From veteran political activist and stalwart Eastside democratic Club member Floy Jones comes another installment in the breath-taking corruption and incompetence of the Portland Water Bureau.
Although too late to make a difference in the election, KOIN 6’s election night (May 20) follow-up report revealed that the CH2M Hill-designed Powell Butte Reservoir tank has 3 times the number of cracks than had been earlier reported by the Portland Water Bureau in February/ March. [On-air reporter] Carla Castano wanted to speak with the tank designer, CH2M Hill, but the Portland Water Bureau asked CH2M Hill not to speak with KOIN. So much for the “transparency” continually touted by Commissioner Nick Fish.
The stories of the chief engineer and the head administrator contradict one another.
In this KOIN 6 interview Water Bureau Administrator David Shaff initially repeats what was reported months earlier that the Bureau has located 1200 cracks, but Chief Engineer Mike Stuhr says there are 3200 cracks, not 1200. The Water Bureau would not allow onsite inspection of the tank, the cracks, and water leaking (previously reported at 280,000 gallons a day), even though for the last year or longer, the Bureau has been conducting tour after tour for the industry, conference attendees, wholesale customers and others.
The lack of due diligence, the utter irresponsibility toward the public fisc, is all too evident.
The KOIN 6 report also exposes the tank price tag being three times that of Seattle’s recently constructed larger 60 million gallon Maple Leaf tank. Administrator Shaff’s response as to why this 50 millon gallon tank cost so much more, is, quote, I don’t know, unquote, with engineer Stuhr shaking his head. I’d asked these same questions of Portland Water Bureau officials at budget meetings years ago. The answers then translated to site challenges, more bells and whistles- top of the line design, in other words no extravagance spared.
Floy as usual gets deep into the weeds.
You can add to those costs of the so-called land-use “mandated” by the former Portland Water Bureau Chief Engineer Joe Glicker “caretaker” house that escalated to $500,000 and is now occupied rent-free by a water bureau employee, and the so-called “interpretive” center, another of the “local mandates”.
So I will leave her account at this point and point out the general message: the result of the choice, by the entire so-called “progressive” community, to oppose reining in the Portland Water Bureau is clearly a green light to ever-more irresponsible corruption.
Thank you for your time.