Climate Action Commission creates focus groups and refines workflow


By Jacob Hoffman
Express Correspondent

On September 12, the Climate Action Commission convened virtually for its monthly meeting to discuss two main agenda items.

Commissioners agreed to form two working groups related to the commission’s key objectives, as detailed in the filing. One will identify opportunities for grants and incentive funding to support infrastructure development that will increase resilience and reduce carbon emissions, while the other will focus on public information dissemination and community engagement. .

Chairman Kenneth Britten described the task force action process reaching City Council, saying the groups will work on the specific function assigned to them and that once they come up with something for approval, the group “will make a formal proposal” to the committee. , who will “modify these proposals, based on feedback from city staff” and, “when significant action is proposed, the Winters Climate Action Committee (WCAC) and/or staff will present the proposal to city council for discussion, modification, or adoption.

Under Brown’s Law, a transparency measure designed to prevent government agencies from acting outside public scrutiny, each task force can have no more than two commissioners, one less than necessary for a quorum, which would constitute a meeting which was to be public.

Commissioners David Springer and Britten volunteered to lead the Grants and Incentive Funding Opportunities Group, while Commissioners Woody Fridae and Gar House volunteered to lead the Public Information Dissemination Group, Planner Principal Kirk Skierski noting that outside experts can be included in these groups.

In addition to these groups, the commissioners have agreed to form additional groups to work on other tasks deemed necessary. by the commission at a later date, including, but not limited to, setting greenhouse gas reduction targets, benchmarking and quantification, as well as reviewing city policies and recommendation for amendments.

Commissioners also edited and worked on wording for the commission’s workflow. This included adding an explicit provision to recommend legislation to the city council, as well as adding verbiage related to emergency recommendations and climate-related adaptations, such as emergency power and security measures. fire. After coming up with a draft that the current commissioners were happy with, Skierski suggested waiting until the October meeting to approve it to give the commission more time to consider additions.

The commissioners discussed creating a digital reference library with the city clerk to ensure that the commission’s actions comply with Brown’s law. Britten and House discussed the possibility of including links to relevant documents the commission is working on on the meeting agenda. Ellena Branson, Deputy City Clerk, clarified that documents intended for public access should be housed on the city’s website because if they are on the agenda, they must be available to the public at all times. , and not just on an editable agenda. If it’s just for the committee and/or the working groups, then the committee can create a resource library for the documents.

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