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Mayor unveils sustainability initiative

Mayor Darlene Kordonowy has proposed combining the city's financial restructuring with an effort to make the city more environmentally sustainable.

Released last week, the mayor's Sustainability Initiative is closely tied into the city's financial restructuring plan that began in January. The third part of that plan includes an overhaul of city spending priorities.

As proposed by the mayor, a four-part sustainability drive would help organize those priorities in the 2010 budget.

"This effort will establish the foundation for the city’s 2010 budget and set the stage as we make important choices for the 2011-2012 biennium," the mayor said in her release. "We will take a closer look at our utilities, reevaluate how we fund our capital projects, and develop our business plan – what services we provide."

Outlined in the mayor's plan would be the use of ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability) consultations and programs for city carbon reductions, a community-to-community challenge that would pit the efficiency of Bainbridge residents against their Mercer Island counterparts, as well as free long-range staff training from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The city will also be the subject of a Living Community case study, conducted by the CASCADIA Regional Green Building Council.

"This is one area of silver lining the financial crisis gave us," Kordonowy said. "We have the opportunity to put together a framework of what city we are and what we want to be when we grow, and to do that sustainably."

The mayor's Sustainability Initiative can be found on the city website.

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