2023 Election - Balanced Legislation
Recently council has been pushed to pass legislation that would fund a Carbon Baseline Study. That isn't really where the issue ends. Most of the organizations that perform these studies have memberships and recommended paths to follow. These studies can cost $20,000 or more unto themselves. Some of the organizations even require passing legislation that makes sustainability and greenhouse gas reduction a mandate. Following the path suggested generally requires hiring a sustainability coordinator - or creating an office of sustainability among City Staff. The bills start adding up...
I am not against environmental improvement - in fact I am very pro environmental care. My home is nearly grid independent between solar, energy storage, 400 gallons of rainwater collection, hydroponic greenhouse for winter food production (my wife would say flowers... but we grow a lot of food). I might go so far as saying my home is likely the most energy independent house in the city. But, and here is the issue, we have an Environmental Awareness Committee who is charged with community education. The same committee has connected with local organizations pushing for this carbon baseline. Council has mentioned, several times, that the committee is not suppose to be a political organization advocating for legislative change, rather a city and council resource to educate.
Did I mention I am a beekeeper?
The same organizations like to see cities endorse the Paris Accord on Climate Change. Really? As a city that seems out of our realm of authority. Its acting bigger than we are - and advocates that a non-partisan city council weigh in on issues outside of the city. We refused to weigh in on changing the age someone can buy tobacco products from 18 to 21 because that is a state law and state responsibility to decide. Eventually they did make that change, great! It was the states decision to make to begin with.
We had one councilmember try to convince council to weigh in on a state legislative house bill, denouncing its purpose. I suggested we have a State Representative and a State Senator in Hudson and if people support or oppose that bill, they should make their voices heard. As a council, we have no business weighing in on those issues. State elected officials are partisan bodies and their authority is at the state level, ours is local. We should not blur that line.
Balance - don't play with state and federal issues if your goal is to serve the local community.
The best place to be in the winter is in a greenhouse when lemon trees are blossoming.