Mayor Charlie Hales' Spokesman Fined $150 for State Elections Law Violation


State elections officials have found Mayor Charlie Hales' spokesman violated Oregon law by writing a press release on city time that slammed the ballot measure to wrest control of Portland’s water and sewer utilities away from City Hall. The state today fined Hales spokesman Dana Haynes $150 for writing a Feb. 11 press release that called Measure 26-156's backers "anti-environmental" and said the ...   More
Thursday, July 10, 2014 by Aaron Mesh

"No Clear Answers" About How City Property Would End Up in a Water District's Hands, Internal City Hall Memo Says

Measure backer says City Attorney's memo is wrong.


As Portland City Hall braces itself for a May vote that could strip its authority over its water and sewer bureaus, the city's lawyers are scrambling to understand what the ballot measure could mean for Portland property and finances.The short answer: If Ballot Measure 26-156 passes, the rest of 2014 will be spent divvying up ownership of property and employees between the city and a new public water ...   More
Friday, April 18, 2014 AARON MESH

Both Sides of Portland Water Fight Pick Up $20,000 Checks

New water district donors include Andrew Miller and CH2M Hill


The war over the future government of Portland's water supply is getting even more money. Both sides of the campaign on Ballot Measure 26-156, which would remove Portland's water and environmental services bureaus from City Hall control, reported $20,000 contributions today.And both sides also got money from allies sure to inflame the other side.The "yes" campaign's patron is familiar: Siltronic, the ...   More
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 AARON MESH

Water Campaign Will Submit 50,000 Signatures on Friday

UPDATE: Campaign delays signature turn-in until Jan. 21


UPDATE, 12:52 pm Friday, Jan. 17: The water district campaign is delaying turning in its signatures until Tuesday, Jan. 21, saying it didn't realize it couldn't submit additional signatures after the first batch."We just found out that no additional signatures will be accepted after we turn in," says co-petitioner Kent Craford, "and we still have some sheets out there. So we're going to wait until ...   More
Friday, January 17, 2014 AARON MESH

State Warns Water Campaign to Knock off the Nestle Talk


The Oregon Elections Division says signature gatherers must stop selling chocolate on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard.  WW broke the news Tuesday that a Portland resident filed an Oct. 20 complaint with the state about Portlanders for Water Reform's ballot-initiative campaign. Brighton West, deputy director of Friends of Trees, said a signature gatherer was falsely claiming the initiative to wrest ...   More
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 by Aaron Mesh

Elections Complaint Filed Against Water District Signature-Gathering Campaign


The ballot measure campaign to wrest control of Portland’s water and sewer bureaus away from City Hall is now living under the shadow of Big Chocolate. The Oregon Elections Division has received a complaint that signature gatherers with Portlanders for Water Reform are falsely claiming the petition would stop Nestle Corp. from taking over the city’s water supply. The measure would create an independent, ...   More
Tuesday, October 22, 2013 AARON MESH

Water Rebels Spurn City Club

They've rejected Portland Utility Review Board, too.


The backers of a ballot initiative to overthrow Portland's water and sewer bureaus aren't just fighting City Hall—they're fighting Portland City Club. And, for that matter, the Portland Utility Review Board.The leaders of the campaign, lawyer Kent Craford and activist Floy Jones, announced in a public letter this morning that they've declined former Mayor Sam Adams' invitation to make their case ...   More
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 AARON MESH

Hales Meeting With Biggest Water District Backer


When Mayor Charlie Hales last invited the city's largest industrial water users to City Hall, the meeting did not go smoothly."The mayor has called us political terrorists," said Tom Keenan of the June meeting where multiple attendees say Hales yelled at large water ratepayers about plotting a "hostile takeover" to remove Portland's water and sewer bureaus from City Council control. That coup has grown ...   More
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 by Aaron Mesh

Hotseat: Tom Fahey

The Siltronic VP aims to lower his company’s water rates and unseat Nick Fish.

Q & A
Tom Fahey is so steamed about his company’s water bill, he’s fomenting revolution. Fahey is vice president of human resources for Siltronic, a German semiconductor manufacturer that is the c   More
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 AARON MESH

Both Sides of Water District Fight Want the Ballot Wording Changed


Turns out people on both sides of a proposed ballot initiative to wrest control of the city's water and sewer bureaus from City Hall can agree on one thing: They don't like how the city has worded its summary of the proposal. They cannot, however, agree on what the ballot should say. So they're going to a county judge.The Oregonian reported this morning that Kent Craford and Floy Jones, the backers ...   More
Tuesday, August 20, 2013 AARON MESH


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