Rudy Abersold, spoke in a louder voice. He said that in 2000 or 2001 Cassadaga had the best tasting water in the county.
"Now, the taste, color and smell of our water is deplorable. I don't see anything is being done by the present board except for the periodic flushing. What does this board plan to do to take care of the present system? I think that needs to be addressed before fluoride is put into the system."
Bob Reuther, a Lily Dale resident who owns property in Cassadaga, was polite in his disagreement with fluoridation. He first thanked the board for having an informational meeting.
"Our dentist recommended a course of fluoride treatment for our youngest child. We chose to give fluoride to that child. We chose not to give fluoride to our other children. I am sure the board is well-intentioned but this should be our choice. I am responsible to take care of their teeth. .. I will decide what is right for my family," he said.
Emmy Chetnik contended that fluoridation has lobbyists working for its implementation.
She also attributed a rise in autism and Alzheimer's disease to fluoride.
"It's not necessary so what would the point be?" she asked. "It's a waste of time, effort, and money."
Another R.N. in the audience said in her profession she has to get what is called "informed consent" from her patients, unless she can prove they are a danger to themselves or the community. In her opinion, putting fluoride in the water "is not legally OK. This is the U.S.A. and we have free choice. I don't buy it," she said.
Trustee Ron Dechard and Deputy Mayor Rodney Waite suggested that a postcard could be sent to all water customers asking for their anonymous input so that the board would have a better sense of the community feeling. The board made plans to do this.
Waite used his report time to refute some of the anti-fluoride contentions made at the informational meeting that he felt were inflammatory. Referring to the comment that skeletal fluorosis was an issue, he said the levels of fluoride that would be added would not produce those results. He said that this condition has been found in areas like China, where the concentration is much higher.
He next tackled the contention that the chemical was dangerous because it had a MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet). Waite had printed up sheets for other chemicals including chlorine.
"Anything can look like its dangerous, but in dilute quantities it can be beneficial," he said comparing fluoride to other substances that are in use.
During Waite's report, Abersold began to argue with Waite. He was admonished by Mayor LeeAnn Lazarony who reminded him that the public comment part of the meeting was now closed. Abersold refused to stop until he was finished. Because two people were talking at once, it was impossible to make sense of what was said. Lazarony also asked Waite to give his report without interacting with the audience.
The board still intends to vote on the issue at its next meeting, Oct. 17.
In another development, many residents have found an anti-fluoride flier in their mailboxes. In big bold letters the top of the flier states, "Did you know? Cassadaga plans to add fluoride to your drinking water. Fluoride is not an elixir!"
The document gives five reasons not to fluoridate. It also gives a facebook address of facebook.com/nofluoridationcassadaga for further information. This address does not lead to a site.
Some local residents have complained these fliers were put into their mailboxes illegally. A call to the Cassadaga Post Office confirmed that the fliers have been found. The worker at the office said it is indeed illegal to put a flier without postage into a mailbox. However, she was not aware of whether formal complaints have been filed. The officer in charge was not scheduled to work at the time of the call.
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