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About the Portland Utility Board

Basic information about the purpose and current board members.

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Purpose of the Board

The Portland Utility Board (PUB) is a community oversight body for the Portland Water Bureau and Bureau of Environmental Services and City Council management of those public utility bureaus. PUB has 11 voting members and three ex-officio members. One voting member of the PUB is a current employee in a represented bargaining unit with the Portland Water Bureau or the Bureau of Environmental Services. Members are appointed by the Mayor, in consultation with the Commissioner-in-Charge. The Mayor and Council strive to have PUB reflect the diversity of the Portland community.

PUB’s purpose is to advise the City Council, on behalf of and for the benefit of the people of Portland, on the financial plans, capital improvements, annual budget development and rate setting for the City's water, sewer, storm water, and watershed services. PUB advises Council on the establishment of fair and equitable rates, consistent with balancing the goals of customer needs, legal mandates, existing public policies, such as protecting water quality and improving watershed health, operational requirements, and the long-term financial stability and viability of the utilities.

Current Members

Voting Members

Dory Robinson (Co-Chair) is passionate about restorative justice and building resilient communities in Portland. Her goal on the PUB is to support and create initiatives that lead to cleaner water and affordability measures within BES, PWB & City Council that center the social and economic needs of Black, Indigenous and Communities of Color.

Term: July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2021

Co-chair Term: July 1,  2019 - June 30, 2021

Heidi Bullock (Co-Chair) is an environmental program manager with the Port of Portland who is working with a team on cleaning up the Portland Harbor in a way that is protective of the health of Portlanders and the environment and affordable for the region. Heidi has worked in the environmental industry for over twenty years serving in a variety of technical and management roles. As a scientist she has experience with site investigations, feasibility studies, remedial design and operations, and laboratory analysis work. She also has experience managing both projects and staff. Her project management experience includes project scoping, proposal and budget preparation, project/team coordination, and technical report preparation and review. Heidi also has executive management experience serving as the Portland Business Unit Manager for an environmental engineering consulting firm for three years before joining the Port of Portland. Heidi believes that everyone has the right to clean air and water and values her work in protecting and preserving those resources. Heidi holds a B.S. in Applied Biology from Utah State University and an M.S. in Hydrology from the University of Idaho.

Term: July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2021

Co-chair Term:  6 month reappointment - July 1, 2020 - December 31, 2020
(Prior term - July 2019 - June 2020)

Gabriela Saldaña-López is the Bus Riders Unite Community Organizer in Portland.  She was born and raised in Southeast and East Portland and has a double BA from the University of Oregon in Planning, Public Policy and Management, and International Studies with a concentration in nonprofit administration. She joined PUB in 2019 and brings a unique perspective, connections, and experience through her community organizing and event coordination roles over the years and is passionate about advancing actions that can begin to address disparities in Portland. Her current work supports improving public transit through grassroots organizing.

Term: July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2022

Kaliska Day is a project manager with Wenaha Group and with over 16 years in construction management brings a unique perspective on how utilities impact practical installation. She has familiarity with a breadth of government agencies as well as experience serving several years on the Portland Bureau of Transportation Bureau Budget Advisory Committee. This provided a great opportunity to see the interconnectedness of government and it was rewarding to give input to the process as it would be on the board. She volunteers with the Oregon Native American Chamber which provides opportunity not just to connect with native communities but also many other diverse communities of color. She joined the PUB in 2019 and brings a unique perspective and voice to the construction industry and the effects of government decisions on contractors as well as a voice to the native community and advocate for a severely under-served demographic.

Term: July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2022

Karen Spencer is the Chief Operating Officer and a founding team member for Firmcast dba Searchfunder.com, an online community and technology platform for search funds. Karen is a member of the State Bars of California and Oregon, as well as the US Patent & Trademark Office.  She has over 25 years of experience as in-house and external counsel with a focus on intellectual property, commercial agreements and the legal implications of business decisions. Karen has a wide range of interests, volunteer engagement and training, including the Oregon Youth Development Council, Portland Parks Foundation, improvisational acting and managing an award-winning blues band. She joined the PUB in 2019 and brings a range of skills in strategic planning, legal analysis, leadership and teamwork to the Board.

Term: July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2022

Karen Williams brings a broad range of training and experience in hydrogeology, watershed planning and water quality. After several years as an environmental geologist and project manager, she came to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and worked with watershed councils, local governments and other stakeholders to measure and improve stream quality.  She is currently a Policy Analyst at DEQ, working with air quality regulations and pollution reduction strategies. With a master’s degree in public administration, she brings a strong research and analytical background as well as an appreciation of challenges in public agency budgeting. Through volunteer participation in other boards and organizations, she brings skills in facilitating meetings and public engagement.

