Specifically regarding the environment, Sarno stated:
- We will designate a municipal official to coordinate and manage our "green" initiatives.
- We will consider the environmental impact in procuring goods and services.
- We will critically evaluate our use of energy of all types and institute measures to reduce energy consumption.
- We will develop and implement smart growth policies that encourage "green" design and sustainable development.
- And we will look at ways to reduce the city's carbon footprint and to remediate existing environmental issues.
I think we can assume that without that first step, no progress is being made on the rest of his environmental commitments.
In light of the city's fifth murder this year on Friday, I understand that improving our city's environment probably doesn't rank very high on the list for a lot of people. But that doesn't mean that nothing can and should be done to keep this Sarno commitment, just as all his commitments need to be closely monitored..
Here's seven things Mayor Sarno can do right now that will cost little or no money and that will make immediate improvements on our city's environment. Some will even save us money! Not all of them are the most important in the grand scheme of things, but it gives you an idea of what can be done with just a little thought:
- Appoint a municipal official to oversee green initiatives.
- Appoint an audit team to assess the current siutation to to recommend improvements in city services including water supply and sanitation and solid waste management.
- Re-examine all the intersections which do not allow "right turn on red" with the goal of identifying intersections that can safely be added to the list.
- Monitor and aggressive promote any statewide environmental legislation that would improve our city, and pass local versions if necessary. (I wrote here about school bus anti-idling legislation; there is nothing to prevent a local version from being passed ASAP.)
- Ban all toxic chemical use in school systems and public buildings and replace them with safe alternatives.
- Introduce legislation right now that requires that any new construction that uses any public funds to include green design elements.
- Mandate that all city departments, including all schools, thoroughly sort its trash for recycling.