The City Council approved an ordinance this week formally creating a sustainability commission for the city, without much hitch since it was introduced last week.
The timetable of seating that commission is fairly aggressive, with David Jones, the city’s sustainability officer, aiming to advertise for applicants before the December holidays and have the council select members in January. Under that schedule, the commission would have its first meeting in February.
The council directed the city to develop plans for this commission in August. Jones explained last week that he studied similar commissions in Pasadena, Long Beach, Chula Vista, Burbank and Palm Springs as part of his research.
“Through this process, we wanted to understand the scope of work and areas of responsibilities under these different commissions in order to provide guidance for the scope and responsibility for the city of Glendale,” he told the council at its Oct. 27 meeting.
There will be five members of the commission designed to be advisory to the council. Additionally, once seated, the commission is expected to appoint two non-voting students (high school age or older) to serve as ex officio commissioners.
“I don’t think there will be any shortage of people who will be highly qualified to sit on this commission. I would like this commission to be very involved and engaged,” said Councilman Dan Brotman, who advocated for the commission’s creation.
Among other responsibilities, the commission will advise the city on climate action and sustainability plans; low emissions development strategies; protecting and enhancing healthy and resilient ecosystems and natural environment; and waste management practices. It will also be tasked with seeking participation of local business and interest groups in crafting policy, supporting educational outreach to the community and with preparing annual work plans and reports for the city.
“Obviously, council sets policy,” Brotman said, “but I would like this commission to not just be opining on things that are brought to them, but really be part of brainstorming potential directions that we can be taking and ways that we can really become a leader in South California on issues of sustainability, climate action, climate adaptation, biodiversity and other things.”
Although the ordinance specifies that the commission meet at least quarterly, it is expected to have meetings at least once per month.