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POL Government Elected Officials Commissioner Nick Fish Blue Ribbon Commission

 

Utility Oversight Blue Ribbon Commission

 

The 12-member Utility Oversight Blue Ribbon Commission (BRC) will analyze potential reforms of the oversight and accountability of the Portland Water Bureau and Bureau of Environmental Services. The Commission will focus on streamlining communications and transparency in the rate-making process. The BRC will report to the City Council in November 2014. 

 


 

Meeting Details

 

All BRC meetings are open to the public.

 

November 24, 2014

Meeting Agenda

6:00 - 9:00 pm

Portland Building

Room C, 2nd Floor


Report to City Council - Facilitator's Draft

 

City Council Worksession: Presentation of Recommendations

November 13, 2014

Meeting Agenda

2:00 – 4:00 pm

Council Chambers

City Hall

 

Council Work Session Report

 

November 6, 2014

Meeting Agenda

4:00-6:30 pm

City Hall

Lovejoy, 2nd Floor

 

Proposed Draft Final Report

 

October 28, 2014

Meeting Agenda

7:30 - 9:30 am 

City Hall

Lovejoy, 2nd Floor

 

CUB Response to Auditor's Report

 

Public Listening Session #2

October 16, 2014

Meeting Agenda

6:00 - 8:30 pm

Portland Building

Room C, 2nd floor

 

Public Listening Session - Preliminary Facilitator's Draft


October 7, 2014

Meeting Agenda

7:30 - 9:30 am 

Portland Building

Room C, 2nd floor

 

Meeting Summary

Public Opinion Research for Water Policy Makers 

Comparative Oversight Matrix

 

September 23, 2014

Meeting Agenda

4:00 - 6:00 pm 

Portland Building

Room C, 2nd floor

 

Meeting Summary

Triangle Model for Effective Utility Oversight - Take Two

Revisiting Questions Posed by CUB

Preliminary Outline of Recommendations

Comparative Structures 

Communications

 

September 16, 2014

Meeting Agenda

7:30 - 9:30 am

City Hall

Lovejoy, 2nd floor


Meeting Summary

Portland City Auditor's Report: Spending Utility Ratepayer Money (2011)

 

Public Listening Session #1

September 8, 2014

Meeting Agenda

6:00 - 8:30 pm

Portland Building
Room C, 2nd floor 

 

Meeting Summary

 

August 28, 2014

Meeting Agenda

4:00 - 6:00 pm

City Hall

Lovejoy, 2nd floor

 

Bureau of Environmental Services BAC Report FY 2014-15

Portland Water Bureau BAC Report FY 2014-15

Portland Water Bureau BAC Recommendations - Kelly Barnes

City Club of Portland Presentation

Portland Business Alliance Presentation

Budget Timeline

PURB and BAC Comparison

 

August 19, 2014

Meeting Agenda

4:00 - 6:00 pm

Portland Building

Room C, 2nd floor

 

Shared Principles

Meeting Summary

Communications

Official Disclosure

Citizen's Utilities Board, Effective Utility Oversight

Annual Debt Report FY 2012-13

Annual Community Survey, Key Excerpts 

Moody's Sewer Bond Rating Report

Standard & Poor's Sewer Bond Rating Report

Declining Water Sales and Utility Revenues - National Water Rates Summit

Citizen's Utilities Board, Triangle Model of Effective Utility Oversight


July 29, 2014

Meeting Agenda

7:30 - 9:30 am

Portland Building

Room C, 2nd floor


Shared Principles

Meeting Summary

Public Records and Meetings Law Summary

Clarification of Charter Provisions

Portland Water Bureau Presentation

Bureau of Environmental Services Presentation

Portland Water Bureau External Benchmarking and Internal Performance Measures

BES Benchmarking Summary


July 15, 2014

Meeting Agenda

4:00 - 6:00 pm

Portland Building

Room C, 2nd floor


Shared Principles

Meeting Summary

BRC Charter

 

Meeting location is ADA accessible. For general questions about the forums or accommodations, please contact Asena Lawrence at asena.lawrence@portlandoregon.gov or (503) 823-3597.

