Board Members

A five-member Board of Directors, elected by the voters within the District, governs the PUD. The Board sets rates and policies and hires the General Manager, who oversees daily operations.

See maps of the PUD’s Service Area and Board Member Subdivisions.

See information about CRPUD public meetings.

Board Members

Listed below are the board members, and the areas they serve:

Debbie ReedDebbie Reed

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Debbie Reed was appointed in 2017 to represent customers living in Scappoose. Reed is a retired paralegal, and she and her husband Mark have lived in Scappoose since 1981. They have one daughter, Jennifer. They are active with local charities, particularly the Merchants’ Toy N Joy and the Scappoose Share and Care programs.

Reed’s focus as a board member is to continue providing safe, reliable electricity; to find ways to streamline operations to keep rates low; to support programs and services that customers want; and to maintain a safe, positive working environment for PUD employees.


Craig MeltonCraig Melton

Email Craig Melton

Craig Melton has represented Subdivision 2 customers in Scappoose and Warren since 2015. He is a 48-year resident of Columbia County and served for 10 years on the PUD’s Budget Advisory Committee before being elected to the Board.

“I hope to work with management to provide efficient service, frugal budgeting and transparent leadership for the utility,” said Melton.

Melton is a small business owner and he volunteers for various local groups including Friends of Columbia County Fair, the St. Helens Boosters, and St. Helens Youth Soccer & Football. He and his wife, Ronda, have three children and one grandchild.


Garratt Tayler

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Garratt Tayler was elected in 2020 to represent customers in Deer Island, St. Helens, and Yankton. Tayler is a retired St. Helens High School teacher. He retired from his career as an attorney prior to beginning his career as an educator.

Tayler volunteered with a local 4-H Club for eight years and was the swine superintendent for three years. He and his wife Joan raise cattle, horses, dogs, and cats at their home in Yankton. He has one adult daughter.

Tayler joined the Board because of the amount of growth he is seeing locally, and he wants to be involved in providing safe, reliable, cost-effective service.


Jake CarterJake Carter

Email Jake Carter

Jake Carter represents customers in St. Helens. He has served on the board since 2013.

Carter believes in providing customers with safe and reliable power while maintaining the lowest possible rates.

Carter is employed at IBEW Local 125 in Portland as a Business Representative for several utilities and is a former employee of Columbia River PUD.  While employed at the PUD, Carter held the positions of Meter Reader, Groundman, Apprentice Lineman, Lineman and Meter/Relay Lineman, so he is very familiar with the operations of the utility. He and his wife, Danette, live in St. Helens. They are raising three children and are very active in the community.


Neal Sheppeard

Email Neal Sheppeard

Neal Sheppeard was appointed in 2020 to represent customers living in Columbia City, Deer Island, Prescott, and Rainier. He is retired after 35 years working for the City of St. Helens, where he served as Public Works Director of Operations.

Sheppeard lives in Deer Island. He has three grown children, two daughters and a son, as well as two grandchildren. He joined the Board of Directors as a way to give back to the community and stay active during retirement.


Contact the Board

To contact any PUD Board Member, please contact:

Heidi Ralls
Board Secretary,
Columbia River PUD
PO Box 1193
St. Helens, OR 97051
(503) 397-1844 phone
(503) 397-5215 fax

Board Meetings

The Board of Directors meets in public session on the third Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. at the PUD office in Deer Island.