The rally was extremely energetic with many signs and chants. Local Microbiologist Scott Fernandez spoke briefly, outlining the reasons for the Rally.|
After a brief period of chanting and two marches around the block at City Hall, Commissioner Randy Leonard appeared and was surrounded by the gathering and news media. He answered a few questions from the Corporate Media and then spent about a half hour defending his positions from the crowd, most of who seemed very well informed about the issue.
Leonard was outnumbered perhaps 75 to one, but he held his ground, attempting to explain his position and respond to questions and remarks from Scott Fernandez and the surrounding crowd. Leonard was obviously uncomfortable in this role, and was often interrupted by the crowd, being forced to request that they allow him to finish his response to their questions.
The Rally participants and Leonard both were extremely vehement in the defense of their assessment and disposition of the situation.
The controversy seemed to boil down the fact that Leonard and the City Council want to request a Variance from an Environmental Protection Agency mandate regarding Portland's water supply, and the citizens present demanded that the Council appeal for a waiver instead.
From what Leonard was saying, it seemed that he agreed with the crowd that the reservoirs did not need to be covered and stated that the City is spending millions of dollars building other structures on Powell Butte to circumvent that mandate.
Beyond that, there were differences of opinion on whether either the Variance or the Waiver was the most efficacious, possible, or legal for that matter.
A Water Rate Hearing is scheduled for May 18th, 2011. According to Friends of the Reservoirs this will be an opportunity to testify on Portland's open reservoirs and the Portland water bureau's plan to raise water rates again--85% over the next 5 years.
For More Information
MAY 18, 2011 ---10:15am
CITY HALL, COUNCIL CHAMBERS
1221 S.W. 4TH AVE.