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Agendas and Minutes

Conservation and Climate Outreach Commission (View All)

Conservation and Climate Outreach Commission

Minutes
Wednesday, January 22, 2020


Meeting Audio
 
MINUTES FOR THE CONSERVATION AND 
CLIMATE OUTREACH COMMISSION
Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way
 
1. Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by Vice Chair Marion Moore at 6:01 p.m. Commissioners Risa Buck, Steve Mitzel, Jamie Rosenthal, Bryan Sohl, and Rebecca Walker along with staff liaison Stu Green and Council liaison Stef Seffinger were present. Commissioners Larry Cooper, Marni Koopman, James McGinnis, and staff liaison Adam Hanks were absent.
 
2. Consent Agenda
2.1. December 18, 2019 Meeting Minutes
Buck/Rosenthal moved/seconded to approve the minutes as written. Further discussion: none. All Ayes. Motion passed unanimously.
 
3. Announcements 
3.1. Next Regular Meeting: February 26, 2020
3.2. Upcoming Subcommittee meetings
Buck announced that the Waste Prevention Subcommittee will meet on Thursday, January 23 at 3 p.m. in the Southern Oregon University (SOU) Facilities Building, 351 Walker Avenue.
 
3.3. Other Announcements from Commissioners
Buck said she would be attending the February Tree Commission meeting as a member of the public to talk about best practices for when wildlife and cutting down trees adversely affect wildlife. Moore stated that Cooper submitted a statement about the Water Treatment Plant. His concerns included that conservation efforts are not taken into account and there is no greenhouse gas emissions calculation for the construction. Rosenthal announced that she would not be at the February meeting as she will be traveling to a waste prevention and recycling training for work. Buck will also be absent in February.
 
4. Public Forum
Flavia Franco – with Emerging Futures and Southern Oregon Food Solutions announced that there will be a food reduction workshop for restaurant owners and workers on March 24 at the Ashland Springs Hotel. She is looking for volunteers to reach out to restaurants to participate and for future tabling events. Other workshops include a zero food waste demo at the Ashland Food Coop in April and a class through Parks and Recreation on reducing food waste in May. 
Louise Shawkat – spoke to idling vehicles around town especially around the schools. There will be a Transit Equity Day in Ashland corresponding to the nationwide event on February 4 at 6:30 p.m. at Ashland Public Library’s Gresham Room.
 
Cat Gould – who is also on the Tree Commission, reiterated Shawkat’s statement about idling and explained that the existing ordinance needs more enforcement. Gould suggested placing more signage year round in areas where buses and RVs park and idle. Outreach could also be done through students by using nationwide programs to target the idling that occurs at the schools. She also spoke to the solar collective and finding large roof space that could benefit from solar installations.
 
Huelz Gutcheon – reminded the Commission of an email he sent about electric vehicle (EV) charging sites. He also spoke to the solar collective called Ashland Community Solar and would like to see more groups like this. The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) also recommended progressive energy codes influencing the State’s building codes, especially EV charging in residential constructions. 
 
5. Reports/Presentations
5.1 Community/Neighborhood Presentation
Moore gave the presentation for community outreach (see attached). Moore has given five presentations so far and is looking for more Commissioners to help present. Further discussion included:
• Fossil fuel landscaping equipment accounts for a small amount of the GHG inventory in the Climate and Energy Action Plan (CEAP);
• The Buildings emissions category includes both construction and territorial emissions;
• Carbon offsets for flights and shipping products can be purchased which generally consist of a third party planting trees and other carbon offsets;
• Adaptation tips will be included in the presentation; and
• Ashland is making GHG reductions, but not meeting the eight percent per year goal.
 
The Commission will add an update on the GHG inventory and GHG reduction efforts focusing on consumption after Green’s progress report to Council in March.
 
5.2 Council Update
Seffinger announced that tonight there was a Capital Needs and Financing Town Hall to receive input on raising funds for City Hall, Community Center, Pioneer Hall, a City solar installation and repair of the Perozzi fountain. The Council has also been looking at:
• Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) development for the Water Treatment Plant;
• The Trails Master Plan including trails as a part of the transportation system; 
• Buildable lands for the next 20 years; and 
• Providing public space for camping if a shelter space is not provided.
 
Buck asked about the climate emergency declaration. Seffinger said that it has been shifted to the Climate Policy Commission (CPC) which will present at the February 3 Council Study Session along with Ashland School District’s (ASD) progress on incorporating CEAP into their bond projects. 
 
5.3 Administration Update
Green updated the Commission on an upcoming ECO challenge, added features to the EV calculator online at ashland.chooseev.com, upcoming changes to the CEAP website in the Spring, the meeting with CPC and CCOC chairs to discuss coordination between the two, a joint Commission meeting is planned for April, workplace charging incentives are still available for commercial Ashland Electric account holders, the Transportation Commission is reviewing the draft contract proposal for the Transportation System Plan tomorrow, more adaptation items needing to be added to CEAP, the launch of Rogue to Go, and possibly changing the time of the CCOC meetings. 
 
