On Monday, Mayor Mike McGinn presented his 2012 Proposed Budget to City Council. In spite of continued fiscal pressures, the Mayor’s commitment to environmental sustainability remains strong, and we’re happy to share the proposed budget would strengthen and expand work on the City’s environmental priorities in 2012. Here are just some of the highlights:
- The Proposed Budget moves the policy development functions of the City Green Building (CGB) team into OSE, which will greatly enhance the Office’s green building policy and innovation capacity. Specifically, the move allows OSE to:
- Maintain the principal role in developing and coordinating environmental policy.
- Enhance the City’s coordination of green building, resource conservation, and energy policy, including the City’s sustainable building policy, district energy strategic planning, and climate action plan update.
- Leverage existing capacity to expand the City’s efforts to green its own facilities.
- The Proposed Budget includes new resources to develop a Resource Conservation Management Plan in 2012 that will guide investments to increase the energy efficiency of City facilities 20% by 2020.
- The Proposed Budget includes resources to enable OSE to coordinate the City’s food systems policy work. OSE is in the process of hiring a Food Policy Advisor, and we expect work will be underway by the end of the year.
- The Proposed Budget moves Seattle reLeaf, a program to help residents plant and care for trees, which OSE has been incubating for the last few years, to Seattle Public Utilities as part of an effort to consolidate all of the City’s urban forest outreach and incentive programs into one easy-to-access program.
- The Proposed Budget includes $1.5 million for the Department of Transportation to do high-capacity transit planning in the five corridors identified in the Transit Master Plan.
- The Proposed Budget increases resources to help the Department of Planning and Development to process green building permits, including Living Buildings. Seattle’s first Living Building Pilot Program, the Bullitt Foundation’s Cascadia Center, broke ground a month ago and is projected to create 94 construction jobs and 141 direct permanent jobs.
For more details on the Mayor’s Proposed Budget, visit his home page. The Council will review the Mayor’s proposal, and vote on a final budget by the end of November.
Thanks to all of you for your support of OSE over the years, and for the important work you are doing to create a sustainable future for Seattle. Please feel free to contact our office if you have any questions or thoughts about this proposed budget.