You know that new effort to take water and sewer oversight away from city hall? It's hit the ground running in the fundraising department.
The strictures of this blog platform preclude us from running it at a super-legible size, but check out this solicitous email that was just brought to the Mercury's attention.
There are no huge surprises or bombshells here, though there IS a certain self-assuredness behind the phrasing "the "Portland Public Water District" will appear on the May 2014 ballot (emphasis mine). They've got to get to 30,000 signatures before that happens.
Portland Bottling and American Property Management were both on hand at the press conference announcing the initiative this morning, and Kent Craford, who's helping head up the petition drive, said the group's been reaching out to "large water customers." If anyone from Siltronic was on site, it wasn't announced.
I'm unclear on where the letter gets the bit about a 66 percent increase in water rates. Craford and Floy Jones, both involved in the petition drive, penned an editorial in March citing a 44 percent increase over the next five years, which is in line with forecasts I've seen through FY 2018. I've not found, in a cursory search, estimates through FY 2019. At any rate (PUN INTENDED) estimates are not-infrequently wrong.
Commissioner Nick Fish, in conversations about water over the last several days, has repeatedly pointed out a prediction for this year's water rate increase called for a 15 percent bump. It was actually 3.6 percent.
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