MINUTES FOR THE CONSERVATION AND CLIMATE OUTREACH COMMISSION
Wednesday, February 24, 2021; Held Electronically
1. Call to Order (item starts at 00:06 on the meeting video)
Chair Rebecca Walker called the meeting to order at 3:03 p.m. Commissioners Risa Buck, Larry Cooper, James McGinnis, Jamie Rosenthal, and Bryan Sohl were present. Council liaison Tonya Graham and staff members Bridgette Bottinelli and Stu Green were also present. Commissioner Marni Koopman was absent.
2. Consent Agenda
2.1. January 27, 2021 Meeting Minutes (00:18)
Buck/Cooper moved/seconded to approve the minutes from the January meeting. Further discussion: none. All ayes; motion passed unanimously.
3.1. Next Regular Meeting: March 24, 2021
3.2. Other Announcements from Commissioners (1:27)
Buck announced an upcoming electric landscaping equipment demo day at Ashland Hardware. The exact date is still being decided. Buck asked if there were any Commissioners who would like to participate in the event. Cooper and Sohl offered to participate along with Buck. Buck/McGinnis moved and seconded that CCOC (Climate and Conservation Commission) supports the eventual event demo day at the Ashland Hardware store. Further discussion: none. All ayes; motion passed unanimously.
3.3. Reports from Members of Other Commissions
4. Public Forum (10:09)
Walker acknowledged receiving Southern Oregon Climate Action Now's (SOCAN) written testimony regarding support for reducing the speed limits (see attached
). Sohl reminded everyone that the Siskiyou Velo Club also submitted a letter of support for reducing the speed limits before last meeting.
5.1. Council Update (11:00)
Graham announced that the budget process will begin in March and will have to address the City's financial issues. Cooper encouraged the Council to engage the community with a forum to determine budget priorities. Council will hold a session reviewing staff work for the next year to help with budget prioritization. There will be no opportunity for a forum before the session due to timing, but a possible forum could be held later. Sohl asked if Climate and Energy Action Plan (CEAP) initiatives for City government would be placed on hold due to lack of funding. Graham said that staff has worked on including CEAP considerations in many facility decisions and funding for current conservation programs will be included. New programs will be harder to find funding for and will most likely not be included. Council is still in support of climate efforts and chose a more efficient UV system for the Wastewater facility even though the cost was more.
5.2. Staff Update (24:04)
Bottinelli reminded the Commission about the Adapt Your Home campaign listed in the packet. The new CEAP website will be live next week. Bottinelli announced the Commissioner's who volunteered to help with the outreach:
- Facebook – Koopman and Rosenthal through Recology
- Nextdoor – Sohl
- Email – Cooper
- Flyers – Rosenthal through Recology, Buck, and Bottinelli
Sohl asked how the information would be sent out by the City. Bottinelli said the content will be published on Facebook, the CEAP website, and City Source newsletters where appropriate. Green asked for the Commissioners to act as a multiplier for the content posted and all the information can be found at the new website, ashland.or.us/climate
Green mentioned the possibility for a pilot program for small electric engines or landscaping equipment. Funding for the pilot would be available after July 1 using the clean fuels credits and anyone interested can help develop the program. There are four new electric vehicle public chargers at the Grove. The conservation loan program is expanding to include more electrification efforts. The zero emission vehicle incentives are going well and the equity component is also working to help achieve social equity. The State Senate committee on energy and environment will be holding final hearings on the recycling modernization bill tomorrow in case any Commissioners would like to give testimony.
6. Old Business
6.1. Commission Monthly Column in Sneak Preview (34:14)
The E-Bikes (and E-Cars) for A-Town article was published in February. The Water Conservation article will be published in March with the Hazardous Waste Event published in April. Rosenthal asked if there were additional suggested changes to the article other than the respelling of fluorescent. Buck/McGinnis moved/seconded to approve the hazardous waste article Jamie wrote for Conservation Corner. Further discussion: none. All ayes; motion passed unanimously. Walker and Bottinelli will write an article on the Adapt Your Home campaign for publication in May. Rosenthal suggested to have the Adapt Your Home campaign also listed as events in the Sneak Preview. Walker will write an article for June on COVID-19 and sustainability.
6.2. Reduced Maximum Speeds Report (46:35)
Walker introduced the 20's plenty group including Transportation Commission Chair Linda Peterson-Adams, Transportation Commissioner Mark Brouillard, and Climate Policy Commissioner Gary Shaff. Brouillard gave a brief overview on the plan on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and addressed previous concerns from the last meeting.
