PAUL SCHRAG: KRISTIN LYNETT VS. CARBON EMISSIONS >>>
The City of Tacomaâ€™s green ambitions now have a champion. City Manager Eric Anderson announced recently that Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Resource Conservation Manager and Sustainability Coordinator Kristin Lynett is on her way to Tacoma to head up efforts to reduce carbon emissions. For those of you who havenâ€™t heard, carbon emissions are bad when they get out of hand, contributing to all sorts of environmental malaise, including pollution and global warming. Lynette will take her position as City of Tacomaâ€™s new Office of Sustainability manager June 1, having beaten out a strong group of candidates from across the nation.
Lynettâ€™s first tasks will be to carry out some of the goals outlined by the cityâ€™s Green Ribbon Climate Action Task Force, which bundled them up nicely in a Climate Action Plan. The action plan is a road map for reducing carbon emissions within the city, says city spokesman Rob McNair-Huff. Some of those goals, he says, will involve changing the way the city of Tacoma does business, fuels its fleet, etc. Other efforts will reach out to citizens for help. A report presented to City Council in July outlines 40 strategies for reducing carbon emissions, which will be overseen by the Office of Sustainability and the Sustainable Tacoma Commission, an 11-member board created in spring of 2008. Lynett will work in conjunction with a partner at Tacoma Public Utilities, who has yet to be hired, but will play a similar role as the Cityâ€™s new sustainability manager.
Lynett currently works for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife where she serves as resource conservation manager/sustainability coordinator. She has a masters degree in Environmental Studies, a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science as well as a Sustainable Building Advisor Program national certification. She is well suited to fill this role, says McNair-Huff, having worked for years on similar efforts at the state level.
For those wondering how we can afford to fill this position in an age of hiring freezes and economic decline, the answer is simple â€" it was already built into the cityâ€™s budget.
â€œClearly this has been a priority for the council,â€ says McNair-Huff.
Once she takes her place, Lynett will be responsible for balancing the cityâ€™s commitment to management of environmental impacts; planning and implementation of the cityâ€™s long-term sustainability goals; and for refinement and implementation of the cityâ€™s Climate Action Plan. She will also be charged with integrating sustainability and environmental values into city plans, programs and policies.