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Commentaries and editorials

Kitzhaber Designates Appointee

by Jonathan Brinckman
The Oregonian, August 9, 2002

Gov. John Kitzhaber announced on Thursday that he wants Melinda Eden, chairwoman of the Oregon Environmental Commission, to replace John Brogoitti on the Northwest Power Planning Council.

Brogoitti, who was asked by Kitzhaber on July 30 to resign and refused, said Thursday that he will continue to fight for his position. While Brogoitti's term officially expired in January, he retains his position under Oregon law until he resigns or is fired by the governor following a hearing, or until a governor-appointed replacement is confirmed by the state Senate.

A Senate committee hearing is scheduled for Sept. 4. The governor's office said that if Eden is confirmed, she would start Sept. 6. Eden, a member of the Oregon Environmental Commission since July 1996, lives in Milton-Freewater.

After refusing to resign, Brogoitti requested a hearing before the governor. Lisa Howard, the governor's director of government appointments, said Thursday that a hearing date has not been scheduled. She said the governor would decide after the hearing whether to remove Brogoitti from the council or whether to allow him to keep his position until his replacement is confirmed.

Brogoitti on Thursday said he will attend the council meeting to be held next Tuesday and Wednesday in Helena, Mont. "It seems funny to me that the governor is announcing my replacement before holding a hearing," Brogoitti said. He said he will not leave the council "until I have exhausted my legal process."

The power planning council, an eight-person panel with two members each appointed by the governors of Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana, balances the generation of electricity at federal hydropower dams in the Columbia Basin with the protection of salmon and other wildlife.

Jonathan Brinckman
Kitzhaber Designates Appointee
The Oregonian, August 9, 2002

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