Chesterton Tribune



Sid Augustyn asks Chesterton Town Council to declare climate emergency

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The Chesterton Town Council is poised to declare a “climate and ecological emergency,” after Chesterton High School senior Sid Augustyn petitioned members, on behalf of the community’s youth, to adopt a resolution which would make global environmental remediation “at least partly” a “local responsibility.”

Augustyn, twice appointed to the Chesterton Tree Committee, spoke from the floor at the council’s meeting Monday night, noting that town government has a history of environmental consciousness: Chesterton has annually been proclaimed a Tree City USA since 1996; Member Jim Ton, R-1st, was years ago instrumental in the creation of the town’s recycling program; MS4 Operator Jennifer Gadzala has been point person in public outreach and education when it comes to stormwater quality and pollution prevention; and Park Superintendent Bruce Mathias has diligently protected Chesterton’s public spaces.

“But,” Augustyn said, “the climate crisis is a looming emergency that needs attention on the local level” and “multi-jurisdictional action,” and “the only way to make a change is to start with the local government.”

Augustyn accordingly asked the council to adopt a “Climate Emergency Resolution” similar to seven others already approved by municipalities elsewhere in Indiana. “We may be young but we will stop at nothing to protect our future,” he said.

Under the resolution, the council would do the following:

--Declare “that a climate and ecological emergency is held, at least partly, as a local responsibility.”

--Commit “to working constructively to ensure future goals and plans will be in good consciousness of the climate emergency, and will make future plans to combat this global issue.”

--Ensure that “all people, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or income can experience the benefits of all goals set in motion and that the Chesterton Town Council commits to declaring and fighting the climate emergency.”

--And establish a “mechanism to ensure the future of ongoing inclusion of young people in the process of creating and executing climate-related policies and actions within the Town of Chesterton.”

Remarked Ton, “Sid, we’re very proud of you and the students for speaking up and getting involved.”

Added Member Nate Cobbs, R-4th, “Sid, I want to commend you for the thoroughness and quality of the resolution.”

Members voted unanimously to forward the resolution to legal for a review of its language, pending action on it, possibly as soon as the council’s next meeting, Tuesday, Nov. 12.



Posted 10/30/2019





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