Sixty-seven percent of Buda voters rejected the city’s proposition to reintroduce fluoride to the city’s potable water supply, according to unofficial, final results Tuesday.
Jennifer Allen, a Buda resident and anti-fluoride advocate, said the residents working in the campaign worked tirelessly for Tuesday’s result.
“I am very excited. This is what needed to happen in Buda for us to have safe water. This has nothing to do with political views. It’s only about health and safety,” Allen said.
George Haehn, who unofficially was elected as Buda’s next mayor, said he agreed with voters on the opposition of adding fluoride to the city’s water supply because it wasn’t natural.
However, he added that the savings gained from not adding fluoride to the water could be used in other needed areas such as debt or infrastructure.
“How can we better use that money to serve the people,” Haehn said.
Newly elected Place 4 city council member Paul Daugereau said he was “very happy” with the results of the anti-fluoride vote.
“I was one of the opponents of fluoride and the organizers put together a great campaign so they deserve it,” Daugereau said.
While Buda said no to fluoride, they overwhelmingly approved the city’s proposition to gradually transfer its council to a hybrid single-member district format.
Proposition B, a proposed charter amendment regarding single-member districts, passed with 62 percent of the vote Tuesday.
Under Proposition B, the Buda City Council would gradually transition to three single-member district seats, three at-large council member seats, and an at-large mayor. Currently all Buda City Council seats are voted on an at-large basis.
The proposed change, however, wouldn’t take place until the city population reaches 25,000. As of 2016, Buda’s current population is listed as 15,023.
Buda City Council member Place 2 Lee Urbanovsky said he didn’t feel like Buda was ready yet for single member districts due to a lack of population. Urbanovsky said he felt that population, not geography, should be the driving force behind the transition to single member districts.
“I don’t think Buda is diverse enough or big enough for (single member districts) yet,” Urbanovsky said.
Haehn said single member districts could create more divisiveness in Buda, instead of ensuring better representation. He added it could introduce issues of possible gerrymandering in district lines.
“That’s what the voters approved and wanted,” Haehn said.
Daugereau said he would have preferred to hold off on adopting single member districts until the population reached numbers in the 25,000 range.
“I would like the system to stay the hybrid system but the voters voted to approve changing to an all single member district council at 25,000 population and they make the decision, it’s up to them,” Daugereau said.