Practical Info on Reducing Energy Costs!

September 15, 2009

I just attended a session entitled, “Where Will I Get Enough Energy to Provide for my Community? ” The session focused on funding sources for lower energy costs. This is info that all communities could really use in a tough economy.

Randy Reid talked about ICMA’s Sustainable Communities Advisory Committee and how it has created some benchmarks for Best Practices — and has made Energy Conservation one of them! The committee is asking all communities to practice conservation, create building efficiencies and invest in renewable power generation.

The, we heard from Tallahassee, Florida about how they are going green to save energy resources. By doing that, they have even lower costs. What a great idea! He talked about CONA Neighborhood Energy Challenge where neighbors sign up to reduce consumption and then the city measures the change and reports back. You can find more information on that program here. Tallahassee is also exploring new options with their fleet management program. To reduce costs, they are looking at making diesel fuel from chicken fat, using new types of vehicles, and implementing driving policies.

The next speaker was from a nationwide consulting firm, PBS&J and he talked about renewable energy sources that can be included in all stages of the planning and building process. He provided some great examples of wind and solar energy.

I think one of the best take-aways from the session was the part where they talked about how to get funding through the American Resource Recovery Act. There is currently $43 billion available for direct energy and efficiency programs including EECBG grants, weatherization programs for both residential and commercial buildings, energy improvement programs, and Fossil Energy Research & Development and much more.

Learn more about ICMA’s sustainability efforts at


ICMA Signs Agreement with Visible Strategies

September 14, 2009
Yesterday, ICMA staff member Wayne Sommer signed (on behalf of ICMA) an agreement with Visible Strategies, a Vancouver-based software firm that focuses on sustainability.  As part of the agreement, ICMA will receive three-licenses to use their See It software for three years.  The best part? ICMA member communities will receive a 10% discount. 
As for us, ICMA will use the software to report progress on the implementation of the strategic plan, in the Center for Sustainability, and in the Center for Performance Measurement.  In the near future, we will be providing a promo code for communities to use to purchase through ICMA.  Additionally, Visible Strategies will be a founding co-sponsor of the ICMA Center for Sustainability.
Questions? Contact Wayne at  

Field Demo – Westmount’s kitchen collection compost

September 14, 2009

ICMA Member Cynthia Seelhammer went on the Field Demo to nearby Westmount, where they toured a landfill site where this city of 20K sends residential kitchen waste to be piled and composted for one year. They accept food waste, pizza boxes, tissues, meat, garden waste and pet waste. No, it does not create cash flow, but residents support it as right thing to do. Learn more here.

Solutions for your Community

September 14, 2009

Times are tough, budgets are tight, but the show must go on.  Your constituents still want the services they have come to expect.  So if you have been racking your brain for solutions to your local government challenges look no further.  Along with a variety of topics addressed in the Educational Program conference attendees can find answers in the 2009 Solutions Track.  22 sessions will run in three Theaters in the Exhibit Hall Monday from 9:45am-5:15pm and Tuesday 9:45am-2:00pm.

A full list of the Solutions Track sessions can be found in your final program, some of the subjects covered in the solutions track include: Community Branding, Tackling Economic Challenges, Performance Measurement, Public Safety, Service Delivery, Sustainable Communities, Technology, and Workforce Issues.

Thank you to all our speakers and sponsors for contributing to this year’s program.

Sign the Sustainable Communities Commitment

September 13, 2009

Join a growing number of your fellow ICMA members who have already signed the ICMA Sustainable Communities Commitment. Visit the “Ask ICMA” or “Research and Development” booths in the exhibit hall to sign the Commitment.

The ICMA Sustainable Communities Commitment is an outgrowth of the 2007 resolution on sustainability. As an international local government leadership organization, it’s critically important that we establish our place in the sustainability conversations that are taking place more and more everyday at the local level. And to compete for the talent of the next generation, we need to be relevant by making sustainability a priority of this organization in order to attract the best and the brightest into our profession. The Commitment is a special way for members to come together to raise and leverage our collective voices for, what has become, the issue of our age.

To learn more about ICMA’s programs in sustainability, please visit

Sustainable Communities Advisory Group Meeting

September 9, 2009

Plan to stop by the Sustainable Communities Advisory Group meeting on Sunday morning, September 13th from 10:00-11:30am in room 512f.   Come learn about ICMA’s new initiative, the Center for Sustainable Communities and participate in a conversation about creating new products and services focused on sustainability.  For more information please get in touch with me, Tad McGalliard, ICMA director of sustainability 443-223-7851 or