[Adopted 7-15-2013 by L.L. No. 3-2013]
The City of Albany by Resolution 51.52.09R and Executive Order No. 422-09 has pledged to combat climate change and take action to adopt more sustainable practices by becoming a “Climate Smart Community.” The City of Albany Common Council believes that the social, economic, and environmental aspects of sustainability are key to the successful implementation of the Albany 2030 Plan. Additionally, the City of Albany Common Council believes that there is overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change poses a real and increasing threat to our local and global environments which is primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels. The effects of climate change will endanger our infrastructure, economy and livelihoods; harm our farms and food systems, ecological communities, including native fish and wildlife populations; spread invasive species and exotic diseases; reduce drinking water supplies and recreational opportunities; and pose health threats to our citizens. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing our community’s resiliency will require sustained and substantial efforts by all levels of government, interest groups, and citizens. Establishment of a Sustainability Advisory Committee is a necessary step in fostering unified action on climate change.
There is hereby established a Sustainability Advisory Committee comprised of 15 voting members, five of whom shall be appointed by the Mayor and five of whom shall be appointed by the Common Council. The remaining members of the Committee shall be composed of the following: the Commissioner of the Department of General Service, the Commissioner of Development and Planning, the Commissioner of the Water Department, the City Engineer, and the head of the Police Traffic Safety Unit, or their designees.
The members appointed by the Mayor and Common Council shall be appointed for three-year terms; provided, however, that members initially appointed by the Mayor and Common Council, one shall be for a term of one year, two shall be for a term of two years, and two shall be for a term of three years.
Members shall continue to serve on the Committee until their successors have been appointed.
Annually, from among its membership, the Committee shall elect a Chair and such other officers as determined.
Any vacancy occasioned by resignation, death or removal of a member shall be filled promptly in the same manner as the predecessor to fill the unexpired term.
The Committee shall have the authority to create subcommittees to focus on specific topics, including, but not limited to, energy, equity, transportation, water, waste, and food systems. Membership on the subcommittees shall be open to the general public at the discretion of the Committee.
The members of the Committee appointed by the Mayor and Common Council shall reside in the City of Albany and possess a reputation for fairness, integrity and responsibility and have demonstrated an active interest in public affairs and the environment. The Mayor and the Common Council shall reflect community diversity in their appointments, including, but not limited to, income level, race, religion, ethnicity, age, gender and sexual orientation.
The Committee shall meet no less than six times per year and shall establish a regular meeting calendar which is readily accessible to the public. Meetings of the Committee shall be public and comply with provisions of the Open Meetings Law. The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability as staffed by the Division of Planning shall serve as staff to the Committee.
Editor's Note: See Public Officers Law § 100 et seq.
The Committee shall have the following functions, powers and duties to:
Study and recommend methods to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency, and renewable energy production, conserve water, reduce waste, and employ environmentally responsible products;
Promote the use of methods, systems, and materials that do not deplete natural land, water, and energy resources or harm natural cycles;
Encourage the growth of green businesses and green jobs within the City, as well as the adoption of sustainable practices by existing businesses;
Work cooperatively with similar task forces in neighboring communities to ensure that efforts complement and reinforce one another;
Empower every resident of the City, regardless of social demographics or economic means, by informing City residents of practical and attainable ways to live sustainably;
Consider ways for large academic, governmental, or institutional communities to become more environmentally sensitive;
Encourage and stimulate City of Albany agencies and departments to take such action as will fulfill the purposes of this Part;
Make recommendations as necessary and appropriate to the Mayor and the Common Council to effectuate the goals and purposes of this Part.
Assist with the implementation and monitoring of the Climate Action and Adaptation Plans, as well as the Capital Region Sustainability Plan.
The Committee shall file an annual report in June of each year with the Common Council and the Mayor summarizing the work and activities of the Committee.