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Fish taps former state executive for environmental bureau

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TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO - Former state and Metro executive Michael Jordan has been chosen to lead the city's Bureau of Environmental Services.Former Oregon and Metro executive Michael Jordan has been appointed to head the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services.

Commissioner Nick Fish, who is in charge of BES, announced the appointment Friday morning. BES operates the city's sewer system and stormwater management programs. It is supported primary by sewer charges and stormwater management fees.

“I am delighted that Michael Jordan accepted my offer to lead the Bureau of Environmental Services,” Fish said. “He brings an extensive record of public and private sector experience to the City, and shares my commitment to stabilizing rates, improving transparency, and strengthening accountability.”

“I am honored to be chosen by Commissioner Fish to head the Bureau of Environmental Services and very excited to return to my roots in city government," Jordan said. “I’m looking forward to engaging Portlanders on the challenging and important work of the bureau.”

Jordan had most recently served as director of the state Division of Administrative Services. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown dismissed him shortly after replacing former Gov. John Kitzhaber after it had been reported Brown asked the Oregon State Police to investigate who had leaked some emails from Kitzhaber and his fiancé Cylvia Hayes to the press. The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating Kitzhaber and Hayes for influence peddling.

Before that Jordan was CEO for Metro, the elected government in the Portland region. He previously held elected office as a County Commissioner in Clackamas County and served as City Administrator in Canby. Jordan also spent over a decade working for Pacific Power and Light Company. He holds a B.S. in Social Science from Portland State University.

Jordan replaces Dean Marriott, the longtime BES director who resigned under pressure from Fish after substantial cost increases were reported during the construction of an office building at the Columbia Stormwater Treatment facility in North Portland. Marriott negotiated a hefty severance package with the city and Fish praised him for his years of service.

Jordan was chosen over two other finalists. One was Paul Gribbon, a 20-year BES employee who managed the Big Pipe project before becoming a vice president for Nevada-based S.A. Healy Co. The other was Metro Parks and Enveironmental Services Director Paul Slyman, who used to work for the Portland Development Commission.

“Mike rose to the top of a very strong candidate pool, and will continue BES’s proud tradition of environmental stewardship and cost-effective delivery of sewer and stormwater services,” Fish said.

The position pays $185,000 a year and is not covered by the city's civil service system. He begins work on June 1.

The city is currently recruiting for a new director for the Portland Water Bureau, which Fish also oversees.