Mecklenburg County Manager Harry Jones put out an update on the Char-Meck Community Sustainability Plan (see below).
The good news is that the plan is inching along. The bad news is that the plan is inching along.
It is amazing that Charlotte has no Sustainability Plan! A plan to identify issues, establish goals, and put into place policies and procedures to achieve these goals is long overdue as compared to cities larger and smaller than Charlotte. We have no coordinated community plan to address Greenhouse Gases and coordinate local initiatives to deal with the Climate Crisis. Our air quality is poor and our streams are seriously impaired (see recent articles below).
We urge the Charlotte Environment Committee and City Staff to make this a high priority. It’s time and time is running out.
Air quality continues to be Mecklenburg County’s biggest environmental problem, says the county’s latest State of the Environment Report. Ozone pollution is the particular weak spot, the report says, rating that indicator “poor” – the only such rating in the report.
— Melissa Currie
“The discharge of untreated, undetained runoff from impervious surfaces has the greatest negative impact to surface water quality,” the report states.”
— Melissa Currie
Mecklenburg Community Sustainability Plan Update
Board members may recall the June 22, 2012 Board Bulletin item regarding a study on the feasibility of developing joint City/County a community sustainability plan. In June, the City and County retained ICMA (the International City and County Management Association) to conduct this feasibility study. The City and County will split the $48,000 cost of the assessment.
The feasibility study framework will consider sustainability broadly, by incorporating a “triple bottom line” of environment, economy and social components. The study also will consider the substantial body of sustainability-related policies and plans adopted by the City Council and Board over numerous years. The study context also acknowledges the existence of many other organizations, citizen committees and initiatives – previous, existing and/or underway — that address aspects of sustainability.
Over the next several weeks, ICMA will be interviewing community stakeholders, as part of the study process. This stakeholder engagement will help determine the level of need and interest in developing a community sustainability plan, and identify and describe any major drivers for developing a plan. Stakeholders will include people from the private, non-profit and public sectors, including all seven Mecklenburg municipalities.
We anticipate the feasibility study will be complete by early fall. At that time, City and County staff will report the results to the Charlotte City Council and Board, respectively, with a recommendation on whether or not to proceed with developing a community sustainability plan.
Board members with questions should contact General Manager Bobbie Shields via email or 704-336-2606.
– Harry L. Jones, Sr., County Manager