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Petition: Politicians lose water power, creates new elected board

July 22, 2013

Portland water ratepayers formed a coalition to remove water politics and control away from Portland City Commissioner and instead create an independent Water Board elected by voters. See the KATU-TV news clip below.

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Bob Clark July 22, 2013

I have to look at the details of the newly proposed water district, but I do believe the water district should be removed from the City of Portland government (“City hall”). Portland City Hall has long abused the use of water and sewer funds for purposes other than its water customers. First, Bud Clark and the then City Council imposed a water franchise fee to support road maintenance, only to see these fee revenues spent on other city items. There was the taking of $20 million by City Hall under the Adams administration to do bike friendly projects. Then there are recently retired Commissioner Leonard’s transfer of water funds for rose festival activities and other frivolous endeavors (the water house, which quickly was under water financially speaking).
Then, too, I can remember attending the citizens’ water review committee (set up as a sounding board to review city water rates), and having the city appointed citizen reviewers so dismayed by the lack of honesty by the City Council; the Citizen appointees actually ended up walking out in protest.
The transition to independent water franchise can go smoothly, just looking at the recent franchising of the Multnomah County library system to an independent board and away from Multnomah County government.

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