New staff positions are quite necessary for the changes agreed upon with the adoption of the Ithaca Green New Deal.
I applaud the direction that Common Council and Mayor Myrick took in agreeing to act on the Green New Deal, but I am left wondering if the current staff is ready to triple their work load. I believe we are facing an emergency situation that requires unusual haste to address. We do not have the time to wait and wonder if one person with an already full work schedule can complete work on the Green Building Code (GBC) for new buildings, create a GBC for existing buildings, get the numbers for GHG inventories for government operations and for the City, plus make an action plan to cut those government and community emissions and adapt to changing local conditions. Oh yes, and get that done in the next 2 or 3 years please. Phew! How would you react if your boss heaped that to-do list on your desk on top of what you are already doing? But those are the things Common Council members agreed to get done under the GND.
Ithaca needs a Sustainability Manager, a Building Energy Specialist, and a Public Works Sustainability Planner. Current staff cannot accomplish this alone. I ask Common Council members to follow through and fund those positions for not only the benefit of Ithaca proper, but also for the benefit of, and to set precedent for, the rest of the towns in the County.