Tacoma, WA Creating an Office of Sustainability

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Tacoma, WA, US

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Type: Resolution

Status: Adopted in 2008

Source File: http://cms.cityoftacoma.org/enviro/sustainabilityresolution.pdf


A RESOLUTION creating an Office of Sustainability and establishing the Sustainable Tacoma Commission on Climate Change.

WHEREAS, in February 2007, the City Council appointed a Green Ribbon Climate Action Task Force ("Task Force") to define carbon reduction goals and develop specific community and government action plans to achieve those goals, and

WHEREAS, on July 1,2008, the Task Force presented a report titled "Tacoma's Climate Action Plan" ("Plan") to the City Council, and

WHEREAS the Plan provides strategies for achieving carbon reduction goals, generally divided into five categories: "City Leading by Example," "Moving People and Goods More Efficiently," "Enhancing Compact/Livable Neighborhoods," "Energy Efficiency in Our Buildings, Homes, and Industries," and "Reuse and Recycle ... from Buildings to Food Waste," and

WHEREAS the Task Force recommended establishment of a citizen's oversight commission to bring citizen accountability, transparency, and vigilance to the long-term implementation of the Plan, and

WHEREAS the City Council and the Tacoma Public Utility Board ("Utility Board") wish to establish central points of contact for implementation of the Plan in order to coordinate actions across departments through the creation of an Office of Sustainability ("Office"), and

WHEREAS the Office will be staffed from positions appointed by the City Manager and the Director of Utilities, respectively;


Section 1. That there is created an Office of Sustainability ("Office"), which shall report to the City Manager and the duties of which shall include:

(1) Research and development of City policies and programs that foster achievement of the City's sustainability goals and objectives;
(2) Establishment of two 5- and 1O-year sustainability goals for City government and the community and periodic updates and reports on the achievement of those goals, including financial savings to the City;
(3) Provide staff support to the Sustainable Tacoma Commission on Climate Change and to any internal City workgroups implementing or supporting the Plan;
(4) Integrate sustainability and environmental values into City plans, programs, and policies;
(5) Make recommendations to the City Council, the City Manager, and the Utility Board and Director of Utilities, as appropriate, to implement appropriate policies and practices;
(6) Promote sustainable practices by citizens, businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations;
(7) Represent, in coordination with governmental relations staff, the City and TPU in forums and meetings promoting sustainability and coordinate with state, regional, and national climate action efforts;
(8) Establish a partnership to analyze and reduce the carbon footprint in business and industry; and
(9) Encourage and actively support sustainable activities of government agencies in Pierce County.

Section 2. That, pursuant to and consistent with the Tacoma City Charter, Article IV, Section 4.17, the City Council authorizes Tacoma Public Utilities ('TPU"), through its Director and subordinates, to collaborate with the Office to accomplish its public policy purposes; and authorizes TPU to create a sustainability function to accomplish such collaboration with such authorization subject to City Council review and reauthorization no later than October 1, 2010.

Section 3. That there is created the Sustainable Tacoma Commission on Climate Change ("Commission"), which Commission shall have the purpose and be constituted substantially as outlined on Exhibit "A" hereto.


The purpose of the Commission is to bring citizen accountability, transparency, and vigilance to the long-term implementation of Tacoma's Climate Action Plan, as developed by the Green Ribbon Climate Action Task Force.


A. The Commission shall consist of 11 members, who shall be a balanced representation of various stakeholders in the Tacoma community, such as environmental, small business, labor, housing, industrial and port, transportation, education, building industry, and residential consumers. Members shall be recommended by the City's Appointments Committee and confirmed by the City Council. Commission members shall serve staggered terms of three years. The initial terms shall be one year for the first, second, and third members appointed; two years for the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh members appointed; and three years for the eighth, ninth, tenth, and eleventh members appointed. A member shall hold office until the member's successor is appointed; provided, that the term of the successor shall be deemed to have commenced upon the expiration of the term of the member holding over and shall be considered a full term. In an effort to promote both stability within the Commission and to encourage rotation of the membership, the City Council sets a guideline of two full terms per member but, at its discretion, may reappoint members to serve more than two terms.

B. The Commission shall be subject to the provisions of Washington's Open Public Meetings Act.

C. The Commission shall adopt written rules governing its procedures and providing for the holding of regular and special meetings. A copy of these rules shall be filed with the City Clerk.

D. The Commission shall have the following duties: (1) Oversee implementation of Tacoma's Climate Action Plan strategies; (2) Coordinate with the Office of Sustainability to obtain greenhouse gas emissions reduction reports; (3) Obtain updates from the Office of Sustainability on Climate Action Plan strategy implementation efforts and periodic result reports; (4) Provide annual progress reports to the public; (5) Communicate barriers to and incentives for implementation to the City Council; and (6) Create a forum for regular public comment and community involvement.