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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

Proposed Ballot Title for the Portland Public Water District

August 9, 2013

The City Attorney has issued the following ballot title language for the Portland Public Water District.


Notice is hereby given that a ballot title for an initiative petition has been filed with the Elections Office of the City of Portland on August 8, 2013.

The City Auditor has determined this measure meets the requirements of Article IV, Section 1(2)(d) and (5) of the Oregon Constitution. An elector may file a petition for review of this ballot title in the Multnomah County Circuit Court no later than 5:00 P.M. on Monday, August 19, 2013.

The ballot title is as follows:


Amends Charter: Creates water and sewer district with elected board


Shall Portland create independent utility district to administer water and sewer services,

with new legislative board elected from seven zones?


Measure creates Portland Public Water District as independent agency of City; transfers operation of water and sewer systems from City Council to district board, including control over property and right of way used by systems. Seven uncompensated board members would be elected for three year terms, from zones coextensive with Portland Public School zone boundaries. Board vacancies filled by appointment. Certain persons disqualified from board or working for district. Board could adopt ordinances and resolutions, with civil and criminal liability for violations. Board could hire and discharge employees. City water and sewer employees would be transferred to district. District would set rates for water and sewer, and adopt annual budgets, with financial audits. District could purchase and condemn property; borrow funds; direct Council to issue water and sewer bonds; and assess properties for water and sewer local improvement districts. District cannot “regionalize or privatize” (undefined) water or sewer; commingle Bull Run water with other than existing sources, except in catastrophic emergencies; or adopt less-protective regulations for Bull Run watershed. No cost estimate provided with measure.