- Email Signup
- Contact Us
- Progressive Party Positions Table
- Iraq & Syria
- Progressive Party 2014 Voter Pamphlet Statement
- Cease negotiations of TPP
- Ferguson & Inequality
- Police Body Cameras
- 28th Amendment to U.S. Constitution
- Health Care
- Environment (draft)
- Financial (draft)
- Foreign Relations (draft)
- Labor (draft)
- Market (draft)
- Political Reform (draft)
- Social Issues (draft)
- End Political Repression
- Joint Terrorism Task Force
- Pembina Propane Export Terminal
- Trans-Pacific Partnership
- Progressive Platform
- Register to Vote
- Press Coverage
- About OPP
- Flyers, Buttons, Posters, Videos
Submitted by info on Mon, 05/05/2014 - 10:08
by Dan Meek
This is also posted at http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2014/05/portland_public_water_district_8.html.
I just received a very misleading big postcard from the "yes" campaign on this measure. Nearly every statement in the postcard has already been refuted in my op-ed at http://tinyurl.com/meek-oped-water or is otherwise untrue or misleading.
The postcard shows a desert and says "Phoenix has lower water rates than Portland." First, a comparison of "water rates" alone leaves out the elements that comprise most of the "water" bills, which are charges for sewer and stormwater disposal. Second, there are many cities with lower water rates than Portland and many cities with higher water + disposal rates, including just on the west coast (for typical residential usage levels): Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego, and Oakland. See Black & Veatch, 50 Largest Cities Water/Wastewater Rate Survey (2012/2013).
But if you want to look at just water rates, the same survey shows that Portland has lower commercial water rates than even Phoenix, whether the customer is using 100,000 gallons or 10 million gallons per month.
The postcard claims that Portland "water rates have risen 161% since 2000." There is no source cited for this, and I can locate nothing that supports it apart from a USA Today article in September 2012, which also states that water rates during that period have risen in San Francisco by 211% and San Diego by 141%. The article itself states: "Local water costs vary widely because of geography, climate, population, a water company's borrowing costs and other factors. That makes it virtually impossible to compare one city's water costs to another's."
Submitted by info on Thu, 05/01/2014 - 19:35
Note: The voters of Portland rejected this measure overwhelmingly in the May 2014 primary election.
The "Water District" Measure is a Corporate Takeover
of Portland’s Water and Sewer Systems
Note: This op-ed appeared in the Portland Tribune on May 1, 2014. What follows is slightly annotated version.
For 27 years, I have helped create new publicly-controlled utilities in Oregon, including the Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative, now the largest electric cooperative in Oregon (annual revenue $48 million).
Measure 26-156 is not a typical "public district" creation measure. Instead, it grafts onto the existing City of Portland water and sewer systems a 7-person Board of directors that can set rates, borrow money to be repaid by Portland taxpayers, sell property, and decide how to use the existing $19 billion of assets in those systems and who pays the $682 million of annual costs.
The new 7-person Board would be elected half the time in low-turnout odd-year elections, as each term would be 3 years. There would be no limits on campaign spending by any persons or entities. I would expect the big corporate water/sewer users to get together in private, select their candidates, and overwhelm the voters with political ads. After all, they have provided over 99% of the funds for this campaign, including the paid signature gathering. See http://tinyurl.com/waterdistbackers and http://tinyurl.com/wdbackers2.
Siltronic Corp. is both by far the largest user of Portland water and the largest contributor to the campaign (30% of the total).
The resulting corporate-dominated Board would likely:
(1) gut expenditures necessary for environmental protection, and
(2) increase rates for residential customers in order to decrease rates for the largest customers.
Submitted by info on Thu, 04/17/2014 - 17:22
Conversations with Dr. Don will air, starting on Tuesday, April 22, a 1-hour show with Dan Meek. The first half is about the Portland "Water District" measure on the May 20 ballot and includes these slides [or this PDF version of the slides].
Portland Area Broadcast Schedule
Portland, OR metropolitan area: Tuesday 11pm Channel 11
Washington County, OR area (Channel 21):
Saturday 1am Saturday 9am
Monday 6am Monday 1pm
It is also at https://www.youtube.com/user/friendlydon1.