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Thanks for keeping sustainability position in LO

I thank the Lake Oswego Budget Committee for the second vote on the package affirming support for the sustainability position. As mentioned in my letter to Open City Hall there are several reasons this support is significant and is an important tool to both engage the citizenry of Lake Oswego as well as the operations of the city itself in the process of preparing for a changing future that includes higher energy costs, different age demographics and an overall need to reduce waste. Those reasons are:

1. I was one of the households that participated in Solarize West Linn-Lake Oswego and added solar panels to my newly renovated house. It was one of the main reasons I bought and renovated in Lake Oswego rather than another community. This program showed that Lake Oswego was thinking beyond the short term and how the city could help its residents prepare for a changing energy climate.

2. The businesses that participated in the Energy Efficiency on Main Street have seen the cost savings of having a coordinator run that program for the city, saving businesses the application effort and paperwork if they had to pursue it on their own. The question is: Would they have done so without that staff support?

3. Lake Oswego needs to continually monitor its own energy use, sources of waste and other impacts on the environment. This monitoring is done largely by a sustainability coordinator and it is this kind of information needed for appropriate policy decisions and efficient running of the city operations.

4. The recent start on recycling organics has been requested by those businesses that generate significant amounts of organics. To support and expand this effort, a centralized coordinator is the most efficient way to ensure its success.

5. Lastly, I would like to point out that grants for preparing our city for future energy efficiency, changing transportation patterns and other sustainability issues have become less common and more competitive to get. Success at getting such grants now and in the foreseeable future requires a knowledgeable person who is focused on the potential sources and knowledgeable of the community where they would be applied.

Ginny Haines is a Lake Oswego resident.

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