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File #: 17-0357   
Type: Report to Council Status: Passed
Meeting Body: City Council
On agenda: 4/11/2017
Title: Approve the 2017 Sustainability Speaker Series
Attachments: 1. Budget Supplement No.7, 2. Proposed 2017 Sustainability Speaker Series Report, 3. Excerpt of 2/21/2017 SC Minutes
Related files: 17-0951




Approve the 2017 Sustainability Speaker Series




In June 2016, City Council approved Budget Supplement No. 7 (Attachment 1), which provided $25,000 annually for five years to create and conduct a sustainability speaker series. The speaker series is designed to be led by the Sustainability Commission, whose charge includes advising City Council on ways to drive community awareness, education, and participation in best practices related to making Sunnyvale a more sustainable city. The approved budget will support two to four events each year. The Sustainability Commission will identify topics and speakers, with the topics submitted to the City Council for approval. Staff will provide logistical support for the events, such as coordinating speakers, identifying venues, and publicity for events.



The speaker series is aligned with the City’s Climate Action Plan (CAP), which contains a key goal area to “increase and retain awareness of sustainability issues.”



The action being considered does not constitute a “project” within the meaning of the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) pursuant to CEQA Guidelines section 15378(a) as it has no potential for resulting in either a direct physical change in the environment, or a reasonably foreseeable indirect physical change in the environment.



In July 2016, the Sustainability Commission began planning for the speaker series. To lead the development of this effort, the Commission formed an Ad Hoc Committee (hereafter referred to as the Subcommittee) comprised of Commissioners Kristel Wickham and Steven Zornetzer. After research and consultation with environmental services staff, the Subcommittee developed and presented a proposal for the speaker series at the February 21, 2017 Commission meeting. At that meeting, the Commission unanimously voted to forward the proposal to City Council for review and consideration. Attachment 2 is the report from the Subcommittee outlining the recommended proposal for the 2017 speaker series. Pending City Council approval, the Commission hopes to schedule the first speaker event in May 2017.  



The speaker series proposal identifies three speakers who are known to have a minimal (up to $1,000) or no charge for providing community lectures. In addition, the Sustainability Commission anticipates that it may be possible to solicit in-kind (food) donations from local green businesses for these speaker events.


Staff anticipates that the primary costs for these events will be:

                     Speaker fees (currently identified as $1,000)

                     Publicity and advertising costs (flyers, Sunnyvale Sun ad, social media, etc.)

                     Refreshments, if a donation is not secured


Staff hours including planning, logistical support, and publicity for the speaker series will be charged to the speaker series budget. It is anticipated that the non-speaker related expenses will be within the $6,000 initially estimated by staff per event. The proposed speaker series can be conducted within the approved budget. 



Public contact was made by posting the Council agenda on the City's official-notice bulletin board outside City Hall, at the Sunnyvale Senior Center, Community Center and Department of Public Safety; and by making the agenda and report available at the Sunnyvale Public Library, the Office of the City Clerk and on the City's website.




Approve the 2017 sustainability speaker series topics as proposed by the Sustainability Commission.


Staff has reviewed and collaborated with the Subcommittee during the development of the Speaker Series proposal and supports the proposed speakers and approach.


Prepared by: Melody Tovar, Regulatory Programs Division Manager

Reviewed by: Kent Steffens, Assistant City Manager - Interim Director, Environmental Services

Approved by: Deanna J. Santana, City Manager



1.                     Budget Supplement No. 7                     

2.                     Proposed 2017 Sustainability Series Report from Sustainability Commission Subcommittee

3.                     Excerpt of Approved Minutes of the Sustainability Commission Meeting of February 21, 2017