Wednesday Feb 17 2010
City promotes green agenda in nation’s capital
By: Mayor Gina Garbolino City View
Between unprecedented blizzards in Washington D.C., I spent three days recently in a flurry of meetings promoting the City’s federal agenda. While my Council colleagues and I can and do meet locally with our federal representatives whenever possible, a personal visit to Washington provides access to other important participants in the legislative process, Capitol staff who work behind the scenes to help craft key legislation and administrative agency staff who are working on critical issues such as energy, water and transportation. What did we accomplish in our three short days? Clean Energy I was happy to have the opportunity to educate several legislative and agency staff about Roseville’s many “green” initiatives, from our aggressive energy efficiency, water conservation and recycling programs, to our outstanding Utility Exploration Center and solar-heated swimming pool. In our meeting with the Department of Energy’s Biomass Programs Manager we learned about national biomass projects, policy directions, funding sources and emerging technologies that may help the City to advance a new food-waste-to-energy program. Water This is another controversial and complicated issue. Numerous federal and state agencies are trying to balance conflicting demands, legislative priorities and stakeholder interests. Along with the City of Folsom and the San Juan Water District, we met with several federal agencies to ensure our voice is heard as our area’s water needs are considered. We briefed House and Senate staff of both parties who are currently drafting legislation on this vital resource. We also requested help from our senators in funding expansion of our water-storage capacity through additional aquifer storage and recovery wells. Transportation We briefed majority and minority transportation staff on the needs of residents and businesses in the South Placer region, such as more Capital Corridor, bus and bus rapid transit service. We discussed the improved traffic flow that resulted from elimination of the “Roseville bottleneck” on I-80. As the next federal transportation funding bill is drafted, we urged continued federal investment in highways and roads that is crucial to keeping goods and services moving in our growing region. Over the next several months, we will continue to advocate for our City’s interests, joining with regional and state partners to do so. An investment of time and energy now will help ensure that Roseville and our region have the attention and resources we need to keep our residents and businesses flourishing. Gina Garbolino is the mayor of Roseville.