February 22, 2023 By Carol Britton Meyer
The draft Climate Action Plan, crafted by the Hingham Climate Action Planning Committee with input from the community, is expected to be finalized sometime before early May, Committee Chair Brad Moyer told the Select Board Tuesday night.
Subject to Town Meeting’s adoption of the Plan and approval to create a Hingham Climate Action Commission, the Select Board voted to support the CAPC’s proposed warrant article to establish such a commission charged with “supporting, overseeing, and holding to account” the town’s implementation of the Climate Action Plan and making updates and amendments, and for the Commission to periodically provide a progress report to the Select Board regarding its implementation. Board member Liz Klein was not present.
Citizen involvement is key to the Plan’s success. Actions that have been taken include establishing a link on the Town of Hingham website, a community survey, interviews with stakeholders, one to two public meetings a month, and regular updates to the Select Board.
“The Plan contains 130 or so recommendations that require evaluation and implementation that aren’t due on a particular date and don’t have a [specific] cost [associated with them],” Moyer said.
“By and large, they are higher-level recommendations for various groups throughout the town to move these action items forward. It’s not unlike a master plan document.”
The plan focuses on six areas, including natural resources, energy, buildings, community, waste, and transportation, with detailed recommendations included within each category.
The goal is for Hingham Municipal Lighting Plant to lead on energy decarbonization as it relates to renewable energy, system upgrades, and reliability and resiliency.
The Commission would be comprised of nine voting members consisting of one member of the Energy Action Committee or its designee; one member of Cleaner Greener Hingham or its designee; one member of the Planning Board or its designee; one member of the Conservation Commission or its designee; and one member of the Development & Industrial Commission or its designee — with each of the above to be selected by their respective board or committee — and four residents who will serve a two-year term, with the Select Board and Town Moderator each appointing two.
Non-voting members of the Commission would include one Hingham Municipal Lighting Plant representative as designated by the Hingham Municipal Lighting Plant Board; one member of the School Committee or its designee; and the town’s Sustainability Coordinator or any successor role, serving as the Secretary of the Commission.
Select Board Joseph Fisher brought up the question related to whether non-voting members, such as the Sustainability Coordinator, could serve on the Commission if they are not Hingham residents.
Select Board Chair William Ramsey noted that this could be a situation that’s similar to the Hingham police and fire chiefs sitting on building committees as non-voting members.
The board supported the formation of such a Commission, contingent on resolving this issue.
The members comprising the Climate Action Planning Committee are:
Brad E. Moyer, Chair, Energy Action Committee Representative
Maria Zade, Cleaner Greener Hingham Representative
Alyson Anderson, School Committee Representative
Thomas Morahan, Hingham Municipal Lighting Plant Representative
Gary Tondorf-Dick, Planning Board Representative
Henry (Bob) Hidell, Conservation Commission Representative
Nancy Wiley, Development & Industrial Commission Representative
Kathy Reardon, Select Board Appointee
Elliott Place, Select Board Appointee
Beth Porter, Moderator Appointee
Carlos DaSilva, Moderator Appointee
For further details about the Climate Action Plan, go to https://www.hinghamanchor.com/citizen-involvement-key-to-climate-action-plans-success/
To view the draft Climate Action Plan, see https://www.hingham-ma.gov/917/Climate-Action-Planning-Committee