Water and sewer watchdogs are considering an initiative petition drive to create an elected People’s Utilities District to set future rates.

Portland voters already support the idea by a 59-to-14 percent margin, with 27 percent undecided, according to a poll released by the Portland Water Users Coalition on Tuesday. The poll, conducted by Riley Research Associates, found that 75 percent of voters consider water and sewer rates too high, compared to 15 percent who say they are just right, 5 percent who say they are low and 5 percent who are unsure.

The coalition represents large water consumers who oppose future rate increases. Director Kent Craford says the group will decide whether to support the petition drive after the City Council adopts next year’s budget. The Water Bureau is requesting a 7.2 percent rate increase, and the Bureau of Environmental Services is requesting a 6.5 percent increase.

Craford says no increases are justified.

The council briefly considered last year creating an appointed independent utility board to set rates, but the idea was eventually dropped.

Fluoride fight bubbling with bucks

The campaign against fluoridating Portland’s water has received its largest contribution yet: $5,000 from Abundant Living Information Services, a chain of family-owned health food stories in Utah.

The company’s website includes a link to articles on the alleged dangers of fluoride.

That contribution helped raise Clean Water Portland’s reported total to slightly more than $35,000 so far. Of that amount, more than $500 has gone to 3DNA-Nationbuilder of San Francisco for a voter database. That’s the first indication the campaign will directly contact more than just the 43,236 Portland voters who signed petitions to put Measure 26-151 on the May 21 ballot.

The campaign in favor of the measure is continuing to raise more money, however. The latest reports show Healthy Kinds, Healthy Portland has raised just over $59,000 to date. Recent expenditures include $4,269 to Winning Mark, the political consulting firm run by Mark Wiener that helped lobby the City Council to pass the fluoridation plan.

Wanted: A good deal on office space to occupy

Occupy Portland is moving its offices and it wants the 99-percenters to keep an eye out for good deals.

The citizen activist movement is trying to raise $2,200 through the crowdsourcing website Indiegogo to pay for new office space. The group has until April 10 to raise the money. So far, it’s collected less than $200.

For the past year, Occupy Portland occupied office space in the St. Francis of Assisi Church, 1131 S.E. Oak St. Now the group wants to move into more accessible space, with between 300 and 600 square feet that rents for about $300 to $600 a month.

The movement took root in Portland in October 2011, when more than 200 people set up tent cities in Chapman and Lownsdale squares.

The park occupation ended in mid-November 2011, when police cleared the two squares.

Contract Publishing

Go to top
Template by JoomlaShine