This morning, we celebrated two important milestones for our public utilities.
First, the Portland Utility Review Board (PURB) issued its final annual report to City Council. The PURB served Portland ratepayers for more than 20 years, advising Council on water, sewer, and stormwater services. Nick would like to thank PURB members – past and present – for their service to our community.
Second, Nick was proud to join his Council colleagues in approving the inaugural nine members of our new Portland Utility Board (PUB), a year-round citizen committee replacing the PURB and our Budget Advisory Committees. The PUB follows a recommendation from our 2014 Utility Oversight Blue Ribbon Commission, chaired by Dwight Holton. It's an impressive group, and fulfills a promise Nick made to ratepayers to strengthen accountability and oversight of our bureaus.
Nick has had the honor of serving as Commissioner in charge of the Bureau of Environmental Services and the Portland Water Bureau for the past two years. We are making great progress, including hiring new leaders for both bureaus, issuing our first-ever watershed health report cards, welcoming salmon back to Crystal Springs, adding a second full-time Ranger in the Bull Run Watershed, developing a new Surplus Property Disposal Policy, and much more.
In the year ahead, we look forward to working with the dedicated employees in our bureaus, the PUB, Council colleagues, the Citizens' Utility Board of Oregon, and our community partners to continue delivering high quality water, sewer, stormwater, and watershed services to families across Portland.