Earth Day 2021
Happy Earth Day, 2021! We all make personal choices to be more green, and our government systems do, too. The City of Syracuse, CenterState CEO, and the State of New York are all working hard to build a greener infrastructure with the goal of achieving sustainability.
I am proud to be a part of the Manlius Town Board’s commitment to mitigating the impact of (and adapting to) climate change. In 2020, we adopted the NY Climate Smart Communities Pledge and, with the citizen-led Sustainable Manlius committee, we are taking action to become certified and eligible for multiple grants. We stopped using pesticides on Town property, we opted back in to the tax exemption for solar energy, and we are exploring a community solar project on our landfill. As Co-chair of the Comprehensive Plan Committee, I know that sustainability will help guide our benchmarks, goals, and final plan.
Onondaga County and its Legislature need to catch up! The County has goals for reducing carbon emissions, but this is low-level compliance, not climate leadership. To pair with the plans of the governments (and businesses!) within it, the County can first look to the Onondaga Citizens League’s “What does it mean to be green?” 2010 study. The County never adopted a sustainability plan even though the study foreshadowed multiple issues for which we could be better prepared.
For example, in October of this year, the Town learned that OCCRA (the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency) needed to impose a recycling fee on residents, given the persistent crisis in the global recycling markets.This is a perfect opportunity to look at countywide reduction solutions like composting and other ways to divert waste from landfills and incinerators.
As representative of District 10, I will champion your priorities for sustainable, balanced climate action.