SC Green Requests a new city staff position, Sustainability Coordinator, to better implement our SAP

City Council Meeting ? 2/15/11
Request for a Sustainability Coordinator for the City of San Clemente

City Council Meeting ? 2/15/11
Request for a Sustainability Coordinator for the City of San Clemente

On Page 20 of the Sustainability Action Plan (SAP) approved last summer it is stated that ?Progress to implement this plan will depend on the availability of staff and funding resources?, (see below). While our city could not hope for a more diligent, committed and resourceful individual than Tom Bonigut, there is only so much he and current staff can accomplish.
Even so, there has been considerable progress made. However, far more could be done with the assistance of a Sustainability Coordinator dedicated to the SAP. At the onset of this SAP effort there was a Management Analyst assigned to this project. Early into the process this employee decided to go to work for the City of Irvine. Her position was never filled due to a hiring freeze, and we feel that this previous job description could easily be re-designated for this purpose. 

Our research shows that some cities have found grants available to initiate such a position, and once that position is filled, can lead to more funding available to cities trying to implement their SAP. Also, rebates and reduced energy costs further justify that special role. Salaries range from $75,000 to $150,000 depending on qualifications and experience, which for a city of our size could be on the lower end. It may even be possible that there are still undesignated funds available in the $500,000 block grant the city was awarded which can be used for this purpose, (i.e., $75,000 for AB 811 which remains uncertain at this time – ?use it or lose it?).

Some of the more important opportunities we believe the Sustainability Coordinator could pursue are the following:
?    Manage the much anticipated AB 811 finance program (or similar), for homeowners investing in energy efficiency measures, updating current housing stock to meet the requirements of AB32.
?    Research grants, incentives and opportunities, including Power Purchase Agreements on city facilities which can actually generate income for the city.
?    Actively pursue green building design applications (LEED Silver, Build It Green or equivalent), for all new and retrofitted city facilities. (LP/VH Park-Pool House?)
?    Develop and enforce a Tree Preservation Ordinance.
?    Promote Community Gardens and organic gardening.
?    Coordinate sustainability measures between all relevant city departments, make strategic alliances to attract green businesses to town and work with other community organizations with similar goals.
?    Study feasibility of phasing in replacement of city vehicles with an alternative fuel fleet.
These are all examples of important goals established in the SAP that our city identified as top priority in 2009, but currently lacks the staff to produce significant progress in these areas. We also feel that having a representative from our City Council dedicated to this effort was very helpful in developing the SAP, and encourage the same kind of involvement as we discuss Sustainability in the GPAC sub-committee meetings. Most importantly, please consider funding the Sustainability Coordinator as part of the ?plan of work? in the Strategic Planning Session coming up on February 22.

San Clemente Green welcomes the opportunity to continue working with the city on the SAP and hope you will reinstate this strategically significant staff position to further facilitate progress. Just let us know what we can do to advance this shared objective.

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