Port Angeles: Kitsap judge to hear anti-fluoridation petition case
by BRIAN GAWLEY
Peninsula Daiy News
PORT ANGELES, WA-- A Kitsap County judge will hear legal arguments later this year over whether two anti-fluoridation petitions filed with the city are appropriate to be placed on a ballot.
Both sides filed the opening briefs in the case on Oct. 13, and the responses to those briefs were filed on Oct. 24, said City Attorney Bill Bloor.
The final set of briefs is due Nov. 3, with a hearing date to be set during the week of Nov. 27 or later after Gerald Steel, attorney for the petition supporters, returns from vacation, he said.
The hearing will be before Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Russell W. Hartman, Bloor said.
Prior legal proceedings regarding the city's fluoridation program were heard by Jefferson County Superior Court Judge Craddock Verser after all the Clallam County judges recused themselves.
A decision on the ``declaratory judgment'' could take up to six months, during which time fluoridation of city water -- which began May 18 -- will continue.
Members of the ballot initiative committee Our Water -- Our Choice! delivered 191 petition sheets containing an estimated 2,300 signatures to Port Angeles City Clerk Becky Upton on Sept. 8.
The petition seeks to have the Medical Independence Act either adopted by the City Council or put to a public vote.
The measure would prohibit medication of people through drinking water.
Another 190 petition sheets with an estimated 2,300 signatures also were delivered to the city clerk on Friday by members of the ballot initiative committee Protect Our Waters.
That petition seeks to have the Water Additives Safety Act either adopted by the council or put to a public vote.
It would prohibit the introduction of anything into the city's drinking water intended to act as a drug unless it is approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration.