Floy Jones and Kent Craford on the Portland Public Water District Ballot Initiative
Host Jen Davis speaks with Floy Jones and Kent Craford, co-chief petitioners of the Portland Public Water District Ballot Initiative.
Ratepayer advocates have launched a ballot initiative which would establish an independent public utility board to manage Portland's water and sewer utilities. The proposal sets up a board to guide policy and set rates, similar to a People's Utility Distict (P.U.D.) elected by zones encompassing the entire City. The proposal is modeled after Eugene's Water and Electric board. Proponents of the measure cite escalating rates and two years of non-stop revelations of waste, mismanagement, and whistleblowing in City Hall's handling of water and sewer finances as reasons for the measure, which is designed to improve transparency, accountability, and equity. Major effects of the initiative include prohibiting privatization, regionalization, and comingling Bull Run water with lower quality sources such as the Willamette and Columbia rivers.
Floy Jones is the Co-founder of the grassroots Friends of the Reservoirs and a long-time Portland Water Bureau watchdog. She served on the Water Bureau Budget Advisory Committee and helped the Friends of the Reservoirs earn the "Spirit of Portland" award for their efforts to protect Portland's water system. Kent Craford is a long-time Portland ratepayer advocate and former Director of the Portland Water Users Coalition, a group of large water customers in the City. He has served on the Budget Advisory Committees for the Portland Water Bureau and Bureau of Environmental Services. Further information can be found at http://www.waterreform.org/