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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 20, 2013 10:48 AM. The previous post in this blog was Know when to fold 'em. The next post in this blog is Check Frank Gable's cell. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

PUD might be AOK

The folks who have been suing the City of Portland over the blatantly illegal misspending of water and sewer revenue by the Sam Rand Twins are now proposing that a public utility district be set up to take over those two utility systems. We think it's long overdue, but getting the voters to pass it is going to be a tough sell.

You can bet that the people making a fat living off the current setup -- bureaucrats, cozy consultants, unions of various stripes, bond lawyers, construction pork contractors, and the mega-corporations that are waiting to pounce and take the systems over -- will be throwing big bucks around to fight a PUD. Old Mark Wiener, currently forcing fluoride down water users' throats (literally), will doubtlessly be employed to defend the status quo and make the PUD proponents out to look like kooks.

We hope that the supporters of the public district won't make the mistake made by previous proponents of electricity PUDs on Portland's inner east side. Those PUD ballot measures always seemed to be accompanied by a proposed board of directors for the new district that looked like a pack of refugees from a '60s hippie commune. They alienated many voters with wild Marxist rants, and as a result, never had a chance. If the water PUD ballot measure is going to pass, the people associated with it are going to have to appear bathed, competent, and all grown up.

On a side note, one of the recent news stories on the PUD idea reported that the water and sewer users' lawsuit against the city has been settled. We are reliably informed that that is not true. The city did repay money to the water fund to make up for the illegal water bureau foray into playing landlord for the Rose Festival, but the litigation over other illegal spending continues.

Comments (17)

If the water PUD ballot measure is going to pass, the people associated with it are going to have to appear bathed, competent, and all grown up.

The PUD proponents probably dominate the City's people in competence and maturity. And the City's deodorant ban should help in the "bathed" department, too.

"If the water PUD ballot measure is going to pass, the people associated with it are going to have to appear bathed, competent, and all grown up."

So far so good...see below:

But, but how are we going to keep that slush fund going?

You can't have citizens controlling their own resource - they might actually be prudent and responsible.

Maybe it is time to change to a PUD.

Tucson's water bill for 10Ccf of average monthly use is $25.17

Portland's is $57.30 for same amount.

It rains on average 12 inches per year in Tucson, 37 inches in Portland. Plus Portland has 5 flowing rivers nearby while Tucson has none in it's Sonora Desert environment.

Doesn't compute if you don't compute Portland's graft.

In this rare instance, Jack's critique is incorrect.

The law for PUD formation requires that the PUD formation election be accompanied, at the same time, by election of the first Board of Commissioners for the PUD. So having candidates for the board was not something that the PUD proponents did as a lark; it was required by law, and it is still required by law when any new PUD is formed. And anyone who is a registered voter, bathed or not, can run for the PUD Board. The proponents of the PUD do not get to select who runs for the Board.

I would rather they sell it to a water utility and distribute the cash to rate payers.

I'm not getting how "Jack's critique is incorrect."

Assuming one wants the PUD effort to succeed, it has to give off at least the verisimilitude of respectability, if not the real thing. Not something the occupy crowd hallucinated up on crack between de-licings. Same mistake the pro-pot people made last November, by the way.

If it weren't for the citizen lawsuit against the City for misuse of water funds, the Arts fund would have been tacked onto the water and sewer bill. This would have made it more difficult to legally challenge it. The Arts tax is a no win situation. The City is worried about the constitutionality of the tax as passed so it is now trying to restructure it just enough to move it from being unconstitutional (Hales is not so much against taxing the young college student dog sitting as he is about ensuring the constitutionality of the Arts tax). Of course, this was the whole reason for allowing the poverty escape, allowing the optics to blur a bit concerning the tax being a head tax or not.

Of course, a real city income tax would have been the re-launch of the Multnomah I tax, circa 2003 to 2005. But this might not have lasted very long before voters asked for its repeal. Plus bringing back the I tax for a measly $35 per person was another big drawback.

I hate new taxes, and especially the hideous shake down like Arts tax; but I live in the wrong city when it comes to electorate preferences on taxation level.

Jack appeared to believe that the PUD formation election could occur, without the need for the election to elect the first board. That is not the case. The first board has to be elected at the same time as formation is voted upon. He also seemed to think that the proponents of the PUD had some control over who ran for the board. Also not the case. While the PUD proponents can certainly recruit some folks to run, so can opponents of the PUD formation. In fact, one strategy is for opponents of the PUD to recruit unqualified persons to run and then to ridicule them as part of the PUD formation crowd. Also, any registered voter living in the proposed PUD area can run, including perrenial candidates commonly considered nut jobs.

So, it was not, as Jack said, a strategic error by PUD proponents to offer a slate of crazies to run for the board. The crazies were self-selected (if not also encouraged by PUD opponents), and the PUD proponents could do nothing to keep them from running.

Dan, I understand the rules. You're arguing with me about something I never said or implied. Which might say something about the past campaigns right there.

Also, the electricity PUD efforts "never had a chance" because PGE (assisted by PP&L and other private utilities) broke all records, then and now, in spending per vote against them.

One advantage the new PUD effort would have is that the City of Portland is prohibited by law from engaging in campaigning on a measure, including a PUD formation measure. Whether that prohibition is enforced is another matter.

I am not involved in the current PUD effort.

Dan, I think you're really misreading Jack's statement. His point is that the pro-PUD folks need to have all their ducks lined up so that the proposed board (or their "slate" of people for the board) are responsible industry types, not people last seen throwing bricks through the window at the local Wells Fargo.

Please do not try to get Dan to face reality. 8c)

Again, the comments (other than mine) do not reflect reality. Any registered voter can file to run for the prospective PUD board. Every such candidate then receives attention from the press. It does not matter how many nice ducks the PUD advocates have lined up. The story is the crazy hippies who are running for the board.

Who is not facing reality? I am apparently the only one who understands it.

While presenting a viable and dependable PUD scenario is important, Dan makes a very good point. At least this time the effort will not be opposed (using our own monthly utility payments against our own best interests) by a for-profit, monopoly utility with an advertising agency on retainer (whose owner was also a part of a ambiguously-named group "opposing" the PUD for all sorts of reasons that didn't really hold water and demonizing the proponents of a PUD as inept and incapable of providing the same level of service. I heard so many lies and half truths during the battling over that ballot measure that I was moved to write a personal letter to friends and family to debunk whatever I could.

And, while I'll admit that I am not the best educated person re. ballot measures, wouldn't we be voting on whether to form a PUD and not necessarily for people to run it at the same time? Seems like two separate things.

State law requires that the PUD formation election be accompanied, at the same time, by election of the first Board of Commissioners for the new PUD. So, yes, you are necessarily voting for people to run it at the same time. This is a big advantage for the opponents, who can use large money to run their own candidates for the Board, if it appears that the PUD formation election has an appreciable chance of succeeding. If the election of Commissioners to an already-created PUD were later, then perhaps more established members of the community would run for the Board--members who would want the PUD to be run well, not badly. But that is not what State law allows.

God, you would've thought they learned something watching the movie Chinatown.

I'll sign any PUD petition.

I'd love to see the look on all of Randy's hey-boys faces when they actually have to justify themselves.


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In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
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Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
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Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
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Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
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Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
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Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
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Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
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G3, Cabernet 2013
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Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
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Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
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Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
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Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
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Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
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Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
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Dunham, Trautina 2012
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Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
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Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
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David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
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Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
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In 2015: 271
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In 2013: 257
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