 


 

BRC Background Materials

 

 

GENERAL MATERIALS:

 

Annotated Title of Contents

 

Capital Project Reporting and Budgeting Requirements

Over of the legal and policy requirements for capital project reporting and budgeting.

 

Recent Process and Policy Changes

List of process and policy changes initiated by Commissioner Fish for the Bureau of Environmental Services and the Portland Water Bureau (June 2013 to present).



PORTLAND WATER BUREAU:

 

Joint Utility Rate Presentation

Presented at the Utility Rate Review hearing in March 2014 by the utility bureaus to the public. Presentation outlines bureau services, breakdown of the average monthly bill and upcoming challenges for the utility bureaus.

 

Mission, Vision, Values

Mission, vision, and values as adopted by the Portland Water Bureau.

 

Bureau Strategic Plan 2008-11

Recent strategic plan adopted by the Portland Water Bureau.  The plan includes key service level indicators and identifies relevant trends and issues.

 

FY 2014-15 Adopted Budget

FY 2014-15 Adopted Budget includes highlights of budget changes, bureau program descriptions, capital plan overview, and listing of positions.

 

Proposed Water Rates for FY 2014-15

Outline of current water rates, including comparisons to regional jurisdictions.

 

Capital Improvement Plan Presentation

Presented at a City Council work session in September 2013, the Capital Improvement Plan presentation provides an overview of bureau finances, key drivers of rates, and forecasted impact of the Capital Improvements Plan.

 

FY 2014-15 City Budget Office Analysis

City Budget Office's annual review of the bureau's requested budget.  Analysis is prepared for City Council prior to the City's proposed budget and includes reviews of budget requests and discussion of significant bureau issues.

 

Capital Improvement Plan Annual Report

Detailed information on FY 2012-13 capital projects, including project costs, description and scope, and timeline.

 

Official Statement Excerpts

Summary of Moody's review and rating of 2013 second lien revenue bonds, including a discussion of bureau credit, key strengths, and challenges.

 

 

BUREAU OF ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES:

 

FY 2014-15 Adopted Budget

FY 2014-15 Adopted Budget includes highlights of budget changes, bureau program descriptions, capital plan overview, and listing of positions.

 

Capital Improvement Plan Presentation

Presented at a City Council work session in September 2013, the Capital Improvement Plan presentation provides an overview of bureau finances, key drivers of rates, and forecasted impact of the Capital Improvement Plan.

 

FY 2014-15 City Budget Office Analysis

City Budget Office's annual review of the bureau's requested budget.  Analysis is prepared for City Council prior to the City's proposed budget and includes reviews of budget requests and discussion of significant bureau issues.

 

Capital Improvement Plan Annual Report

Detailed Information on FY 2012-13 capital projects, including project costs, description and scope, and timeline.

 

FY 2014-14 Rate Study

Annual rate study that details the background, calculation and forecast of all bureau rates and fees.

 

Official Statement Excerpts

Excerpt of official statements from bureau's 2013 revenue bonds, including a discussion of bureau credit, key strengths and challenges.

 

 

REPORTS AND RESOURCES:

 

Citizens Utility Board Testimony to Council (2014)

Testimony and recommendation provided by Citizen Utility Board at the FY 2014-15 hearing for water, sewer, and storm water rates.

 

Citizens Utility Board Resolution and Agreement (2014)

Resolution passed by City Council in January 2014 that establishes the agreement between CUB and City of Portland, including an outline of key responsibilities.

 

Sewer/Stormwater/Water Rate Approval Process: A Report by Red Oak Consulting (2011)

Commissioned by the City of Portland in June 2011, the Red Oak report identified best practices regarding the approval process for setting municipal sewer, storm water, and water utility budgets and rates.

