This Republican Mayor Has a Good Point About Going Green

Spokane, WA Mayor, and CLA Chairman David Condon is featured in a Governing commentary talking about the truly creative work he’s lead in his community around affordable, successful sustainability. The commentary by Governing Publisher Mark Funkhouser is titled This Republican Has a Good Point About Going Green.
Spokane Mayor David Condon (AP)

A retired Army officer and a former top aide to a Republican congresswoman, Condon might seem to some an unlikely figure to be a champion of such policies. But achieving environmental sustainability while maintaining fiscal responsibility has been high on his agenda over his two terms as mayor.

The shaping of Spokane’s environmental sustainability program started with a trip to Washington, D.C., in 2012. Like a lot of older cities, Spokane has a combined sewer system that was dumping untreated waste into the Spokane River during major storms. “It began when I sat in the [Environmental Protection Agency] offices in D.C.,” Condon told me. “They gave me two choices: Ask for a consent decree and blame it on us or do integrated planning. I called up our regional office of the EPA and began integrated planning.” The idea is to look at the city’s operations holistically. That resulted in some re-thinking of its governmental structure. To better control runoff from the streets into the sewers, for example, the streets department is now managed by the utilities department.
You can read the entire commentary on leadership by Mark Funkhouser here.