Around Town | April 19, 2013 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - April 19, 2013

Around Town

CITY OF CHIEFS ... With Earth Day right around the corner, Palo Alto officials took a victory lap this week and celebrated the city's significant green accomplishments. These include achieving a carbon-neutral electricity portfolio and cutting emissions from city operations by 53 percent from what they were in 2005 (demolishing its goal of reducing them by 20 percent). But even as they basked in the glory of recent green victories, City Council members indicated that much more work will need to be done. Councilman Marc Berman compared this on Monday to winning a pie-eating contest only to be rewarded with more pie. Assistant Public Works Director Phil Bobel told the council that the city has already formed a "sustainability board" of key department heads who have been meeting for about eight months and working on green projects. Now, the city is shopping for a conductor of this citywide operation. Bobel said the city is hiring a chief sustainability officer, who would take direction from the sustainability board and implement it. This green czar would be the latest addition to the city's expanding executive team. This week, City Manager James Keene hired the city's first "chief communication officer," tapping former California State University Vice Chancellor Claudia Keith for the new position.

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