For the past 10 months, I’ve been the Chair of the Lebanon Energy Advisory Committee. After months of discussion, the Committee prepared a series of recommendations for the City Council and the City Manager, and presented them last Wednesday night. That is to say, I, as Chair, presented the recommendations.
To say it went well is something of an understatement. The Council was happily unanimous in accepting our recommendations (signing on to various climate and energy agreements, committing to work for reductions, etc.), and fit in a fair amount of praise as well, even down to the level of our document that went into their meeting binders!
I was VERY VERY happy about this, as were the two Committee members who were in the audience for support. The two Council members on our Committee were also quite pleased — I ‘m sure they had realized that the Council as a whole was receptive to our mission, but I would venture to guess that the reception we received may have gone beyond their expectations.
Having that kind of reception was also good for the old ego after the previous week’s events (getting laid off), so not only did I emerge from that meeting proud and happy about the Committee’s work, but also filled with a sense that I could, in fact, do really good things under pressure. A useful boost when you’re on a job hunt!
Now, of course, it’s time to get to work: this means some long nights of data entry and processing on various software tools to assess the City’s energy usage, forming a baseline of data to work off of in developing energy reduction strategies more comprehensive than the “make it warm in the summer, cool in the winter, and turn off the lights” policies that we started with. Not to dismiss those, as such things can be pretty powerful when writ large, but they are still just a starting point.
For a guy who was never really involved in local politics/action, this is a fairly large first step … but so, so worth it.