The elements are in place right now, but in various departments. We can consolidate them in one office without adding any new employees or added costs. This will give us a more focused, more effective, more comprehensive approach to environmental management and provide even greater savings for Scottsdale taxpayers.
I also want to see the city continue to be an example to the private sector and prepare to take the next step beyond our current requirement for LEED Gold standards for new municipal facilities.
Tonight I propose that we adopt a long-range goal for "existing buildings" - and work toward an EB LEED program - as we renovate our municipal facilities. The long-term return to the city in energy savings and environmental benefits will be significant.
I strongly encourage my Council colleagues to support these important initiatives.
Let me take a moment to mention another significant effort just begun. Last week, the city launched a blitz of public involvement sessions to gather input on the Southern Area Plan, one of six area plans that will be incorporated in the 2011General Plan Update. In May, we’ll start meetings on the Airpark Area Plan, as well.
I urge you to get involved in these efforts, especially if you are a resident or a business owner. We need your insight and input.
BEING SMARTER ABOUT TRANSPORTATION
As I said, revitalization should be defined in terms of economic, environmental and community sustainability and that includes transportation.
Did you know that Scottsdale citizens were the first in the Valley, in 1989, to approve a dedicated local sales tax for transportation? Our city truly has been visionary in financing transportation needs. We have continued to invest heavily in transportation, with nearly $200 million in capital projects since 2000. Nearly $200 million in investment is recommended over the next five years in the proposed capital budget now being reviewed by the City Council. In addition, we spend about $10 million a year on average to operate our transit systems buses, trolleys, Dial-a-Ride services and other special services.
As you know, we have just approved a new Transportation Master Plan. It gives us better tools to plan for long-range investments. The aim was to produce a document that would yield practical, real-world results.
And it did.