At my first Tiger Bay meeting as a member of the board and a judge of the Fang & Claw award – presented to the member at each meeting who “slashes through pretension and prevarication” with the toughest question of the day – I took home the Tiger, asking Pinellas County Administrator Bob LaSala this question:
“Imagine you are at one of the county’s water treatment plants, with no one else around and no surveillance cameras recording. Keep in mind that the water at this particular treatment plant is for residents in disadvantaged neighborhoods. That’s when you find a canister with six months worth of fluoride. No one will ever know what you do. So do you drop the fluoride into the water?”
This question, of course, stems from the controversial decision that Pinellas County will stop adding fluoride to its drinking water, ending a cavity-fighting effort that riled critics of Big Brother government despite decades of advocacy by dental and medical experts.
Along with my question, there were several other good questions asked by Tigers. Actually, this was one of the better Tiger Bay meetings I have been to in a while, especially for one held outside of downtown St. Pete. There was a good crowd, peppered with a dozen or so elected officials. Janet Long’s introduction of LaSala was so feisty it could almost have been mistaken for a campaign speech. LaSala’s speech was focused and informative.
All in all, a solid Tiger Bay.