Volunteers with Clean Water Portland delivered over 43,000 signatures to the Portland auditor's office today, in support of a referendum on fluoridation. Activists want to overturn City Council's order to build a $5 million plant to fluoridate the city's water supply. Kim Kaminski, the director of Clean Water Portland, says of the 43,000, just over 19,000 signatures must prove valid.
"The city will check the circulators' signatures, and the form of the signature sheets, then they send them over to the County to be counted," says Kaminski.
That may take as long as thirty days.
The group plans at this point to take their case to the voters in May of 2014. But Kaminski says there's a chance it may appear on the ballot sooner. The group is also working on a charter amendment that would ban fluoride in Portland water. Kaminski says there's a strong chance the two measures would appear on the ballot together.
Fluoride supporters include the Everyone Deserves Healthy Teeth Coalition. A spokeswoman says one of the coalition's goals is increasing the awareness of a dental health crisis in Oregon. A citizens' vote, she said, will help that effort.