Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Loss of Power Resulted in No Loss of Revenue for Oregonians

by Christie Scott

Early in the morning on June 9, planning and preparedness prevailed at the Oregon Liquor Control Commission - which prevented what could have been a costly mishap for the citizens of Oregon.

Approximately 9:00 a.m. that day, a power line and pole were downed by a contractor working on site at the OLCC headquarters office in Milwaukie. The six-hour power outage affected the entire OLCC building including the warehouse that holds the state’s distilled spirits.

Thanks to a contingency plan that involved several divisions within the agency, the OLCC was able to fulfill all of the orders placed by Liquor Store agents with no loss of revenue to the state.

The precautions included limited back-up power supply and Information Technology strategy that allowed access to email and the ability for liquor store agents to place orders to the distribution center in such an event. Retail services staff worked one-on-one with liquor store agents to ensure that their orders were placed and received by the distribution center. (Liquor store agents are independent small-business contractors and are not state employees.)

To compensate for the loss of power, warehouse employees moved to manual mode to load the trucks and pull the orders by hand. Another precautionary feature was that IT had configured the distribution center’s hand-held scanners to stay connected to the server in the event of a power outage. These scanners deliver the liquor agents’ orders directly to the warehouse employees on the floor so that they know which products to pull for each order. The scanners also keep the OLCC inventory up to date.

During a challenging moment, OLCC employees stepped up to the plate. Thanks to a lot of pre-planning, good old-fashioned man power and a tremendous amount of dedication, staff pulled together to protect a valuable revenue source for our state. The OLCC is the third largest contributor to the general fund behind Revenue and Lottery, respectively.

The revenue generated from the sale of distilled spirits is distributed to the state’s general fund, counties and cities. That money helps to pay for essential programs such as education, health care and first responders in our neighborhoods. More information on where liquor revenue goes can be found on OLCC’s web site,

Emergency responders, Milwaukie Police Department and Clackamas Fire Department, arrived on the scene to ensure the safety of all OLCC employees, contractors and visitors. Portland General Electric moved swiftly to disconnect power to the downed line and to restore power to the building by 3:00 p.m. CenturyLink was also onsite to ensure that the Commission’s online network abilities were protected

More photos available:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Michael E. Harper, Sr. joins OLCC's Board of Commissioners

by Joy Spencer

Michael E. Harper, Sr. has been appointed to the OLCC’s board of commissioners. Harper was nominated by Gov. John Kitzhaber and confirmed by the Oregon Senate.

Harper brings a rich background in public speaking and a passion for teamwork and collaboration to the OLCC. Harper is a graduate of North Park University in Chicago, IL and is currently an agent with State Farm Insurance. Prior to joining State Farm in 1991, Harper was forward-center for the Portland Trail Blazers NBA basketball team, and later served as the team’s Speakers Bureau Director. Harper’s also coached youth basketball for Riverdale High School, Fairview High School and Valley Catholic School.

Active in the community, Harper’s public service experience includes member of the SW Portland Rotary, Western Oregon University Foundation board member, Prince Hall Mason F & A.M. Deputy Grand Master, served on the Oregon Mortuary and Cemetery board and the State of Oregon Commission on Children and Family, as well as Founder of the Grassharper Foundation.

Harper represents the 5th Congressional District.

The five citizen commissioners are the policy-making body of the OLCC. They meet monthly for one or two days to make decisions on liquor licenses, rules, contested case hearings and appointments of liquor store agents. Commission meetings are held every other month at OLCC's main office, 9079 SE McLoughlin Blvd., Room 103A in Portland. Subsequent months, the meetings are held via phone. Agenda items can be obtained on the OLCC's Website.