Sustainable Aurora Advisory Board gathers to hear presentations
The Sustainable Aurora Advisory Board met Thursday, April 7.
The board advises the Aurora City Council on matters related to enhancing, developing and creating sustainable practices within the community. The board includes 13 members who meet monthly.
Here are the meeting minutes as provided by the board:
44 East Downer Place
Aurora, Illinois 60505
City of Aurora 5th Floor Conference Room of City Hall
April 07, 2016
CALL TO ORDER
Charlie Zine called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m.
The following members were present: Charlie Zine, Mavis Bates, Lisa Cotner, John O'Neill, Bernina Perkins, Caryl Riley, and Karen Wan. Christine Vickers was absent.
The following staff members were present: Alex Minnella, Planner
Others Present: Fran Caffee
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
16-00317 Approval of the minutes for the Sustainable Aurora meeting of March 3, 2016
A motion was made by Caryl Riley, seconded by KarenWan, that the minutes be approved and filed. The motion carried by voice vote.
Phase I - Evaluation: Sustainable Aurora Binder
Charlie Zine: The Next Item on the Agenda is the Phase I - Evaluation: Sustainable Aurora Binder. We will first hear a presentation by Alex Minnella on this item. Alex has gotten updates and recommendations from several members.
Alex Minnella: The advisory board has been previously provided with the Sustainable Plan Update 2016 - Sustainable Aurora Milestones. The document was intended to structure the course of actions, required documents and events in order to achieve the goal of updating the existing Sustainability Plan through phases within certain timeframes. Per the referenced document, the advisory board was required to submit a binder containing all prosed revisions from the group and build a consensus on what revisions will be pursued for the 2016 update. Phase I was requiring that the advisory board should have provided staff with a binder containing all proposed
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Sustainable Aurora Meeting Minutes April 7, 2016 substantive changes to the existing Sustainability Plan. As of today’s date staff has not received the binder. Board members decided to use the Google Doc website to share comments among them prior to submit the binder. Staff has red those comments and proposed changes. It appears that few substantive changes are going to be addressed along with other formatting changes. Does the advisory board have any update?
Charlie Zine: Does the Board have any questions or discussion on this item?
Karen Wan: Member Wan said that all members agreed upon not changing the skeleton of the plan, and asked if the focus areas of the plan needed to be kept or more focus areas could have been added. Ms. Wan was interested in Local Resilience meaning local food, or how we are going to adapt to climate change in 20, 40 or more years.
Alex Minnella: Mr. Minnella said that the purpose of the binder is to address substantive changes like this. Adding, removing or modifying focus areas, justifying the reasons and providing the necessary contents is the intent of the binder. He also invited the board members to consider existing plans to not overlap and repeat goals already defined.
Karen Wan: Ms. Wan asked how big Aurora is going to keep growing, and suggested other members to think about this prospective. She also said that different members commented on Google Docs and asked what kind of format the advisory board should use to address all comments and how the binder should be structured.
Alex Minnella: Mr. Minnella explained that the binder could be a word document which should list all substantive changes. The proposed changes can provide the reasons for the revisions and highlight the proposed contents. For example staff would like to know if the advisory board wants to keep, expand or add focus areas as Ms. Wan just pointed out.
Karen Wan: Since almost every area on the plan currently has comments, Ms. Wan proposed to assign an area or multiple areas to interested members and have them update that section. Each member or group should then look for best practices related to that specific area. By looking at best practices the board could also come up with new focus areas.
Mavis Bates: Member Bates asked where best practices could be found.
Charlie Zine: Chairman Zine asked if that level of detail is necessary.
Alex Minnella: The plan shall result in a document intended to guide staff to achieve sustainability goals, providing visions, guidelines not defining actions. Otherwise the document would be short minded.
Mavis Bates: Member Bates suggested that the plan could have links to dedicated sections of the City’s website. This level of details should be mainly addressed as supposed to vision and directions.
Nina Perkins: Member Perkins pointed out that contents and topics change continuously and whereas links available the City’s website will change, the sustainability plan would then be no longer valid.
John O’Neill: Member O’Neill said that this would be considered an implementation of the plan but not a goal.
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Sustainable Aurora Meeting Minutes April 7, 2016
Karen Wan: Member Wan suggested to look at other sustainability plans to find out what other cities are doing.
John O’Neill: Member O’Neill reminded the other members that the goal of the meeting was supposed to provide staff with a report prepared or an outline of it that could indicate staff what changes the advisory board is going to make to this plan. At this stage we do not need to worry about implementations, but address what need to be changed. The Google Doc group is a starting point where members provided thoughts and ideas pertaining sections that need to be revised, changed. Is this then a codification of those collected thoughts? Member O’Neill asked the group if each member had the opportunity to read the comments and leave comments as well.
Karen Wan: Member Wan said that comments not necessarily say what to do, but just provide a general vision. The board should then be more specific. Probably the board should look at best practices first prior to codify the proposed changes. By doing this we would find out if changes are really needed. Member Wan wanted to clarify that the board could easily produce an additional binder during phase II, revising the first one and addressing other substantive changes. By finding best practices the board could find out that the original proposed changes are no longer valid.
Alex Minnella: Mr. Minnella said that the binder will not limit the board from changing the document in itinere. This binder will help the advisory board to have a clear understanding of what appears not to be working with the existing document and to have a guidance. The binder can be revised in light of the work in progress.
John O’Neill: Member O’Neill suggested that the plan should also explain the reason behind it since the beginning.
Charlie Zine: With the help of staff we will meet this coming week to aggregate all the comments. This is the right time to also address the vision statement.
John O’Neill: Member O’Neill explained that the purpose of the meeting will be to convert those comments into recommendations, general statements.
The advisory board opened the discussion about the comments addressed and conveyed that a consensus was achieved. The proposed changes needed to be polished in a word document that chairman Zine and member Wan are going to work on.
Phase II - Research: Sustainable Aurora Task Force Binder
Charlie Zine: The Next Item on the Agenda is Phase II - Research: Sustainable
Aurora Task Force Binder.
The advisory board has not submitted a binder of proposed changes yet therefore we
can only discuss about the proposed structure of the taskforces to develop Phase II.
The advisory board discussed about proposed focus areas and responsibilities.
Members of the advisory board started providing their preferences and their time
schedules in order to further discuss focus areas and develop a set of actions to be
presented at the next monthly meeting as part of Phase II.
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Sustainable Aurora Meeting Minutes April 7, 2016
A) Citizen Advisory Committee
B) Green Events Committee
C) Grants and Award Research Committee
D) Youth Outreach Committee
Friend of the Fox
Chairman Zine: Mr Zine announced that the City will provide funds to work with
Friends of the Fox to promote the water monitoring. Arrangements have also been
made for transportation. That concludes our scheduled business for this meeting.
May I have a motion to adjourn the meeting?
A motion was made by Lisa Cotner, seconded by Karen Wan, that the meeting
be adjourned. The motion carried by voice vote. Charlie Zine adjourned the
meeting at 8:12 p.m.
VISIT OUR WEB SITE FOR CURRENT AGENDAS http://aurora il.org/legistar.php
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Organizations in this Story
44 East Downer Place
Aurora, IL 60505
44 E Downer Pl
Aurora, IL 60505