 

Rising Rates and Customer Concerns: A City Club Report (2014)

City Club's recent report that describes the current status of City utilities and assesses the efficacy of the governing structure and the adequacy of the budgeting and rate setting process and criteria. 

 

2013 Portland Utility Review Board - Annual Report

Annual report includes the Portland Utility Review Board's recommendations to City Council and a description of the board's activities over the past year.

 

PURB Ordinance

Passed by City Council in February 2003, this ordinance modified the provisions Portland City Code that pertain to Portland Utility Review Board.

 

Portland Business Alliance Position Paper (February 2014)

Prepared prior to May 2013 initiative to create a utility, the Portland Business Alliance's position paper outlines their argument for not supporting the measure. 

 




Portland Announces Utility Oversight Blue Ribbon Commission

Today Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Nick Fish announced the formation of a twelve member Utility Oversight Blue Ribbon Commission. 

 

The creation of the Commission keeps a pledge they made to review the oversight of the Portland Water Bureau and Bureau of Environmental Services.

 

Commission members represent a variety of technical and management disciplines including public and private utilities, engineering, communications, environmental science, and organizational development. The panel includes a current wholesale water customer, and a representative of the independent Citizens’ Utility Board. 

 

The Commission will convene in July and will present recommendations to the Portland City Council in a Work Session to be held in November.  All meetings will be open to the public.  The public will be invited to testify at two Commission meetings. The City has contracted with community engagement and planning firm, Cogan Owens Cogan, to facilitate the meetings and assist the Commission in writing its final report.

 

“Mayor Hales and I pledged to appoint a Blue Ribbon Commission to consider a number of reforms to the oversight of our public utilities, provided voters rejected the proposed Water District,” said Commissioner Fish.  “I am gratified that such a distinguished panel of experts has volunteered to dig deep into how the City does oversight and rate-making.”

 

“Reaching out to this committee and seeking their advice makes sense. We don’t want to pretend that we have all the answers. Often, third-parties see these issues better than we do. We look forward to their recommendations,” said Mayor Hales.

 

Updates on the Commission’s activities and schedule will be available on this website. (www.portlandoregon.gov/fish/brc)

 


Commission Charge

 

The Portland City Council directs that an independent Commission convene from July to November 2014, to

analyze potential reforms of the oversight and accountability of the Portland Water Bureau and Bureau of Environmental Services, and then report to the City Council.  The Commission will focus on streamlining communications and transparency in the rate-making process.

 

Utility Oversight Blue Ribbon Commission Members

 

Chair – Dwight Holton 

Dwight Holton is the CEO of Lines for Life, the state’s leading nonprofit working to prevent substance abuse and suicide.  He previously served as United States Attorney for Oregon in 2010-2012, where he launched a civil rights initiative and led community initiatives to combat mortgage fraud, domestic violence, human trafficking and prescription drug overdose deaths.  Dwight lives with his wife Mary Ellen Glynn and two children in Southeast Portland.

 

Vice-Chair – Isaac Dixon

Isaac Dixon is the Associate Vice President for Human Resources at Lewis & Clark College. Prior to moving into the world of higher education Isaac worked for companies such as Providence Health and Services, GE Capital, Pitney Bowes Financial Services and NIKE. He also served in human resources roles in federal, state and local government agencies.  He is a long time resident of Portland and has served on numerous committees, boards and commissions.


Barbara Byrd

Barbara Byrd is the Secretary-Treasurer of the Oregon AFL-CIO.  She oversees economic development, workforce training and climate policy issues for the state federation.  On behalf of the federation, she sits on the Oregon Workforce Investment Board and on the Advisory Council of the Oregon Employment Department.  She also coordinates the Oregon BlueGreen Apollo Alliance, a labor-business-environmental coalition that promotes clean energy and good jobs.  Since 1995, she is has been on the faculty at the University of Oregon's Labor Education and Research Center (LERC). 

