Councilwoman Julie Killian warmly welcomed Sara Goddard, Rye Sustainability Committee Chair, to the podium at the City Council meeting January 23.
By Tom McDermott
Councilwoman Julie Killian warmly welcomed Sara Goddard, Rye Sustainability Committee Chair, to the podium at the City Council meeting January 23. Killian, the Council liaison to the Committee, said she was pleased to be working with such “an incredibly talented and creative group…I’m really impressed.”
The entire Council seemed impressed with the ideas and initiatives outlined in Goddard’s presentation. Perhaps they needed some excitement after a long closed-door session, which delayed the meeting’s start.
The Sustainability Committee has been tasked with developing a Sustainability Plan, which it will present to the City Council for adoption. According to Goddard, the plan will incorporate both short term-quick fix items and long-term initiatives.
Below are some of the ideas included in the committee’s plan:
A Biodiesel Initiative: a collaboration with Hudson Bio-Fuels, which would provide low-sulfur diesel fuel for use in City trucks.
New energy efficiency recommendations for City facilities.
A potential “Sound Shore Consortium” to develop and share ideas and funding.
A potential “Leave Leaves Alone” initiative: providing on site mulching as a fertilizer/pesticide free way to care for parks and other open spaces.
A low-tech “cool roofs” initiative, using a special white paint on flat-roofed buildings to reduce HVAC cost.
Councilman Filippi Sounds off Over Disrespectful Behavior
After the upbeat sustainability report, the meeting hit a few lower notes. Councilman Richard Filippi took some time to review the past history of what he views as disrespectful, even nasty behavior by certain Rye Golf Club members towards the Council and City employees.
While Filippi agreed that some residents had a right to feel dissatisfied with the way that the Council has handled the investigation into its management, contracts, and other serious matters, it was not an excuse for rude and disruptive behavior.
Councilman Filippi made the point, in several different ways and with various analogies, that, although residents are encouraged to voice opinions and play an active role in the City’s political process, this should always be done in a reasonable, civil manner.
To say the least, Filippi’s heartfelt and well-intentioned comments struck a nerve. During the time reserved for residents to speak, several Rye Golf Club members, speaking passionately and respectfully, took exception to the Councilman’s comments.
Then, RGC member, Chris O’Brien, invited the entire Council to meet with members at the club, an invitation that Councilwoman Catherine Parker, for one, welcomed.