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Agendas and Minutes

Conservation and Climate Outreach Commission (View All)

Conservation Commission Meeting

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Click on "Attachments" for full agenda packet.
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way
1. Call to Order
Chair Marni Koopman called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. 
Commissioners Risa Buck, Mark Weir, Roxane Beigel-Coryell, Cara Cruickshank, and James McGinnis were present. Staff member Adam Hanks was present. Commissioner David Sommer arrived late. Commissioner Jamie Rosenthal and Council Liaison Traci Darrow were absent.
2. Consent Agenda
McGinnis/Buck m/s to approve the minutes of December 13, 2017, as presented. Discussion: None. Voice Vote: Five Ayes, One Abstention. Motion Passes.
3. Announcements
The next commission meeting will be February 24, 2018. Buck stated that bottle & can recycling baskets have been installed in five new downtown locations. McGinnis stated the new ad hoc Climate Action Plan Implementation Committee meetings will be held every third Thursday from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. in the Siskiyou Room. Beigel-Coryell stated that next week is SOU’s Waste Week. Go to for information on all the events. Weir stated that May 23rd, from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. will be DEQ’s regional hazardous waste training for businesses. There is limited space, but the program is free.
Commissioner Sommer arrived 6:08 p.m.
Sommer stated the school district has recently contracted with a new carbon-reduction company and are already seeing results, particularly thanks to new LED bulbs. Hanks stated the City is likely following suit with a contract with a similar contract.
4. Public Forum
Neil Clayton – stated he was an SOU student who came to learn about the commission.
Louise Shawkat – stated the Master Climate Protector classes will be starting in February. She encouraged the commissioners to submit comments for the Clean Energy Jobs Bill being considered by the state legislature while there is still time. She stated she is concerned by the number of cigarette butts lying around downtown as there are no disposal containers and the no-smoking ban isn’t always observed.
Huelz Gutchen – stated that the world bank has begun to divest itself from fossil fuels. He stated that Lloyds of London is also dropping out of the coal markets. These are both really good signs. He stated that Governor Brown recently signed an executive order requiring that all new residences be solar ready by 2023.
Garret Graves – stated he’s an SOU student. He asked what the top three things either Ashland School District or the City of Ashland are doing to reduce carbon use in their major building systems.
Sommer and Hanks both gave information about HVAC system improvements, insulation, and LED bulb replacement projects.
5. Old Business
Sneak Preview Column – Koopman and Cruickshank passed out copies of their article for the Sneak Preview. The group discussed minor grammatical edits.
Buck/McGinnis m/s to approve the Personal Action Plan article by Koopman and Cruickshank with edits based on the discussion. Discussion: None. Voice Vote: All Ayes. Motion Passes.
Group discussion upcoming Sneak Preview deadlines in relation to the Commission’s meeting schedule.
Beigel-Coryell/ McGinnis m/s to pre-approve the Conservation Commission Goals article to be written by Weir, so long as it is reviewed and edited by Koopman and City staff prior to submittal. Discussion: None. Voice Vote: All Ayes. Motion Passes.
Group discussed potential future article topics and agreed to the following:
  • May – give slot to CEAP Implementation Committee in order to introduce Stu Green to the community and give an overview of the committee’s work plan – written by staff and reviewed by McGinnis
  • June – Water related article – written by Weir and Cruickshank with assistance by Julie Smitherman
  • July – Summer Sustainability Tips – written by Beigel-Coryell
Subcommittee Updates
Energy Conservation – Beigel-Coryell stated they discussed ways to leverage the City’s utility bills to educate people on their usage versus average usage. Hanks gave an overview of the upcoming billing system and on-line payment portal. He discussed ways in which the commission can tie into the review of the new bill formats.
Renewable Energy – Koopman stated that the group talked with members of the community who expressed an interest in a broader community conversation about 10x20 (she noted this occurred prior to the recent Council study session on the topic). The subcommittee discussed ways to facilitate such a discussion. Hanks gave an overview of the recent study session. He reminded the group that they can’t facilitate such a discussion as the Commission (or a Subcommittee) without express permission from the Council. He also stated an event such as this might be better handled by the CEAP Implementation committee.
Water –Julie Smitherman is working with Laura Allen to do a water catchment workshop. The subcommittee will be working with Ms. Smitherman on organizing the workshop.
Waste Prevention – Beigel-Coryell stated they are working on a plastic straw ban pilot program. They would also like to screen the film, “Plastic China” and requested there be a discussion at the next meeting about whether the Commission is interested in paying the fee for the screening. Group agreed this topic should be added to the agenda.
6. New Business
CEAP Implementation Committee Update – McGinnis stated that the ad hoc committee met for the first time last week and agreed to meet on the third Thursday of every month. He gave an overview of the first meeting, which was mostly about orienting new members to the Action Plan. He also gave an overview of the committee members.
Group raised concerns about whether the CEAP Implementation Committee had plans to actively engage under-represented populations in the community. McGinnis gave an overview of the proposed discussions of that issue, which will be on the next committee agenda.
7. Wrap Up
Group requested that the following topics be on an upcoming agenda:
  • SOU Quarterly Update
  • City/ Council update
  • Plastic China film funding request
Meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,                               
Diana Shiplet
Executive Assistant

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