Mayor Graham Richard today met with the Green Ribbon Commission as the group held its first meeting to begin to develop a comprehensive energy and clean air plan for the community. Mayor Richard challenged the Commission to create an action plan that includes goals and performance measures to reduce energy costs and consumption and improve air quality.

“Our community must be a leader in reducing energy costs and air pollution to be more competitive in gaining and retaining jobs,” said Mayor Richard. “The Commission'€™s work will compliment our Green City Initiative that includes hybrid vehicles, ethanol and biodiesel fuels, greenways and trails, and technology to improve services.”

Green Ribbon Commission Charter: 1) Provide advice and recommendations to the City on goals and strategies to conserve energy and improve air quality, 2) Raise awareness of air quality and energy issues within the community and 3) Encourage citizens and businesses to engage in energy savings and improved air quality practices. Recommend specific and measurable goals that improve air quality, reduce energy costs and improve the economic, environmental, and quality of life of current and future generations.

The Commission is co-chaired by Randy Roberts, President of Lincoln Printing and Regina Leffers, President of Synergid Commercial and chair of the Northeast Indiana Green Build Coalition. Additional Commission members:

-Julie Donnell, President of Friends of the Parks of Allen County

-Gonzalee Martin, Agriculture Natural Resources Purdue Extension Services

-Greg Meszaros, Director of Public Works and City Utilities for the City of Fort Wayne

-Pat Oppor, Owner of Targeted Services, P.C.

-Nelson Peters, Allen County Commissioner

-Marsha Ryan, President and Chief Operating Officer for Indiana Michigan Power/AEP

-Joe Steensma, Owner of Industrial Solutions Group Inc.

-David Van Gilder, Lawyer with Van Gilder & