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Ronny Hardaway (left) and Randy SmithRonny Hardaway (left) and Randy Smith

Village of Lansing Trustees appointed the first two members of its Climate Smart Communities Task Force Monday,  Deputy Mayor will serve as Task Force Chairman and Climate Smart Communities Coordinator, and Trustee Randy Smith will be the trustee member. 

As municipalities deal with a changing environment, 282 communities have registered as Climate Smart Communities across New York State. 34 of those have become certified for making progress on goals that are aimed at helping the municipalities mitigate such things as extreme weather, flooding, and other impacts of more extreme weather we seem to be experiencing. The Village Trustees voted in November to become a Climate Smart Community when they unanimously passed a stripped down resolution that affirmed the ten required pledge goals, but removed the reasons for joining the program.

While the Chair is tasked with leading the Village task force, the Coordinator acts as the liaison and reporter to the State.  Hartill said that the Village is small enough that Hardaway could effectively serve in both roles.  hartill said he would also be monitoring the task force's work.

The vote was unanimous, but somewhat reluctant.  As the Board considered whether to join the program Smith, Trustee John O'Neill, and Mayor Donald Hartill had objections to the Climate Smart communities program, characterizing it as a 'feel good' program that doesn't produce actual results, and a top-down imposition by the State on local communities.  Hardaway defended it as a tool for making tangible progress and acquiring grants to reach obtainable goals.

The pledge is comprised of ten goals, and awards points for achieving them:
  1. Build a climate-smart community.
  2. Inventory emissions, set goals, and plan for climate action.
  3. Decrease energy use.
  4. Shift to clean, renewable energy.
  5. Use climate-smart materials management.
  6. Implement climate-smart land use.
  7. Enhance community resilience to climate change.
  8. Support a green innovation economy.
  9. Inform and inspire the public.
  10. Engage in an evolving process of climate action.
Last month Town of Lansing Director of Planning C.J. Randall encouraged the Town Board to become a Climate Smart Community early this year.

Hartill said that Hardaway and Smith would represent different points of view.  The Board of Trustees will have to approve all other members of the task force.  Seats on the task force have a one-year term.

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