Council committee to expand mandate in response to explosion of tech opportunities
A city council standing committee is looking to change its name and increase its mandate to ensure Castlegar keeps pace with rapidly evolving opportunities, according to city councillor Kevin Chernoff.
Chernoff, reporting at Monday night’s regular council meeting on behalf of the Green Committee, said it makes sense to change the committee name to include the word ‘technology’ as well.
“A lot of our Green initiatives also incorporate the latest technological innovations – our paperless initiative, the charging station, website development and delivery …” he said. “We’d like to see that all under one committee – every committee deals with technology to some degree, but I think it would help if we mandate a single committee, so nothing gets overlooked.”
Chernoff said he’s always scouring the internet and civic government sites to find innovative programs other communities are undertaking around the world, to see if any of these new approaches could be incorporated here – from LED streetlights to optimum waste management, he said, technology is providing new, more efficient, and more cost-effective alternatives for the municipalities who look for them.
This all came up at council when Chernoff reported out on the Green Committee’s inaugural meeting of 2015, in which they began setting the direction for the year ahead.
“We have lots on the go for this year already,” he said. “There’s the wood stove exchange, and the toilet rebate program (in conjunction with Public Works). We have a tree-planting incentive program designed to help residents beautify their properties, but at the same time increase our urban forest and help increase our air quality. We’re looking into the compost program again on Mother’s Day – that was a real hit last year, and of course, there’s ongoing consideration of a charging station for electrical vehicles.”
One fun new initiative, likely to be held on Earth Day (but that’s not firm) will involve a free bus day, during which councillors will ride around on transit and residents are welcomed and encouraged to enjoy a free ride and bend a councillor’s ear with their questions and concerns.
“We’re pretty excited about this idea,” Chernoff said. “It’s a chance to show people how easy transit use is, and for council to connect with residents. And every person who takes part – every car that stays in the driveway – is a win for our environment.”
Watch The Source for more specific details about each program as they are finalized.