Today Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Nick Fish released the final report of the 12-member Utility Oversight Blue Ribbon Commission.
The report keeps a pledge they made to review the oversight of the Portland Water Bureau and Bureau of Environmental Services.
The Commission, formed in July 2014 and led by former US Attorney Dwight Holton, was comprised of members representing a variety of technical and management disciplines including public and private utilities, engineering, communications, environmental science, and organizational development. The panel included a current wholesale water customer and a representative of the independent Citizens’ Utility Board.
The independent commission was charged 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 convened from July to December and presented draft recommendations to the Portland City Council in a Work Session in November. The public was invited to testify at three of the Commission meetings.
“The Commission has carried out its charge with diligence and care,” said Mayor Hales, “On behalf of Portland’s ratepayers, I want to thank Chair Dwight Holton and Vice-Chair Christine Chin Ryan, whose leadership brought us these recommendations.”
“We applaud the Blue Ribbon Commission for their service to our ratepayers,” said Commissioner Fish, “These recommendations provide a framework for a new, highly engaged, public utility oversight body.”
Commissioner Fish will lead the coordinated effort to create the new Public Utility Board in time for the FY 2016-17 budget process.