By Samantha Smith
Council approved and adopted an ordinance creating the sustainability commission at the Sept. 20 meeting, adding to the existing eight committees in Buda.
According to the agenda item report, the Sustainability Commission will act in an advisory capacity like the Library and Parks and Recreation Commissions.
Information found on the agenda report, given to council members, said “The commission itself is structured identically to other city commissions: seven members appointed to alternating two-year terms with a maximum of two ETJ residents.”
One of the initial stipulations of the creation of the newest committee is that it will slowly ramp up its involvement in larger sustainable projects as the need arises.
The city’s planning department has identified and drafted a preliminary two-year work plan for the commission to work from and realizes that larger projects would require more staff obligations.
Buda Mayor Todd Ruge said in an interview, “although more staff time is needed it is a good decision to move forward with this commission.”
Ruge said one of the more attractive aspects of the commission was the citizen input about projects that will help maintain the sustainable practices of the city’s buildings and residents.
“The pieces are in place to make the commission very successful,” Ruge said.
At the June 21 presentation on the feasibility of a sustainability commission in Buda, some council members expressed concern over possible redundancies created by an additional commission.
“We hope there won’t be any redundancies,” Ruge said.
But Ruge said redundancy wasn’t always a bad thing, especially when it comes to major projects. “Redundancy can be a good thing. It may be good to have more eyes looking at big projects.”
According to Ruge, the commission is so new that city council has not even appointed the seven members yet.
“We plan on using all avenues available to advertise for interested applicants for the commission,” Ruge said.
At this time it is unknown when the members of the Sustainability Commission will be appointed or when and how often the commission will meet.