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Climate plan set for council vote Monday
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Climate plan set for council vote Monday

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The Corvallis City Council is poised to approve a climate action plan for both the community and the city’s municipal operations.

Councilors received a draft of the 81-page document Tuesday at a work session at the Madison Avenue Meeting Room. Councilors cannot make a decision at a work session, but the council is scheduled to act on the plan Monday.

“It’s been a fast and aggressive 18 months,” said Susie Smith, a consultant hired by the city to serve as project manager. “We’re excited to bring you this product, which is the result of a significant multiphase public outreach process.”

Councilors did not raise any questions about about the plan’s goals and targets (see this story online for the full text), including a 3.2 percent annual reduction in greenhouse gas emissions that, if achieved, would put the city at 75 percent of its 1990 emissions by the year 2050.

Instead, councilors discussed next steps in the climate process, which includes an action plan that will require extending the life span of the task force working on the project by an additional six months.

Ward 3 Councilor Zach Baker, the chair of the task force, is leaving the council at the end of the year, but Mayor Biff Traber said he wants Baker to continue to lead the task force as a citizen volunteer, and Baker has agreed to do so.

“I didn’t expect it to be this great. I’m impressed,” said Rachel Ozretich, one of two residents who spoke, favorably, of the plan.

Also at the meeting, councilors reviewed a proposal from City Manager Mark Shepard to eliminate the traditional council goal-setting sessions in favor of “a strategic plan” approach to establishing council priorities. Most councilors seemed to favor the plan, which by the close of the meeting had morphed into a “strategic operational plan” to reflect that such an approach also would include the nuts-and-bolts of actual implementation of council priorities.

Outgoing Ward 5 Councilor Mike Beilstein, however, noted that the goal-setting process was a way for new councilors to make an impact by promoting a project that they were hoping to work on.

Shepard will present a more detailed proposal on the strategic plan at Monday’s meeting.

In conjunction with the strategic plan agenda item, councilors discussed what to do about the “team building” that traditionally has been part of the goal-setting. Some councilors expressed an interest in using a personality test such as Myers-Briggs.

However, incoming Ward 5 Councilor Charlyn Ellis, an English teacher at Corvallis High School, said she had a “fierce resistance to personality tests at CHS. They are a total disaster … and we do them every year.”

Ellis and the other three new councilors — Hyatt Lytle (Ward 3), Nancy Wyse (Ward 6) and Mark Page (Ward 8) —were invited by Traber to participate in the strategic planning and team-building discussion, but Ellis was the lone newcomer who was present.

Contact reporter James Day at jim.day@gazettetimes.com or 541-758-9542. Follow at Twitter.com/jameshday or gazettetimes.com/blogs/jim-day.

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