Buck added that her and Hanks were interviewed on the Jefferson Exchange for the Rogue to Go program along with Talent City Councilor Emily Berlant, who is a part of the Talent Zero Waste Team. Talent is promoting a “Bring Your Own” campaign to encourage customers to bring their own food containers to restaurants for takeout. Green also hopes that the Commission will help interview Rogue to Go customers in the future.
 
6. Old Business
6.1. Other Commission Updates
Buck met with Julie Smitherman, Water Conservation Analyst, who will be leading a tour of the Wastewater Treatment Plant and the Reservoir on May 20 from 1 to 3 p.m. Buck also has been working with Ashland ACE Hardware about ways to incentivize switching to electric landscaping equipment.  
 
6.2. 10 by 20 Update
Hanks provided a memo (see attached). This item will be added to the March agenda for Hanks to answer any questions. 
 
Sohl asked what was the action on the Request for Proposal (RFP) for the large Imperatrice solar project. Green stated Council did not want to move forward with the project. Green also stated that CPC will look into a strategic plan for the Electric Utility, which could address some of the issues brought up in the 10 by 20 ordinance. Sohl asked if the City plans on expanding solar and Green responded with they are planning on expanding as long as the installations do not trigger the take or pay provision in the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) contract. 
 
6.3. Update on Bag Ban and Debrief on State Laws
Moved to next meeting. 
 
6.4. Commission Monthly Column in Sneak Preview
6.4.1. Approve Article
There was a miscommunication with the Sneak Preview editor and the Climate Action Card article was run in January instead of the Last Straw article. The Last Straw article will run in February. 
 
Buck introduced the article up for approval and explained the importance of reflecting on the past 25 years of the Commission. Buck was concerned over the ad size and Green stated that the Rogue to Go ad of the same size had a decent quality. ​Rosenthal/Walker moved/seconded to approve the article as written. Further discussion: none. All Ayes. Motion passed unanimously.
 
6.5 Subcommittee updates
6.5.1 Water
See above under Other Commission Updates. 
 
6.5.2 Waste Prevention
The Subcommittee had a meeting with staff regarding banning single-use items. The will also have another meeting tomorrow.
 
6.5.3 Air Quality
See above under Other Commission Updates. 
 
6.5.4 Marketing and Outreach
Moore stated that there are no new projects for the group at this time. Sohl asked if Subcommittees could be shared between two Commissions. Green stated that a Subcommittee could have members from both Commissions, but it needs to report to only one Commission. External members on the Subcommittees would need to be formally accepted by the Commission itself.
 
Rosenthal asked if she found some groups interested in the presentation who should they contact. Moore stated they could contact her directly. Seffinger suggested reaching out to the Senior Center, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), and American Association of University Women (AAUW) for the presentation.
 
7. New Business
 
8. Wrap Up
8.1. Review of Action Items
•Email Kevin Golden to connect Buck and Cooper (Hanks) – done
• Meet with staff about banning or phasing out single use items (Waste Prevention) – done 
• Research leaf blower bans and possible incentives (McGinnis/Cooper) – in progress
Check with CPC for their work on this issue
• Research adaptation actions for Community presentations (Moore) – in progress
• CPC meeting (Koopman, McGinnis, Walker, Moore, and staff) – done 
• Electric landscaping equipment outreach (McGinnis) – in progress 
• Displaying outreach materials on City TVs (McGinnis) – in progress
• Updating the Commission webpage (staff with Commission input) – done 
• Researching grants for Tool Library (Cooper and Koopman) – in progress; Rosenthal asked if the Library would be a good place to start as they have a check out system in place. 
• Creating a spreadsheet for outreach activities (Green and Moore) - done
• Checking with Ashland School District about getting a new representative (McGinnis) - done
• Checking with local landscapers about using electric tools (McGinnis) – in progress
• Referencing the Drawdown book for importance of various actions for neighborhood meetings (Moore) – done 
• Researching locations for presentations (Moore) - Ongoing and possibly could be a regular agenda item along with outreach discussion.
 
8.2. Items to be added to future agendas
• Multifamily Recycling Ordinance Review (TBD)
 
Items to be added to future agendas include:
• An update on the GHG inventory and GHG reduction efforts (March)
• CCOC and CPC joint Commission meeting (April)
• Changing the time of the CCOC meetings (February)
• 10 by 20 update (March)
• Bag ban and State laws debrief (March)
• Outreach update/ideas (continuous)
• ASD bond report (February)
 
Further discussion included the ASD report on the bond to City Council. Mitzel stated that he will be giving a short report on how ASD incorporated CEAP into bond projects and requiring contractors and subcontractors to follow the guidelines. He will be willing to present this more in February.
 
Going back to the GHG emissions inventory, Sohl asked if better data on Ashland citizens could be used for flights to see the reduction those emissions. Green stated that the sharing of information from the Federal Aviation Administration is restrictive and would be hard to get those details. Walker stated that it is also tourist who come to Ashland; therefore, would not be inclusive to only track Ashland residents. Walker also stated that it is better to look at cutting back where necessary with video conferencing, car sharing, etc. but you must be careful about messaging to help balance the economy. Buck stated that two main issues are transportation and population increases which can be controversial issues. 
 
The meeting was adjourned by Vice Chair Moore at 7:54 p.m.
 
Respectfully submitted,
Elizabeth Taylor, Executive Assistant
 

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