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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

City Commissioner Nick Fish Appoints Sonia Schmanski as Chief of Staff

March 16, 2015

City Commissioner Nick Fish announced the appointment of Sonia Schmanski as his Chief of Staff, effective today, March 16, 2015.

“Sonia Schmanski joined my team about the time I came to City Hall and has a depth of experience across all of our work here,” said Fish. “I’m delighted that she’s agreed to be my new Chief of Staff.”

Ms. Schmanski joined the staff of Commissioner Fish in the fall of 2008 as a temporary staff person, and rose through the ranks.

She has held numerous leadership positions in the office, including acting as bureau liaison and advising the Commissioner on a range of citywide issues including land use, transportation, housing, utilities, and planning.

From January 2012 through early February 2013, she was Commissioner Fish’s liaison to the Portland Housing Bureau. In that role she facilitated implementation of the Commissioner’s Fair Housing Action Plan; the successful conclusion of the City’s 11x13 housing preservation campaign; and the opening of Gray’s Landing, which brought the South Waterfront its first affordable homes.

From June 2013 until her appointment as Chief of Staff, Ms. Schmanski served as liaison to the Portland Water Bureau, managing the roll-out of key utility reforms. Those reforms included the Blue Ribbon Commission launched in the spring of 2014, development of a new policy to guide the disposal of surplus property, the launch of monthly billing, and a groundbreaking new partnership with the Citizen’s Utility Board of Oregon.

“I’m honored by the opportunity to serve Commissioner Fish and Portlanders in this new role,” said Ms. Schmanski. “Working in City Hall is both challenging and rewarding. I look forward to leading our terrific team.”

Ms. Schmanski studied International Relations at Boston University and spent time at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars before returning to Portland in 2008. A 6th-generation Oregonian, she grew up in the Grant Park neighborhood of Northeast Portland, and now lives in St. Johns.

Nick Fish names Sonia Schmanski as next chief of staff

Andrew Theen in The Oregonian

David Shaff to retire from Water Bureau after 37 years of service

March 17, 2015

This morning, Water Bureau Administrator David Shaff announced his retirement, after 37 years of service to the City:

I recently let Commissioner Fish know that I intend to retire effective June 30, 2015, my 37th anniversary as an employee of the City of Portland and my 10th anniversary as the Administrator of the Portland Water Bureau.

Commissioner Fish has asked me if I will stay on beyond June 30th if necessary while he and his staff conduct a search for a new director and I have said that I would.

I cannot describe how proud I am to have worked for the Portland Water Bureau these last ten years. My entire career at the City of Portland has been incredibly fulfilling and rewarding, but these last ten years have been the most special.

Keep Reading

Nick is grateful for David's service to the City, and released the following statement:

Today, Portland Water Bureau Director David Shaff announced his decision to retire after 37 years of service to the City.

While I was surprised by David’s decision, I respect his choice and am grateful that he has committed to work with me and the bureau on a transition plan.

Since I was assigned to lead the City’s two utility bureaus in June 2013, I have admired his dedication and professionalism, his willingness to explore new and better ways of doing business, his customer service ethic, and his strong commitment to using ratepayer dollars wisely. David has been instrumental in recruiting and developing a high performance team at the bureau. 

Keep Reading

 Thank you, David, for your 37 years of service!

 David Shaff, Portland Water Bureau administrator, is retiring

Andrew Theen in The Oregonian

 Water Bureau Head David Shaff is Retiring

Dirk Vanderhart in the Portland Mercury

 Water Bureau director to retire

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune

Portland Water Bureau Chief David Shaff is Retiring

Aaron Mesh in the Willamette Week

Our Lone Ranger

 March 18, 2015

Portland Water Bureau employee Dan Weidinger patrols the Bull Run Watershed – he  is the hero who protects our water supply.  

Today on OPB’s Think Out Loud, Dan and his wife, Sacha Synder, took viewers into their watershed home in the beautiful Mt. Hood National Forest. 

The Bull Run Watershed is Portland’s main source of drinking water.  It includes the Bull Run Lake and two reservoirs, as well as the Bull Run River, tributaries, and other feeders.  The two reservoirs hold nearly 14 billion gallons of usable water, and serve nearly a million Oregonians. 

As Ranger, Dan is responsible for watching and patrolling over 147 square miles daily. Right now he’s the only full-time ranger on duty, but he won’t be solo for long. Commissioner Fish prioritized funding to hire a second ranger to help patrol the watershed.

Thank you for your great service to our city, and to our fellow Oregonians, Dan!

At Home In The Bull Run Watershed

Julie Sabatier and Alan Sylvestre in OPB

Remember Dan Weidinger? OPB News follows up with the Bull Run’s Lone Ranger

Andrew Theen in The Oregonian

The Lents Grown Story Yard

March 19, 2015

City Hall’s atrium got a little more inspiring with a traveling version of the “Lents Grown” Story Yard

Designed by local non-profit ROSE CDC and Propel Studio Architecture, the Story Yard is an art installation that celebrates the wonderful diversity of the Lents neighborhood in Southeast Portland. 

The original Story Yard is located on a corner lot at SE 88th & Foster, on land owned by the Portland Development Commission (PDC). In an effort to activate empty, unused neighborhood land, PDC issued grants to ROSE and Propel to create the Story Yard. Local photographer Dawn DeAno photographed local small business owners and farmers market vendors. Their photographs – and their stories – are installed in the Story Yard. The installation strengthens neighborhood connections through the photos and stories that represent what makes Lents great: its people. 

The traveling version of the Story Yard in City Hall emulates the beauty of the original, just on a smaller scale. Come to Portland City Hall’s atrium and check it out! The installation will be up through March 27. The full Story Yard on SE Foster will be up through 2015.

Photo courtesy of Rose Community Development. 

Friday Roundup

Remember Dan Weidinger? OPB News followed up with the Bull Run's Lone Ranger

Andrew Theen in The Oregonian


At Home In The Bull Run Watershed

Julie Sabatier and Alan Sylvestre in OPB


Plugged In

Joseph Gallivan in the Portland Tribune


Nick Fish names Sonia Schmanski as next chief of staff

Andrew Theen in The Oregonian


Portland Water Bureau Chief David Shaff is Retiring

Aaron Mesh in the Willamette Week


Water Bureau Head David Shaff is Retiring

Dirk Vanderhart in the Portland Tribune


David Shaff, Water Bureau administrator, is retiring

Andrew Theen in The Oregonian


David Shaff talks Randy Leonard, Mount Tabor reservoirs, earthquakes (Q&A)

Andrew Theen in The Oregonian


How Gretchen Kafoury left an indelible stamp on Portland

Andy Giegerich in the Portland Business Journal


Mountain bikers protest River View Natural Area off-road cycling ban

Tony Hernandez in The Oregonian


Mountain bikers protest park riding ban

KGW News Staff


Portland rain sends sewage into Willamette River

The Associated Press in KOIN 6 News


City: Rain causes sewer overflow into Willamette

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune


Heavy Portland rainfall causes sewage overflow into Willamette River
Rebecca Woolington in The Oregonian