Taylor Mayor Priebe signs Climate Protection Agreement

It’s official: Taylor is a “cool city.”

So says the Sierra Club, which cited Taylor’s compliance with the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, committing the city to taking deliberate action to combat global warming.

Taylor Mayor Cameron G. Priebe became the first mayor in Wayne County to sign the agreement. The members of the Taylor City Council showed their unanimous support of the measure during their August 21 council meeting.

“The Sierra Club praises Mayor Priebe for signing onto the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement,” said Melvindale resident Ed McArdle, conservation chairman of the Southeast Michigan Sierra Club. “By doing so, he has joined over 600 mayors across the nation that are taking real action to curb the treats associated with global warming. These mayors are using proven solutions like green vehicle fleets, energy efficiency and renewable energy to meet the goals of the agreement.

“Mayor Priebe’s commitment to reducing the City of Taylor’s global warming emissions shows that he cares about saving taxpayer dollars and cutting down on healthcare costs. He is to be commended for his leadership in curbing the city’s emissions.

“It is great to see the city already implementing policies and procedures to cut down on their global warming emissions and it is important that the next steps be taken today to ensure that the city meet the goal of reducing its emissions to 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012. Local Sierra Club members look forward to seeing the city buildings become more energy efficient and investment in renewable energy sources.

McArdle said 17 other mayors in Michigan have signed the agreement “and we are looking forward to building a state of energy efficient cities.”

Mayor Priebe said: “We are undertaking this initiative to do what we can to reduce the harmful effects of global warming. Our community is ours to protect so that we can ensure a better future for our children and grandchildren.”

The City of Taylor has already undertaken a number of specific actions to reduce the energy consumption and greenhouse gas “footprint” of the city’s own operation. They include:

●Policies to reduce sprawl through the use of brownfield redevelopment and land conservancy tools.
●Sidewalk paving and re-paving programs to improve community walkability;
●A planned study for the establishment of wind farms to City to generate enough electricity to supply the needs of all our city buildings.
●The use of compact fluorescent lighting and the dialing down of thermostats to improve efficiency of city buildings.
●A reduction in the number of fleet vehicles and programs, in conjunction with a fleet that utilizes hydrogen, natural gas and bio-fuels. At the current level, 41 percent of Taylor’s vehicle fleet consists of alternative fuel vehicles, resulting in the elimination of more than 25,000 pounds of air pollution each year.
●The institution of recycling centers throughout the city for residents’ use.
●The planting of more than 1,000 trees in the past two years to maintain and expand the urban forest.
●The preservation of natural wetlands at both Taylor golf courses and the re-use of captured storm water in golf course irrigation.
●The Taylor Hills Compost Facility, which produces more than 20,000 cubic yards of high-quality compost each year that is made available to local residents and businesses.
●An annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day held for 10 consecutive years and sponsored by the City of Taylor for residents and other participating communities. The next collection will take place in May at the Department of Public Works.

Last May, Taylor was the host city for a “Re-energize America” town hall meeting at St. Paul United Church of Christ. The gathering underscored the growing grassroots support for the nonpartisan campaign seeking to take on the twin challenges of oil dependency and global warming and create a new energy future for America.

With the signing of the U.S. Mayors’ Climate Protection agreement, Taylor initiated the various levels of activity aimed not only at further reducing its own carbon emissions, but also at helping the community at-large to do its part at the household and neighborhood level.

The Sierra Club is working with mayors across the nation to commit to reducing their global warming emissions through a campaign called “Cool Cities: Solving Global Warming Once City at a Time.”

To learn more about the campaign, visit the Web site www.coolcities.us.

To review a list of Michigan cities whose mayors have signed the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, visit http://usmayors.org/climateprotection/cities.asp?state=MI.

To learn more about the agreement, visit www.ci.seattle.wa.us/mayor/climate.

Taylor Mayor Cameron G. Priebe signs the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement in his office in Taylor City Hall. At left is Ed McArdle, conservation chairman of the Southeast Michigan Sierra Club. At right is 23rd District Court Judge Geno Salomone, who brought the agreement to the Mayor's attention.