Term: July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2021

Mia Sabanovic is a civil water engineer and joined PUB in 2019 and brings unique experience having worked with both bureaus, working at the Portland Water Bureau for 11 years and the past 2 years with the Bureau of Environmental Services, and an interest in helping the bureaus optimize how to preserve and deliver services. As a refugee from a war-torn Bosnia and Hercegovina she understands the importance of clean and potable water and functioning waste water system that does not result in raw sewage overflows into the rivers and lakes. Coming from a country under severe oppression and genocide she also has a unique understanding of cultural differences in communication, trust and overcoming barriers to engagement with government. Mia is sensitive to the cultural and community diversities and is actively engaged in the community, including organizing and participating in leadership development conferences for women through Portland’s Muslim Educational Trust Center. She brings a passion for water as a sustainable and equitable resource, technical engineering skills and a vast knowledge of both bureaus’ strategic plans.

Term: 6 month reappointment  July 1, 2020 - December 31, 2020
(Prior term - July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020)

Micah Meskel has been in his current position as Conservation Field Coordinator with the Audubon Society of Portland since 2015. Micah was born and raised in Portland, leaving town briefly to attend the University of Oregon where he graduated with a degree in Economics.

Term: 6 month reappointment  July 1, 2020 - December 31, 2020
(Prior term - July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2020)

Robert Martineau is a Water Operations Mechanic at the Portland Water Bureau. He also serves as the President of AFSCME Local 189, where he chairs the Policy Committee. Rob attended all of the meetings of the Utility Oversight Blue Ribbon Commission and brings knowledge and experience as a front-line operator of Portland’s drinking water system.

Term: July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2021

Ted Labbe is a conservation biologist and Executive Director at the Urban Greenspaces Institute. He is a Portland native with a twenty-five-year professional career that includes experience with nonprofit organizations, State and Tribal agencies, as well as private consulting. He has an M.S. in Fish and Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University and has led a series of collaborative conservation efforts, which engage the public in policy-relevant field initiatives. Ted is founding volunteer and board member of Depave, a local nonprofit that creates community-connected greenspaces in pavement-plagued neighborhoods.

Term: 6 month reappointment  July 1, 2020 - December 31, 2020
(Prior term - July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2020)

One Voting Member Vacancy

Ex-officio Members

Amy Chomowicz is a governance policy analyst for the newly-formed Project Management Office (PMO).  During her 25-year tenure with BES, Amy has held several different positions which combined technical and policy work with program management.  Amy started at BES at the grant manager for a $10 million EPA grant for watershed restoration.  She has managed several programs such as the Columbia Slough Watershed program, the city’s Ecoroof Program and the Stormwater Stewards Tree Team.

These programs were public-facing and focused on providing services to multiple types of populations in Portland using an equity lens.  Amy has served on many bureau committees including the PEER program and the Committee for Equity and Diversity.  Amy also has a background in energy conservation and electric utility experience. 

Outside of work, Amy volunteers with Friends of Trees, and she is on the board of the Green Roof information Think-tank, a small non-profit that provides education about sustainable stormwater management.  Amy has a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental science from the University of New Hampshire, and a Masters in Urban Planning from the University of Washington. 

Term: July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021

Brian Laurent serves as the Environmental Specialist for the MS4 and TMDL regulatory programs that manage the City’s compliance with federal and state requirements to protect and enhance water quality in stormwater and surface waters. He joined BES in 2006 and his experience includes program/project management, industrial permitting, monitoring, investigations, enforcements, data systems, organizational development, process improvement, public speaking and the BES PEER Program. His prior experience in private consulting includes technical work specializing in assessment and restoration of surface water environments and precision surveying for industrial and manufacturing customers. He is a graduate of the Environmental Studies and Geography programs at UCSB and as a resident of Portland, has volunteered with the North Portland Soccer Club and the SMART Reader Program.

Term: July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021 (Prior term - July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020)

Sara Petrocine is the Legislative Affairs Coordinator for the Portland Water Bureau, where she administers the bureau’s state and federal legislative programs. She has nearly fourteen years of experience in policy analysis, policy making, project management, and intergovernmental relations, including representing the bureau in statewide forums, such as the League of Oregon Cities Water/Wastewater Policy Committee. Sara joined PWB in 2012 after serving over six years as a Policy Advisor in City Hall for Commissioner Leonard and has extensive experience working with diverse groups of stakeholders on a wide range of issues across the city. Recently, Sara served three years as an officer of the Oregon Water Utility Council, a statewide committee that monitors and engages in legislation, regulations, public policies, and court actions that could impact water providers.

Term: July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021 (Prior term - July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020)