Tallahassee Reports had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Cynthia Barber, the Director of the Environmental Policy and Energy Resources Department, aka, The Green Department. I found her to be accommodating and well versed in the mission of her newly formed department.
What are your qualifications?
I have an undergraduate degree in Business from FSU and a Masters degree in Public Administration also from FSU. I have worked for the City since 1991. Before my current position I worked in the Utility Business and Consumer Services where my responsibilities included environmental compliance.
Whose idea was it to create this department?
The City Manager. She thougt it was important to create a department that could focus on green initiatives and the measurement and evaluation of conservation efforts.
Why is it important for the City of Tallahassee to strive for the silver and gold designations sponsored by the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC)?
It allows us to compare the progress of our green initiatives with other cities throughout the state. ( Note: A review of the FGBC reveals that this organization charges membership fees and provides information on “green” companies that include builders, developers, architects, land planners, Realtors, landscape architects, and so on. In other words, if you are a city looking to build green you would hire companies endorsed by FGBC)
Did we receive points toward our gold city rating for creating the EPER Department?
What other actions help us score points?
Employee education, energy conservation and water conservation programs.
Is the purpose of the increased parking fees for city employees an attempt to make employees car pool?
No. It is to help with the budget issues we have.
Was the newly created position you now occupy advertised?
What kind of car do you drive?
A SUV. The car meets my needs and I try to conserve in other ways. It is hard to sell a SUV these days.