Thursday, February 15, 2007

Being green

Of all the issues of serious concern to Nashvillians:

Crime
Education
Jobs
Traffic
Taxes
Immigration
Corporate demands for taxpayer money
Zoning

and his own statements highlighting the issues heretofore of biggest concern:
I will continue to promote neighborhoods and community. The greatest challenge I see for Nashville is preserving our sense of community.

It is imperative that Metro
exercise fiscal responsibility.

As Mayor, I will
demand open and ethical government. Without the trust of the people, government lacks all legitimacy.

Educating our children is
our community's most important responsibility.

Issues of
planning and zoning and ensuring public safety will be high priorities under my administration.
he steps over all of those important issues and decides to make sustainability a cornerstone of his campaign for mayor.
“I want to build upon the traditions established by Mayors Bredesen and Purcell and establish sustainable policies that protect our environment and natural resources, lessen our dependence on fossil fuels and foreign energy sources, and engage the entrepreneurial spirit of our business community.” said [David] Briley. “I want to be known as Nashville’s ‘Green Mayor.’”

Fellow mayoral candidate Dave Pelton has some serious credentials in this area as founder of Clean Cities of Middle Tennessee. I've seen the guy's truck--a rolling billboard for alternative fuels. It could be interesting to see the Dave's go head to head over who is greener.

I want a clean planet too but I want more for it to be a physically safe place to be. A place where the education children were promised is provided. A place where neighborhoods are protected from encroachment by business and honor is restored to government service. Maybe the greenest part of this campaign is thinking that this should be the driving issue.

I can't find a link to the press release on David's website (maybe it's on the Spanish side--it's a joke folks!).

In the meantime here ya go:

For Immediate Release: Contact:

February 15, 2007 Emily Passini

615.415.6226 (cell)

615.327.8066 (office)

BRILEY TO ESTABLISH

MAYOR’S OFFICE OF SUSTAINABILITY

I want to be Nashville’s ‘Green Mayor’

NASHVILLE, Feb. 15 -- Mayoral candidate and Councilman-At-Large David Briley today announced a seven-point plan to address the significant environmental issues that confront Nashville and many other American cities. Briley made his announcement standing on the public square in front of the Davidson County Courthouse. The public square is the city’s first green structure, as defined by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.


“I want to build upon the traditions established by Mayors Bredesen and Purcell and establish sustainable policies that protect our environment and natural resources, lessen our dependence on fossil fuels and foreign energy sources, and engage the entrepreneurial spirit of our business community.” said Briley. “I want to be known as Nashville’s ‘Green Mayor.’”

Earlier this week, Briley introduced local legislation requiring Metro-owned buildings to meet LEED-certified sustainable building design requirements – a money-saving method of increasing the energy efficiency of buildings and lessening their environmental impact. Briley also filed legislation calling for the expansion of curbside recycling services to Nashville’s General Services District. “This is a start, but we have miles to go,” Briley stated as he introduced a series of environmental initiatives ranging from the large-scale creation of a new Mayor’s Office of Sustainability to smaller initiatives including mandatory compact fluorescent light bulbs in Metro-owned facilities.


Briley’s proposed initiatives include:



1) Establishing of a Mayor's Office of Sustainability. Create a Mayoral Office to coordinate public and private sector initiatives on environmental improvement, assess methods of lowering carbon emissions, expand environmental education opportunities in public schools and elsewhere, address environmental racism and injustice, and establish a standardized measure of environmental quality with reports provided on an annual basis.


2) Implement green building standards for public and private construction. Require Metro-owned buildings to meet environmental design criteria, providing financial savings by virtue of reduced energy costs and demonstrating good environmental stewardship. Similar objectives should be encouraged in the private sector through planning and zoning incentives, including density bonuses and “fast track” approval of green construction. These initiatives will be offered at virtually no cost to the city and result in a cleaner, healthier, more efficient Nashville.

3) Establish a dedicated fund for open space acquisition. Dedicate .01¢ from the existing property tax levy toward open space acquisition, providing a permanent and flexible means of creating open spaces in our growing city. The dedication of .01¢ will generate over $20 million annually at an average annual cost of $5 per household.


