Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Worthwhile Information

Something I found out at the Seattle Neighborhoods Summit that made my time there a little more worthwhile: an enlightened Seattle resident used the Neighborhood Matching Grant to get funds for Pollinator Pathway, a project that transforms resource-sucking lawn-covered planting strips into tasty pollinator buffets. Read more about Sarah Bergmann's amazing project at WorldChanging Seattle.

While I was fadoodling around WorldChanging Seattle, I also found out that City Council is planning on reducing the Office of Sustainability and Environment's budget by 15%, as well as eliminating the office and transferring 5 of its 7 staff to the Office of Policy Management. It also looks like the Council wants to increase OSE's workload by giving it more responsibility for lowering Seattle's greenhouse gas emissions. So, less money, effectiveness and status, more workload and responsibility. This will go well.

I know that tough economic times mean budget cuts, but from what I heard in Stella Chao's speech to the Seattle Neighborhoods Summit, smart fiscal management in the past means that now the city just has to tighten its belt rather than engage in drastic measures. Screwing over an office that not only makes Seattle look super shiny but may also be crucial in climate change planning seems like something a few notches above belt-tightening.

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