At the October 20, 2020, Board meeting VC Supervisors created the new Climate Emergency Council specified in the Climate Action Plan to begin meeting next month to advise the Board on Climate Action Plan program implementation prioritizing actions that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Council will be supported by staff of the County’s Chief Executive Officer and their meetings will be open to the public. They will choose two additional at-large members and elect their own officers.
CLIMATE EMERGENCY COUNCIL MEMBERS (8OF EVENTUAL 10)
Phil White, District 1, is a member of the Ventura County Planning Commission and the City of Ojai Climate Emergency Mobilization Committee. He has expertise as a mechanical engineer and former director of the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District.
Mic Farris, District 2 is a senior level data science executive with over 30 years of industry experience in technology and data-driven decision making, currently Director of Business Intelligence at The Trade Desk. He has public service experience as a member of the City of Thousand Oaks planning commission, traffic commission, and County Tobacco Settlement Allocation Committee.
Will Berg, District 3 is a member of the City of Port Hueneme City Council. Seventeen years with the Port of Hueneme as Director of Marketing and Public Information. MA in Comparative and International Politics from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Board member for Port Hueneme/South Oxnard Neighborhood for Learning, CSU Channel Islands Business Advisory Council, Ventura College Business Division Advisory Board, and the Land Use and Business Development committee of the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce.
Maggie Kestly District 4, is a property manager, leasing and real estate agent, financial analyst; Board Member of Free Clinic of simi Valley, Cajun and Blues Festival, Simi Sunrise Rotary and Chamber of Commerce and former Ventura County Planning Commissioner where she learned about land use and climate impact issues in the county.
Florencia Ramirez, District 5, is an activist, educator, mother and trained researcher in Public Policy, influential in the community with her award-winning techniques to save our water through the food we consume every day. Her book Eat Less Water investigates planet friendly alternatives to reducing water consumption in agricultural production and cooking. She works to transition schools and parks from chemicals to organic landscaping.
Martin Rodriguez, El Rio — Del Norte DAC, is the current Tri-Counties Building Trades President and member of the Ironworkers Local 433 for over 40 years. His has experience with many building and construction projects, such as, green technologies, Oil and Gas, Geothermal, Solar, and Wind, and understands the importance of transitioning to today’s green energy needs in the building trades industry.
David Keith Gurrola, Piru DAC, is retired fire chief of the City of Fillmore. BS in Natural Resources Management from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with knowledge in energy production and fish and wildlife management. In 46 years as a firefighter, he responded to a variety of natural and man-made disasters including fires, hurricanes, and landslides.
Teri Lynn Hernandez, Saticoy DAC, a retired nurse assistant and 30-year resident of Saticoy with a long interest in nature and the environment. Her life experiences and raising a large family will be helpful in planning for a healthy community.
THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT FROM OUR POLICY TEAM WAS READ DURING THE OCTOBER 20, 2020 BOARD MEETING:
The 350 Ventura County Climate Hub welcomes formation of the VC Climate Emergency Council. We anticipate being able to follow the agenda and progress on a webpage–its mission, calendar, meeting agendas, minutes, and ways to attend the meetings and make comments.
We also request that you immediately implement programs that are spelled out clearly in the General Plan with no need for the Council’s advice. First, direct staff to provide an ordinance to implement HAZ & SAFETY PROGRAM AA to prohibit the installation of natural gas infrastructure in new residential and commercial development through amendments to the Ventura County Building Code.
3C REN has the mandate and goal to help the cities develop energy efficiency REACH codes. Ojai City Staff is doing this for a first reading at the Ojai City Council on October 27. There is increasing momentum among local governments to adopt all-electric new building REACH codes. Your urgent action is important and can show the way to the larger cities like Oxnard, Ventura and Thousand Oaks to ban gas connections to avoid more needless expenses in new buildings that are adding to construction and future operating costs. All of the infrastructure and appliances currently allowed to be installed will be stranded assets in a few years in an inevitable arc of building electrification. The Sierra Club has a staff specialist helping Ojai and other governments develop their ordinances. There is no excuse to delay immediate action to implement the building electrification REACH code.