McGinnis was concerned about public support and wanted to see if public input could be taken before the proposal moves forward. Brouillard mentioned that a large part of downtown is 20 mph and residential areas are 25 mph so the decrease would not be that large of a change for the public to adopt. McGinnis stated that the North Main corridor redesign saw many complaints from the public after completion and did not give the public enough opportunities for input. Peterson-Adams stated the intent for the 20's plenty proposal is to educate the public on the benefits of the reduced speeds. Shaff added the Transportation Commission will be the lead and the responsibility for public input is part of their work plan. Peterson-Adams requested that the Commission continue their support by helping with outreach.
Sohl asked if the Commission needed to make the second motion listed in the packet. Walker wanted to move forward with general endorsement similar to the first motion. Buck/Rosenthal moved/seconded that the CCOC supports 20's plenty. Further discussion: none. All ayes; motion passed unanimously. Cooper asked if there needed to be a letter drafted to make this official. Walker said the minutes will reflect the support and if an additional statement is needed the Commission can do so later. McGinnis commented that next time he would like more time for further discussion on a motion as he would have voiced his concern. Walker said she would take that into consideration next time and his concerns were also captured before the motion was made.
6.3. Update on Different Channels for Articles and Future Outreach (1:05:48)
Walker asked the Commission how to track the projects requested from other Commissions and community groups. Buck suggested that current work groups or individuals not working on active projects could be assigned these external projects. Walker agrees since some work needs to be collaborative and might affect this Commissions time. Walker will compile a list of project requests the Commission is asked to be involved with for the next meeting to help determine what is being asked of CCOC.
6.4. CEAP Project Update
- Responsible Consumption and Single Use (1:13:22)
Buck stated that the group has created a table of common single use items with goals, actions, and prioritizing. The table will be used to educate the public on alternatives for those items and could be added to the CEAP website for more exposure. There will also be a responsible consumption webinar on April 29 as part of the Adapt Your Home campaign. Buck, Rosenthal, and Walker will be panelists for the webinar through their roles outside of the Commission. McGinnis wanted to acknowledge the group as also being on CCOC and having the commission support this. The rest of the Commissioners did not object to this.
- Climate Resilience (1:19:39)
Sohl stated that the group have been working on CEAP education and outreach to the new City Council and staff. The group also prepared a document to send to the City Council regarding CEAP education which will be available for the next meeting for approval. This might be in lieu of doing a presentation to the whole Council since time is running out.
The group also discussed changing the climate resilience as the group's topic. Koopman told the group at their last meeting that she wanted to work mostly on resilience but is open to expanding to mitigation projects if they are resilience related. Sohl wanted to focus on projects from CEAP and collaborating with CPC. Walker said if the group wants to change the project scope that they bring back a project proposal to the whole Commission for approval.
Graham suggested that CCOC combine efforts with CPC and the Wildfire Safety Commission when educating Council since all three groups are working on CEAP. Walker was interested in CCOC working with the Wildfire Safety Commission on adaptation projects. Graham stated that the Wildfire Safety Commission has a wildfire preparedness campaign for the Spring. Graham also suggested reaching out to Councilors individually after sending the document out to help educate Council.
- Water Use and Conservation (1:39:11)
Cooper thanked Sohl for help with the water conservation article approved at the last meeting. Cooper was concerned that the water conservation analyst position might not be filled. If the position was not filled, Cooper stated that CCOC has the potential to help with outreach on water conservation programs. Cooper also saw a need for both CCOC and CPC to educate Council and staff about right-sizing future projects and reducing emissions.
6.5. Compost Recommendation Update (1:43:00)
City Manager Pro Tem Adam Hanks responded to Walker regarding the initial email sent out. There might be a future meeting with City and Recology staff, but nothing has been scheduled yet.
6.6. Outreach to New City Council (1:43:33)
This item was covered under 6.4. Project Update.
7. New Business (1:43:46)
Walker recapped the new items presented earlier in the meeting. This included the electric landscaping equipment demo day and how CCOC can support the day. Walker mentioned that she emailed the City Council regarding the City Manager job description as agreed upon at the last meeting. Graham responded that the job description does include climate. The job description has been approved and the recruitment firm has been chosen. Including Climate staff in the selection process could be determined with the recruiter and Council.
8. Wrap Up (1:47:37)
8.1. Items to be added to future agendas
Sohl asked to have an agenda item on the next meeting for interacting with CPC. Chair Walker adjourned at 4:55 p.m.