portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting portland metro

actions & protests | environment

Citizens speak out about water rates

City Council hearing on water rates
Citizens of Portland, OR speak up about the need for the water bureau and city council to ask for a waiver from the EPA to halt all unnecessary and costly treatment projects and to stop increasing water rates. One person testified that high utility rates are driving homeowners into foreclosure and many seniors on fixed incomes are having a hard time paying their water bills. And according to another person who testified, there are even people in Portland who cannot afford water at all, despite the fact that access to water is a human right.
Watch on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9BLTlzJLOE

homepage: homepage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9BLTlzJLOE


complete video coverage 24.May.2012 20:56

Courtney

Watch the full video of the hearing here:  http://www.portlandonline.com/index.cfm?c=49508&a=398538


Open Letter 25.May.2012 19:04

lone Vet lonevet2008@comcast.net

Friday, May 25, 2012

Dear Candidates:

Last week, May 23rd, many of us who call ourselves progressives/activists attended a City Council meeting to protest the raising of rates on water usage here in Portland, Oregon. We were told, after our arrival, there would be no testimony and the voting by the members of the council would be at the Portland Building at 2:00 PM. Many of the members of Friends of the Reservoirs were there to speak against this rate increase and fight against the EPA's mandate to change our water delivery system. The first indicator that the "Fix" was in was the missing sign up sheets. Mayor Adams had no intention to allow anyone to testify against these rate increases, it was a done deal. We listen for a time and then when it was clear what was happening I stood up and called for a point of order. The mayor acted in a dictatorial manner and ordered me to sit or be thrown out of the hearing. I stood my ground and two security men arrived at each side of me and ordered me to leave. I fell to my knees and refused to go until the mayor answered my point of order. He refused but did indicate that he would now let the citizens of Portland present their views on this outrage. The confrontation was over. Someone did call the police and about 6 cops showed up for one old guy on oxygen who was challenging mayor adams.

 link to www.katu.com


We did testify and as a result Commission Fritz, to her credit, requested a meeting with the rest of the council to work on lowering the rate increase and try to come to some type of compromise. We applauded her actions, but the fight has only just begun.

It was announced that next week the water rates would be taken up again, this is where you come in. Will you come and join us at this hearing? You have taken positions on the covering of the reservoirs, the building of a treatment plant at Bull Run and/or the destruction of a wonderful system to deliver drinking water to the residents of Portland. I only speak for Individuals For Justice and the Oregon Progressive Party, however I can not imagine any organization that would not be proud if you came and sat during this next hearing. I for one would be honored if you joined in and raised your concerns about a major mistake by the Water Department. I know it is difficult to make these meetings, however this issue is of great importance to our city.

Thank you for you time and we'll see you at the next city council meeting.



Date:05/30/2012
Time: in the morning session after 0930
Item #623


PS There is another item on the Agenda that Oregon Progressive Party has come out against and will also object to the installation of cameras in the downtown area by the cops. The authorization for this stupidity is under item 613 to be voted on sometime in the morning also. Remember that the City Council is meeting in the Portland Building and it will start at 0930.


For Justice,Peace and *Laughter,
Joe Walsh-Lone Vet
Individuals for Justice  http://individualsforjustice.com
Proud member of Oregon Progressive Party,  http://progparty.org/

War is failure, occupation a disgrace!

"Funding these wars is killing our troops"
 http://www.mfso.org/

* Why laughter?? Because without it I would have gone insane years ago.

Sen. ** harry reid must be replaced as Majority Leader, call me when you agree or just go away!

An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.
Mohandas Gandhi

Thoreau may have also brooded over the reaction of Emerson, who criticized the imprisonment as pointless. According to some accounts, Emerson visited Thoreau in jail and asked, "Henry, what are you doing in there?" Thoreau replied, "Waldo, the question is what are you doing out there?"

Molly Ivins, "It's like, duh. Just when you thought there wasn't a dime's worth of difference between the two parties, the Republicans go and prove you're wrong."

"I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth,
and I am a citizen of the world."
Eugene V. Debs

Comm. Fritz responds to my open letter 26.May.2012 08:08

Lone Vet lonevet2008@comcast.net

Sometime ago I told Commissioner Fritz that I would copy her anytime I mentioned her in one of my letters/rants. This is her take on what happened last Council Meeting and what will happen this coming Wednesday. I still remain pissed that a representative body on this level does what it wants and there are very little consequences for them to worry about. As a Citizen you should go to this meeting and state your opposition to this rate increase and or the water departments' intentions concerning the covering of our reservoirs. Elected politicians should know that if they go against the wishes of their constituents they will be thrown out of office the next time they are up for election. In Europe the politicians fear the people, here in the States we fear our government. That should change.





Hi Joe,

I appreciate your advocacy. There was no sign up sheet on Wednesday because it was a second reading of the rate ordinance. The reason the Mayor took testimony was because he moved an amendment to change the ordinance to cut another 0.5% off the rate. Amendments require an opportunity for the public to testify. I voted against the amendment because I believe the cut should have been deeper.

There won't be amendments on the rate ordinance next week, so no testimony on the rates. Testimony will be taken on the proposed Approved Budget which includes all the components. There may be amendments to the proposed Approved Budget made at the hearing.

Further advocacy on water rates could be made at the hearing on Wednesday, but is unlikely to change the rate chosen by the majority of the Council this week. Testimony on the issue of how to address federal mandates in the most cost-effective way can be submitted any time before the worksession that I requested. The date has not yet been set for that. The rate of 7.6% increase for 2012-13 does not include any money for addressing the federal water treatment mandates. It is mostly (4.9%) due to catching up from inadequate budgeting in 2006 - 2008.

Amanda


Amanda Fritz
Commissioner, City of Portland

The City of Portland is a fragrance free workplace. To help me and others be able to breathe, please avoid using added fragrances when visiting City offices.

To help ensure equal access to City programs, services and activities, the City of Portland will reasonably modify policies/procedures and provide auxiliary aids/services to persons with disabilities. Call 503-823-2036, TTY 503-823-6868 with such requests or visit  http://www.portlandonline.com/ADA_Forms

Water Rates and Bull Run Water being drained at Dam 2 by PWB 27.May.2012 00:11

Nancy Newell

Continue the good fight to stop the unnecessary projects by PWB. A flight (donated by LiteHawk which is an international organization protecting conservation and preservation) flew Portland activists over Bull Run within the last 2 weeks and discovered the spilling of some of our summer water reserve at Dam 2 as well as pipes (for so called salmon recovery and UV operations) stacked in the staging area in preparation of construction by PWB. This project should never have been started at this time of the year and fast tracked by Shaff and Commissioner Leonard. This project was legally permiitted by Clackamas Hearing Officer Helm who fully approved the project. Helm was presiding over the Clackamas project decision while being paid by the City of Portland(the applicant for permits) for services he had done in Portland. I filed an appeal and it will be in LUBA appeal court next week in Salem. The contract with Mr. Helm will be extended into 2013 and is on the agenda for City Council vote of approval on Wednesday. It is very important that people call and write testimony on water rates as well as the Helm situation before this Wednesday and please take a day off to save our precious resource and gift, Bull Run Water. For further info, look at the Citizens for Portlands Water website and we will post it within a few days.