The head of the Portland Water Bureau is retiring and will be replaced with the agency's first female director.
Mike Stuhr, who has led the bureau for the last five years as part of his 17 years with the city of Portland, will retire on Aug. 1.
Commissioner Amanda Fritz, who is in charge of the bureau, announced Tuesday, July 7, that she has appointed Deputy Director Gabriel Solmer to succeed Stuhr. Solmer was recruited to the bureau in a national search in 2015, serving as the communications director for one year and in her current position since.
Fritz praised Stuhr, who was appointed director by the late Commissioner Nick Fish, for restoring trust in the Water Bureau, prioritizing working towards equity in the workforce and in assistance programs, and establishing projects to ensure long-term resilience of the water system with reservoir renovations, the earthquake-safe Willamette River Crossing pipeline, and Bull Run Filtration and Corrosion Control projects.
Fritz also praised Solmer, saying she has been responsible for bureau-wide policy and planning support, developing and monitoring the strategic plan, process improvement, change management, employee engagement, and overseeing staff working on the key issues of equity, communications, technical writing, technology, and employee development.
"Mayor Wheeler and I are confident she will lead the Portland Water Bureau with distinction," Fritz said in the July 7 announcement.
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