Citizens' Utility Board or no Citizens' Utility Board, the businesses backing a coup of Portland's water and sewer bureaus keep financing a possible ballot fight.
Portlanders for Water Reform, the business-and-activist coalition seeking to wrest utility decisions from City Council to an independently elected board, has reported two new contributions: $15,000 each from Siltronic and Portland Bottling Company.
The two businesses, both large water users angry at city spending, have donated the bulk of contributions to the campaign to gather signatures for a May ballot measure. Siltronic, a German semiconductor manufacturer, has given a total of $55,000. Portland Bottling, which packages soda pop, has added $40,000.
Portland City Council voted 4-0 yesterday to let watchdog group Citizens' Utility Board of Oregon analyze the city's water and sewer spending for the next five years—a move pushed by City Commissioner Nick Fish even as the business coalition collected signatures for a possible ballot measure.
Last week, Fish also offloaded a millstone from his neck—by finding a Portland couple willing to pay $394,500 to buy "the goddamned Water House."