Water, water, everywhere: Randy Leonard takes charge

The Oregonian's "inPortland" section has a great write-up on the changes underway at the Portland Water Bureau - which provides drinking water to one-fifth of all Oregonians - all under the direction of City Commissioner (and BlueOregon contributor) Randy Leonard:

He wants to talk about the Portland Water Bureau and its staff, about how they produce the best water in the country, how they're opening up bureau lands for parks, how they're switching their trucks to cleaner, renewable fuel.

It's the first time in a long while that anyone in a position of power has actively wanted to chat about water. But under Leonard's watch, the bureau is transforming itself. From beleaguered to boastful. From secretive to "You want documents? We've got documents." ...

Even before the official word came out that he would run the Water Bureau, the former firefighter e-mailed leaders of the Friends of the Reservoirs, the grass-roots activist group that helped kill plans to cap the city's water supply two years ago. The message: I need your help. I want your input. I know you don't trust us. ...

"It's gone 180 degrees. For a decade, everything seemed to be done in secret, project after project," [activist Floy] Jones says. "With Randy, everything is in the open, everything is up for discussion. He actually wants to hear what we have to say."

Read the rest. Check out the great illustration describing water's path (PDF) from the Bull Run to Portland homes (finally, accompanying graphics on OregonLive!) Discuss.

  • Bert (unverified)

    Sounds good. We need some tooting of government's horn.

    Critical watchdogging is great but it seems to have become a little too reflexive from all ends of the political spectrum.

    Let's hope this little breath of fresh air lasts in is positive.

  • Mister Tee (unverified)

    Commissioner Leonard is also in charge of the 911 call center, right?

    From today's Oregonian:

    According to one witness, the 49-year-old man, wearing dirty jeans and a tan T-shirt, threatened to kill the woman’s children. But the woman screamed for help, triggering the violent assault. She raised her hand in self-defense and was slashed, police and witnesses said.

    When Kristan Alldrin saw what was happening several parking spaces away, she told her sister to stay with her children in their minivan. Alldrin was the first person to catch up to the man.

    “He wasn’t very fast, but he turned around and went toward me,” the Portland resident said, recreating the man’s stabbing motion. “At that point, I thought, ‘What can I do? I’m just a mom.’ ”

    Looking back, Alldrin saw the woman. She was hysterical, nursing her hand. Alldrin dialed 9-1-1 on her cell phone, only to get a recording. “It said they were busy and to stay on the line",she said.

    Maybe he should spend less time on Water Bureau P/R.

  • Mister Tee (unverified)
    <h2>...Typing with a 2 year old isn't much fun.</h2>
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