4) Expand curbside recycling to General Services District. Expand subscription curbside recycling -- currently limited to the Urban Services District -- to all of Nashville. By providing recycling opportunities to the General Services District (initially on a subscription basis through a volunteer program), we encourage all Nashvillians to participate in our shared responsibilities.



5) Encourage use of hybrid, low-emission, and alternative fuel vehicles. Establish a Metro fleet of hybrid vehicles, and encourage the public’s use of hybrid, low emission and/or alternative fuel vehicles with incentives, including free or priority parking in Metro facilities and at parking meters, and encourage state legislation expanding the eligibility for HOV lanes to hybrid vehicles.

6) Eliminate the bias toward asphalt and concrete. Require the planting of trees and other greenery in rights-of-way and public property, where Metro has historically opted to pave over soil. Our medians and intersection islands should be green. Our sidewalk regulations should be amended to allow installation of more grade-level trees. Metro government should also plant at least 1,000 trees every year as a means of re-establishing our vanishing tree canopy.

7) Establish emissions reduction target. Establish a year 2014 emissions reduction target for Davidson County of 10% below the emissions levels of 2000, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Nashville, and demonstrating that choices made by local governments and local communities can make a significant impact in global efforts to reduce carbon emissions.


Local architects are praising Briley's commitment to the project. "David's initiative calls for setting standards and guidelines that will ensure more local control of development and its impact on our environment," said Alan Hayes, Architect and LEED AP with Thomas, Miller and Partners. "Across the country, local governments are embracing these types of programs and they have proved cost effective and beneficial to the tax payers. This is an innovative first step, not just for David Briley, but for all Nashvillians."

David Briley is an attorney and a current at-large member of the Metro Council elected in 1999 and 2003. He and his wife, Jodie, and son, Sam, live in Inglewood. Metro elections are Thursday August 2 with early voting beginning July 13. For more information, please visit: http://www.davidbriley.com/

###


2 comments:

Eric Holcombe said...

Oh man, they've drunk the green kool-aid...

"...address environmental racism and injustice..."

What the...? How about defining it first? Is dictating that metro structures will require the certification of a paid membership environmental club considered environmental racism?

"These initiatives will be offered at virtually no cost to the city..."

Sure, but the city has "virtually" no income. This will cost the taxpayers. You pay extra to register a LEED project with LEED. You pay extra to have it reviewed by LEED to be "certified". You pay more for the LEED-accredited professionals (that paid LEED to take their test) to design the project. You pay more for the construction (despite the LEED folks telling you it is cheaper). It WILL cost more to build this way. Designing with conservation-minded principles doesn't necessarily cost more - LEED certification of those principles does. Can the energy savings at $.06/kwh pay for those increased costs in a reasonable time frame? LEED doesn't care. It isn't their money that is being spent - and they get cash no matter what - with no liability for results. LEED certification is largely used only on projects where it is government mandated. Wonder why?

"...including free or priority parking in Metro facilities and at parking meters, and encourage state legislation expanding the eligibility for HOV lanes to hybrid vehicles.

Then, don't limit it to hybrids or the state-owned vehicles using biodiesel or propane. Make it a performance-based standard- emissions or mpg. Why should a 30mpg Toyota Highlander hybrid be allowed use of the HOV lane (when it's using its GASOLINE engine at highway speeds, by the way) when a 50mpg VW turbodiesel isn't? These policies in Virginia, Florida, etc. are moronic. They appear to be in place to boost sales of certain vehicles, rather than achieve incentive for conservation. Maybe I can't afford an additional 30% to get the hybrid version of the new car (there's that "green is cheaper" thing again; as if I could afford the new car to begin with)? Why should I expect my fellow man to subsidize my purchase by paying for my parking and personal lane on the interstate? Oh, and don't forget to establish a "green" battery dumping ground for all those zero-emission electric cars that depend on coal-fired power plants for their energy.

"6) Eliminate the bias toward asphalt and concrete."

Stop annexing.

Kay Brooks said...

THANKS for writing, Eric. Great information. Good points about the HOV lanes and hybrid vehicles.