 

Christine Chin Ryan 

Christine Chin Ryan is the Founder and President of Synergy Consulting, Inc., which provides comprehensive IT software solutions to Federal, commercial, and not for profit enterprises with emphasis on Customized Software Development and Staff Augmentation.  Christine is a passionate advocate for small businesses. She serves as Chair of the Oregon Small Business for Responsible Leadership, and as a member of the Small Business Majority Network Council.  She previously served as Chair of the Governor’s Small Business Council and as a member of the Oregon Business Plan Steering Committee and Congressman Kurt Schrader’s Small Business Advisory Board, and served as Chair of the Oregon Small Business Healthcare Initiative.

 

Rob Doneker 

Robert Doneker is a registered Professional Engineer (PE) in the State of Oregon and has a Ph.D. degree in Environmental Engineering from the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University. He consults on water management issues for USEPA, US ARMY COE, ODEQ, and other governments, universities, and businesses worldwide.

 

Bill Gaffi  

Bill Gaffi is the General Manager of Clean Water Services, the wastewater and surface water management utility which serves over 550,000 customers in Washington and parts of Clackamas and Multnomah counties. Clean Water Services is a leader in watershed management and has also been recognized as one of America’s most effective and innovative small businesses.

 

Marion Haynes

Marion Haynes is the Vice President of Government Relations and Economic Development for the Portland Business Alliance. The Alliance represents over 1,700 small, medium and large employers.  Marion served on the Portland Charter Review Commission, which investigated changes to the structure of the City’s water and sewer bureaus.  Prior to joining the Alliance, Marion worked at Portland General Electric in state government affairs. 

 

Chris Liddle 

Chris Liddle is a Manager in Regulatory Affairs for Portland General Electric.   He recently chaired the City Club of Portland's research committee on Water and Sewer Rates and Governance. Chris has a BA in Finance from the University of Oregon, and an MBA from Portland State University.

 

Kendra Smith  

Kendra Smith is a restoration ecologist with 21 years of experience working in streams, rivers, and storm water management throughout the Willamette Basin.  She currently serves on Metro's Natural Areas Oversight Committee, and Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board's regional grant review team.  She has been a consultant, public employee for Clean Water Services a sanitary and storm/surface water utility, and currently works for the Bonneville Environmental Foundation.

 

Brian Stahl 

Brian R. Stahl is the Water Division Manager for the City of Gresham. He has more than 30 years of experience in municipal enterprise fund budgeting, serving on numerous regional and state committees addressing water management issues. He is the current Chair of the Oregon Health Authority Drinking Water Advisory Committee.

 

Janice Thompson

Janice Thompson is a Consumer Advocate with the Citizens’ Utility Board (CUB) focused on Water and Sewer issues.  She comes to the CUB Board after over 15 years working on democracy reform issues where she fought special interests, demanding government and corporate accountability. Janice began her career at the Minnesota Energy Agency with a focus on community based energy programs. A stint teaching middle school science with an emphasis on stream and watershed studies provided many opportunities to communicate complex topics in readily understandable ways. Janice has degrees in Biology and Education from Carleton College and the University of Minnesota.

 

Lawrence Wallack  

Lawrence Wallack has more than 40 years of experience in various aspects of public health. He previously served for nine years as Dean of the College of Urban and Public Affairs at Portland State University.  He has substantial background in social advocacy, communication, and translation of research.

 

A utility panel that can change things for the better
The Oregonian Editorial Board

 

Water and sewer oversight commission named
Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune

Dwight Holton will chair utility reform commission
Aaron Mesh in the Willamette Week

Mayor Charlie Hales, Commissioner Nick Fish name 'Blue Ribbon Commission' members, tab Dwight Holton chair
Andrew Theen in The Oregonian

You were promised a Blue Ribbon Commission on Water/Sewer rates. Here you go.
Dirk Vanderhart in the Portland Mercury

 


June 25, 2014

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