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[GreenYes] Re: Citizen Advisory Committee



> My suggestion is that any sort of CAC gets created as an independent public
> body that reports directly to the top. city manager, mayor, whomever . and
> that the government put at the CAC disposal a staff support person for at
> least 8 hours/week so facilitate the group functioning, write up group
> results, etc. The CAC should have a "begin & end" date. do NOT create an
> ongoing open-ended committee. that will kill all ideas and people on the
> committee. Really get focused on why a committee is needed, give it a
> 6-month mandate with staff and some money, and get out of their way. This
> requires TRUST on the side of the government for the value of the public.
> hmmm, that is something that would be nice to have more of.
>
> Eric

I think there is nothing wrong with having an ongoing watchdog group,
particularly when the agency/administration being overseen has a
history of writing unambitious long-range plans and then not carrying
them out, reducing funding of waste prevention and recycling on an
annual basis just to be put back by the City Council after everybody
has had to waste time, again, repeating earlier testimony, conducting
outreach programs sporadically, jerking program requirements around
causing permanent damage to participation rates, changing siting
policies of various types of facilities every few years for decades
without adequate public input or consultation with nearby affected
jursdictions (in and out of NYC) beforehand causing costly delays, etc
etc. The conundrum is that with such an agency /administration, if
there is no requirement to even look at the CAC's recommendations,
much less take any of them, then all the hard work is ignored. With
agencies that are early adopters and forward-thinking by nature, there
is less of a need for an ongoing CAC, but if there were one,
innovative recommendations would more likely receive a hearing. In a
jurisdiction as large and complex as New York, and considering its
history, I believe ongoing committees are needed and there is plenty
for them to do every year (I was responsible for helping to steer the
citywide and Manhattan bodies for going on 20 years, involving the
bodies in all the items mentioned as well as crafting procurement
legislation, revisions to state solid waste management legislation and
detailed long-range zero waste plans). And yes, trust is an important
requirement on both sides. The testimony and documents on this
website are the tip of the iceberg of work the local bodies have done
(http://geography.hunter.cuny.edu/~mclarke/WPComm.htm) So how do we
achieve this mutual trust?


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