Are You Sustainable?

Current and former Austinites vying for city post

Austinites (current and former) are well-represented on the short list of six semifinalists released May 28 for the new city of Austin position of chief sustainability officer. The city says the position will "develop, coordinate and administer" a full-spectrum program for both the municipality and the community. The officer will deal with such issues as greenhouse gas reduction, renewable resources, development patterns and transportation, green purchasing, municipal cost savings through integrated programs, solid waste recycling, green building, government funding, environmental reporting metrics, and energy, water, and resource conservation.

A national search conducted by Affion Public drew 185 applicants. The candidates are having formal interviews this week; they will meet the public and answer questions at community meetings today (Thursday, June 3). The public sessions are 2:30-4pm and 5-7pm at Town Lake Center, 721 Barton Springs Rd., Rm. 130.

The Candidates

Current Austinites:

Brandi Clark, founder and chief inspiration officer of Austin EcoNetwork; founder of Citizen Gardener

Natalie Marquis, general manager of Habitat Suites; executive director of Texas Solar Energy Society

Former Austinites:

Matt Watson, currently energy policy specialist, Environmental Defense Fund – Washington, D.C. (Formerly an aide to Mayor Will Wynn, Watson had major responsibilities for the Austin Climate Protection Plan and other environmental/sustainability initiatives.)

Lucia Athens, senior sustainable futures strategist at Seattle-based CollinsWoerman, a planning and interior design firm. (She got her master's degree at UT, helped develop the city of Austin Green Builder Program, led the city of Seattle's green building program for 10 years, and recently wrote Building an Emerald City: A Guide to Creating Green Building Policies and Programs.)

National Candidates:

Dennis Murphey, chief environmental officer of Kansas City, Mo.

Beth Pratt, director of environmental affairs at Xanterra Parks & Resorts in Yellowstone National Park.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

sustainability officer, city of Austin

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