Friday, September 23, 2011

Committee for Green Foothills Urges Palo Alto to Vote No on Measure E, has a better plan for climate change and open space

Statement of the CGF's Board of Directors:

Committee for Green Foothills Board of Directors urges a no vote on Palo Alto’s Measure E.

The Board of Directors of the Committee for Green Foothills (CGF) recognizes that its mission of protecting the open space and natural resources in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties may on occasion require balancing competing valid environmental interests. In the case of Measure E in Palo Alto, we find that the un-dedication of parkland for potential gains on greenhouse gas emissions, based in part on unproven composting techniques, and with no guaranty provided that the loss of the open space would be mitigated by other open space, or that a dedicated funding source for restoration of Byxbee Park would be created, is not a trade-off that the Board believes is consistent with its mission. We support replacing the sewage treatment plant incinerator with a composting operation at the RWQCP because this would reduce the vast majority of greenhouse gas emissions promised by Measure E proponents, without unnecessarily compromising open space. Therefore, CGF goes on record opposing Measure E. 

UPDATE:  CGF also emailed this explanatory statement to Measure E advocates and opponents:

CGF's Board of Directors thanks the supporters and opponents of Measure E for the information and assistance in developing its opinion, and acknowledges the reasonable arguments, good intentions, and strong environmental interests on both sides.  After over an hour of discussion, and while agreeing with Measure E supporters that climate change is an open space issue with open space impacts, the Board unanimously voted that it opposes Measure E as unnecessarily impacting open space.  Instead of passing Measure E, CGF suggests a compromise with people primarily concerned with climate change, that we all work together to replace the sewage plant incinerator with a composting operation at the plant instead of at Byxbee, and that we also work together to get the funding to renovate Byxbee.  If Measure E fails, this is a way that both sides can work together.  The Board also noted its appreciation of Measure E supporters stating that they want a "no net loss" of parkland, so if Measure E passes, this is also something we could work together on in the future.