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The City of Portland, Oregon

Nick Fish (In Memoriam)

City of Portland Commissioner

phone: 503-823-3589


1221 S.W. 4th, Room 240, Portland, OR 97204

Let’s show small businesses the love this Valentine’s Day!


February 13, 2015

This morning, Nick was pleased to help kick off Hidden Hearts at Crafty Wonderland.

Hidden Hearts is a Valentine’s Day shopping event that showcases Portland’s great neighborhood small businesses.  It was created by Supportland co-founder Katrina Scotto di Carlo as a way to reward those who shop locally. 

Here is how it works: collect ‘Hidden Hearts’ at participating Supportland businesses today. On Sunday, each heart will become 20 Supportland Merits to use towards a 24-hour shopping spree!

Neighborhood small businesses are the backbone of our local economy.  They strengthen our community and support good causes. For every dollar spent at a local small business, 70 cents stays in our community. 

So this Valentine’s Day, let’s show them some love. 

Special thanks to Supportland co-founder Katrina Scotto di Carlo and Crafty Wonderland Co-owner Torie Nguyen!

Check out Supportland’s website for more information.


Planning a greener future for the Central Eastside

February 17, 2015

This Thursday, the Southeast Quadrant Plan is offering an open house for Portlanders to learn about the future of the Central Eastside.  It’s a great opportunity to get involved and discuss goals, policies, and upcoming projects in the district. 

The Central Eastside is a dynamic part of Portland’s tech and factory industry.  It significantly contributes to our economy and job growth. 

The Bureau of Environmental Services is proud to partner with fellow City bureaus on the Southeast Quadrant Plan.  Last year, BES staff helped complete the SE Clay Green Street project.  This year’s focus includes adding more green infrastructure to address stormwater runoff.  Other topics include enhancing river habitat, providing park-like spaces, improving bicycle and pedestrian corridors, and more!

Check out the Bureau of Environmental Services’ website for more information about the open house.

Southeast Quadrant Open House

Thursday, February 19, 4 – 7 pm

Oregon Rail Heritage Center

2250 SE Water Ave.

Improving our Surplus Property Policy

February 18, 2015

This morning, Nick was pleased to brief City Council on a new “Surplus Property Policy,” developed by the Bureau of Environmental Services and the Water Bureau.

The new policy increases transparency and accountability, and creates a robust public process for selling public land.

After Nick became Commissioner in charge of our two public utilities in 2013, he learned that the “Freeman Tank” property, a surplus Water Bureau site in Southwest Portland, was being sold to a private developer.  Community members in the Multnomah neighborhood objected – claiming they were not adequately notified of the sale, and were not briefed on the future plans to develop in their neighborhood.

While the Water Bureau followed the City’s then existing policy for surplus property, Nick agreed with neighbors – the policy needed to be strengthened! 

The new policy, developed with significant community input, includes expanded public notices to our local government partners like Metro and Multnomah County, and to neighborhood associations and business associations, ads in community newspapers, and a new “Surplus Property” section on each of our bureaus’ websites. The new BES and Water Bureau sites include photos, detailed information about each surplus site, and information about each site’s status.

This new policy would not have been possible without the thoughtful feedback and recommendations from Moses Ross and fellow neighbors in the Multnomah Neighborhood Association.

Tell us what you think! Review the new policy online, and submit your feedback.  

Policies set for sale of city properties

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune

Jerome Kersey, 1962-2015

February 19, 2015

Yesterday, our community lost one of the greats: former Portland Trail Blazer Jerome Kersey.

I do not have the words to express my shock and sadness at his sudden passing.

I was lucky enough to spend some time with Jerome at Schoolhouse Supplies' Celebrity Spelling Bee last month -- we were on the same team. He brought his lovely wife and step-daughter as guests.

It was easy to tell that Jerome was the biggest "celebrity" there -- throughout the evening, people asked for his autograph and a photograph. He was always more than happy to oblige.

Before that, I once played a game of H-O-R-S-E with him.

I lost, naturally.

Jerome was a great player and ambassador for the Trail Blazers and our entire community. He was also a wonderful human being. Wherever I saw him, people were drawn to him. He always found time to give back.

It was an honor to know him. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and fans today.


Outside council report on BES Columbia Building

February 19, 2015

In response to the Auditor’s report about the new Bureau of Environmental Services employee building at the Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant, I committed to bring in an outside law firm to review the findings, conduct an investigation, and issue a written report on lessons learned and “best practices.” Attached is a copy of the report.

In its report, Barran Liebman LLP found no evidence that laws, rules, or ethical guidelines were violated. However, the report raises a number of red flags about bureau practices and decisions.

Barran Liebman’s report includes eleven thoughtful recommendations for improving how the bureau completes capital projects. We are reviewing them carefully, and expect to implement many of them.

Prior to the issuance of this report, I already initiated a number of reforms that address many of the findings. They are designed to strengthen accountability and transparency. For example:

  • Projects with investments totaling more than $500,000 now come to Council on the Regular agenda (not Consent agenda) to ensure robust public discussion. 
  • The Citizens Utility Board has been brought in to conduct regular, independent reviews of bureau capital projects.
  • This fall, based on the recommendations of the Utility Oversight Blue Ribbon Commission, we will launch a new Public Utility Board, with independent professional staff to scrutinize the capital projects and budgets of both BES and the Portland Water Bureau.

Next week, I am launching a national search for a new Director. I am confident that with new leadership, a renewed commitment to transparency and accountability, and with the full support of our dedicated employees and the Council, BES will continue to deliver high-quality services to Portlanders.

Please let me or my staff know if you have any questions about this report.

Barran Liebman LLP Report

Portland investigation says Columbia Building payment process 'appears improper'

Brad Schmidt in The Oregonian

Sewer Office Building Investigation Says City Bureaus Should Report When Projects Get Bigger

Aaron Mesh in the Willamette Week