Initiative 26-156 is the only Portland measure on the May 20th ballot. The measure would, in effect, strip the city council of control of the city’s water and sewer services and pass the responsibility to a new Portland Public Water District — an elected seven-member board that would oversee the proposed seven water districts.
The main reason the supporters of the initiative have chosen to put this on the ballot has been to lower the rising water rates. However, it has been pointed out by City Commissioner Nick Fish and acknowledged by the supporting campaign that nowhere in the 26-page initiative document does it mention anything about lowering rates.
The Portland Public Water District campaign has accused the city of raising rates to support other projects, which are unfounded claims according to City Commissioner Nick Fish.
Fish says he is fearful that if the measure passes, it could call into question who will pay for the Superfund cleanup of the Willamette River.
- Kent Craford: Co-chief petitioner for the Portland Public Water District initiative campaign
- Bob Sallinger: Conservation director of the Audubon Society of Portland and supporter of the Stop Corporate Polluters: No On 26-156 campaign