No doubt about it, this is not the year we expected. We have encountered a once-in-a-generation pandemic, adjusted to a dramatically different way of life, and now, weathered a historic election. You can find results from last night here.
Locally, Portlanders did not pass Ballot Measure 26-219. Sponsored by Commissioner Amanda Fritz, this measure would have given City Commissioners and the community more flexibility to use Water Bureau-owned land outside of the Bull Run Watershed for other public benefits, and for potential public uses such as community gardens or picnic benches. Because it did not pass, no change will occur. We’ll continue to request budget for non-water maintenance work and ADA improvements in hydroparks from the city’s general fund.
“I look forward to continuing discussions about how to serve all of our community every day,” said Water Bureau Director Gabriel Solmer. “We may find that some ideas aren’t feasible or do not align with the current priorities of Portland voters. But we can always strive to find new ways to connect with and benefit this region that we serve.”
“I appreciate former Water Commissioner Mike Lindberg, the Audubon Society of Portland and multiple environmental and social justice organizations for their partnership in getting accurate information to Portlanders,” said Commissioner Amanda Fritz. “It’s disappointing that opponents were able to sway voters with false claims. Still, I know Director Solmer and the great staff in the Portland Water Bureau will continue to explore ways to promote equity and improve accessibility on Water Bureau sites while spending ratepayers’ money wisely.”