Monday, December 31, 2007
How Goes the LAP Dance?
It has now been 230 days since Mayor Coody announced that John Coleman, the Texan he hired for the newly created administrative position of Sustainability Coordinator at a rather handsome salary, "presented his short and long terms plans for minimizing the City’s carbon footprint and reducing energy consumption. Through John’s leadership," he promised, "We will identify where we are using energy, and based on that data, we will develop a Local Action Plan (LAP) for reducing that consumption. The LAP will allow the city to explore various methods for realizing energy savings, identify potential policy changes such as green purchasing and building requirements, and even encourage small and simple behavior changes like turning off computers and lights when not in use." Sounds great.
The overall annual utility expense for all city government operations is close to $2 million and it has been growing at a rate of 8% per year over the last ten years. Mayor Coody said, and I certainly agree, "Saving energy not only reduces our impact on climate change, it saves money, and when it is your city government that is saving money that means that in the long run you save tax dollars."
Coody later explained that "John’s job is to reduce energy consumption by more than his salary." Did he do his job? Did the City reduce energy consumption compared with last year, have lower utility bills and tax expenditures, and cover John Coleman's salary and benefits? Don't keep us in the dark.