About the Plant’s Community Advisory Committee

In service since 1992, the Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant’s Community Advisory Committee provides important input to Environmental Services on projects, construction, and operations and maintenance at the plant.

The committee represents City of Portland sewer and stormwater ratepayers along with neighborhood, business, industry, environmental, recreational, and educational interests. The committee provides important input to Environmental Services employees about policies, programs, and projects relating to the plant. Committee members help make sure the bureau engages with the community and considers community interests, concerns, and needs in the operations and maintenance of the plant.

The eight-member committee (four positions available) meets quarterly. Members serve two-year terms and can serve only four terms in a row. Meetings are open to the public.

Community Advisory Committee Members

Alescia Blakely

Alescia is a Resident & Community Services Program Supervisor at Home Forward. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Oregon in Telecommunications and Film with a minor in Ethnic Studies. Alescia has over 27 years of experience working with children and families. She currently supervises nine Home Forward properties from North Portland to SW Portland which is home to over 3,800 families.  Alescia has extensive experience in both private and public sectors in project management, group facilitation, team building and strategic implementation.

Matthew Denton

Matthew has a degree in Civil Engineering but now works in software.  He has lived in Portsmouth neighborhood since 2005 with his cats and chickens.  He regularly rides his bike on the paths near the plant and kayaks in the slough.

James Ellis

James Ellis is a civil engineer and general contractor with experience in both water resources engineering and low-income housing development, currently working as Senior Associate Engineer for the City of Lake Oswego where he manages sanitary sewer capital projects. James received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Central Florida and a Master's in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he also earned a Graduate Certificate in Emergency Management. James has built trails for the National Parks Service, been a swimmer for a volunteer technical rescue squad, and helped implement water supply and sanitation projects for Engineers Without Borders. In his free time, he chases around a rambunctious three-year-old and hope to become more involved in the community he calls home.

Michael Greenblatt

Michael has worked in a variety of roles in local politics. He's currently a Policy Advisor to an Oregon State Representative, and he also ran a Portland City Council campaign in 2020 and worked on Gov. Brown's campaign in 2018, among other positions. Originally from California, he attended college in Washington State and has lived all over the West Coast.

Cara Poor

Dr. Poor joined University of Portland in 2015 as a civil engineering professor, with a focus on environmental engineering. She teaches most of the environmental engineering classes, including Sustainable Design and Water and Wastewater Treatment Design. Her recognition of the importance of improving the health of Oregon’s rivers and streams led to a research focus in stormwater treatment and watershed management. Recent projects include evaluating metals and nutrient removal from various bioretention soil mix designs, pervious concrete, green roofs, and other stormwater best management practices (BMPs). These projects have improved removal efficiencies and the design of stormwater BMPs. She is currently evaluating methods for decreasing phosphorus export from green roofs and bioretention systems with underdrains, including the use of water treatment residuals (WTRs) and mycorrhizal fungi.

Committee Goals

  • Provide community input on implementation of the plant’s Facilities Plan, Master Plan, and Vision Statement.
  • Help reduce the impact of the plant to the surrounding community, including odor abatement.
  • Help ensure the plant benefits the community, the environment, and our natural resources.
  • Review activities and projects at the plant and provide input on alternatives that could affect cost or impact to the surrounding community.
  • Help ensure the plant’s educational programs and public engagement opportunities are inclusive and effective.
  • Expand knowledge through field trips and other fact-finding activities.


Advisory Committee Coordinator

Michele Juon