City forms new commission, fills spot on another

SOLANA BEACH — To help develop a climate action plan, council members at the Oct. 14 meeting unanimously approved the formation of a Climate Action Commission.

The advisory group will help update the city’s greenhouse gas emissions inventory, set reduction targets, implement mitigation measures and perform periodic monitoring, verifications and evaluation.

Because of the “complex and unique nature” of its duties, the new commission and selection process will be different than the method currently used when forming citizen commissions, the staff report states.

The nine-member group will feature a cross-section of community members representing all sectors of the city. Constant and detailed training on the issues involved with implementing the climate action plan will be required.

To allow for a larger pool of volunteers with specific scientific and professional expertise, the commission can include two nonresidents.

In addition to five residents and two residents or nonresidents from the environmental and scientific community, who will all have voting rights, the commission will include two council liaisons who will be named at a future meeting.

It was recommended that Mayor Lesa Heebner and Councilman Peter Zahn serve on the committee.

The standard application for city advisory groups will be updated to include specific questions regarding expertise, knowledge and commitment to climate change actions.

For example, applicants must state their understanding of the current obstacles to implementing action on climate change and suggest ways to overcome them. They will also be required to recommend the role the city can play in the country’s response to climate change.

Two references will be required. Anyone recommending a resident must live in Solana Beach and state his or her relationship to the applicant.

The city will begin advertising for members once everything is finalized, most likely at the Oct. 28 or Nov. 4 meeting. At that time council liaisons will be selected.

Applicants can be currently serving on one of the city’s other four advisory commissions. All members must be approved by a council majority.

In other commission news, council members appointed Kristi Becker to Parks and Recreation. Becker was the lone applicant for vacancies on that committee and Public Arts.

Councilman Dave Zito recommended naming her to Parks and Recreation because it was her first choice.

“I’m a little leery of appointing somebody to two commissions at once,” he said.

Becker’s term will expire in January. One vacancy remains on Public Arts. Interested residents can apply on the city website.

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