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Economic and dam related articles

Brogoitti Removal Hearing Canceled Indefinitely

by Bill Rudolph
NW Fishletter, September 13, 2002

An Aug. 30 hearing in Salem that would have allowed Oregon Power Planning Council member John Brogoitti to hear Gov. John Kitzhaber explain why he fired the council member was canceled with no new date named. Kitzhaber is enmeshed in a huge squabble over his state's budget problems, which went from bad to worse last week. The governor called a special session of the legislature to re-balance the budget after announcing an additional $482 million shortfall. Without a tax increase supported by legislators, Kitzhaber said he would be forced to make draconian across-the-board cuts at state agencies.

Kitzhaber fired Brogoitti last month when the rancher refused to resign after he said he could no longer support the governor's fish policies because they didn't reflect the views of his fellow residents in eastern Oregon. But Brogoitti said he wants to stay on the council long enough to vote for a mainstem amendment plan that would recommend dumping current hydro operations that mandate flow augmentation for spring chinook and steelhead migrating through the federal hydro system. Such a vote is likely to take place in October, and would likely be opposed by Oregon's other council member, Eric Bloch--who has filed a candidate statement for circuit court judge in Multnomah County with the Oregon State Bar. Such a filing would put him on a list of potential applicants for a current opening on the court. Kitzhaber is expected to appoint someone from the list for the position.

Meanwhile, the Oregon senate announced it had tabled the nomination for Brogoitti's replacement, attorney and viticulturist Melinda Eden, whom Kitzhaber named to replace Brogoitti on the council. With the Republican-controlled senate refusing to consider Eden's appointment, much less confirm her for the position, Brogoitti is still legally serving on the council, a fact that the governor's office admits.

Bill Rudolph
Brogoitti Removal Hearing Canceled Indefinitely
NW Fishletter, September 13, 2002

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