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The City of Portland, Oregon

Dan Saltzman

Commissioner, City of Portland

Phone: 503-823-4151

Fax: 503-823-3036

1221 SW 4th Ave Ste 230, Portland, OR 97204

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Release: Commissioner Dan Saltzman Proposes Independent Utility Commission (Jun 6, 2011)


June 6, 2011

Contact: Brendan Finn, Chief of Staff, (503) 823-4151

Commissioner Saltzman, in consultation with City Auditor LaVonne Griffin-Valade, has released a proposal for an Independent Utility Commission for Portland’s Water and Sewer Bureaus that would be housed in the City Auditor’s Office.

“To ensure that rate-payer money is spent appropriately the City needs to empower an independent board of Portland residents to propose rates and budgets for the water and sewer utilities,” stated Commissioner Saltzman. 

Saltzman’s proposal would remove City Commissioners and the Mayor from proposing rates and budgets for the water and sewer bureaus.  Instead, the Independent Utility Commission, with five independent and impartial Portland residents with expertise in finance and utility management would conduct public hearings and propose the water and sewer budgets and rates. The Commission will also have the authority for ongoing oversight of utility rate expenditures.

“This proposal would give independent, impartial citizens an unprecedented high-level of authority and oversight over rates that impact all Portland businesses and residents,” said Commissioner Saltzman regarding his newly released proposal. 

Commissioner Saltzman is seeking community input on the proposal throughout the month of June, after that time intends to file a proposal for City Council consideration in July.

"I am open to the idea of an Independent Utility Commission and associated staff being organizationally located within the City Auditor’s Office, and Commissioner Saltzman’s proposal is a good starting place for discussion.  I look forward to hearing any questions or recommendations the rest of City Council and interested community members might have prior to final decisions being made,” said City Auditor LaVonne Griffin-Valade.

To read the proposal, please download PDFs of the following documents:

Our office is accepting public comment through end of day June 30, 2011. Please email your comments to You may also call us (503) 823-4151 or sent comments via mail to Commissioner Dan Saltzman, 1221 SW 4th Ave, Rm 230, Portland OR 97204.