As Portland considers condemnation to acquire PGE, citizens weigh in
- Pamplin Media
- Portland Tribune - Opinion
Portlanders respond to this question: With Portland General Electric's future uncertain because of the Enron bankruptcy, should the city of Portland seek to condemn PGE's assets in order to form a publicly owned utility?
Jill Eiland, a government relations executive who lives in Northwest Portland: 'The city of Portland should continue to look at public ownership of Portland General Electric, but condemnation is a bad idea. Oregon ratepayer interests will best be protected if a collaborative sale/operation agreement is reached between PGE and any prospective buyer.'
Richard Ellmyer, a neighborhood activist who lives, works and pays for electricity in North Portland: 'The Enron corporate establishment has failed. But Portland's city government structure failed to prevent a monumental crisis in the water bureau. Which commissioner would you trust to keep the lights on? It's time to try a public utility district.'
Harvey Fink, a downtown Portland business consultant who lives in Vancouver, Wash.: 'No. We don't know all the details, and the devil is in the fine print. The government can't handle the billing of the water bureau. What makes them think that they can run this new agency?'
Chuck Jones, a certified financial planner and resident of the Johns Landing area of Southwest Portland: 'No! Just another message from the city to business that 'we don't want you here.' Are they also concerned about 'out-of-state' interests of Adidas, Intel, PacifiCorp and Freightliner? Since when has private investment in business become a sin?'
Rachel Gerber, a Portland legal secretary who lives in Beaverton: 'The overarching hand of Portland city government strikes again, this time contemplating eminent domain Ñ with ramifications far outside its own boundaries. Perhaps this is the city's attempt at luring a new business? Apparently the struggle to keep its own affairs intact isn't sufficient to keep city government from straying.'