City of Griffin searching for Environmental Council members

ALEXANDER CAIN:::

The City of Griffin is calling for residents to get involved in the preservation and enhancement of the local environment through the formation of an environmental council, according to James Moore, Deputy Director of the Stormwater Utility Department with the City of Griffin.

“As of right now, anybody who is interested can fill in a statement of interest from the Stormwater Department website or pick up an application from the City Manager’s Office,” Moore said in a recent interview with The Grip.

The statement of interest that Moore refers to is a statement of interest application to become a potential member of a seven-member volunteer citizen body that would make up an Environmental Council, whose duties will include “advising the Board of Commissioners on policies and procedures that the city may pursue to protect and preserve Griffin’s natural resources for future generations,” according to the application.

It sounds a little complicated, but it’s actually easier than it appears and will be an important part of Griffin development, according to Moore.

“We are setting up a seven-member citizen advisory body that will advise the city council on any issues related to environmental stability, such as energy policies, community gardening – anything that relates to making Griffin an environmentally stable community,” Moore said.

The idea for an Environmental Council came out of a combination of the existing duties and goals of the City of Griffin Tree Board and the Watershed Advisory Council. While both groups favor environmental changes and local legislation aimed at improving the appearance and environment of the city, creating an Environmental Council will provide a more direct line to the City Council and County Commissioners, according to Moore.

“What we are hoping with the council is that once we get them off the ground, we are going to try and step back and let them have their own priorities. We don’t want this to be an advisory group where they all sit around and maybe some staff come in and show a PowerPoint presentation. We are really looking at a body who can really give real input into what direction we are going for our natural resources,” Moore stated.

The City of Griffin has looked at the City of Decatur as a potential model for Griffin’s Environmental Council and has even had Lena Stevens, with The City of Decatur’s Environmental Sustainability Advisory Board, visit with local officials and city staff members to provide advice on how to set up an Environmental Council that would work equally with city and county officials and local citizens.

The City of Griffin has set a deadline of July 1 for application submission for the Environmental Council.

After all applications are received, they will be reviewed and seven individuals will be chosen for the Council, which could see its first meeting as early as August, according to Moore. Ω

 

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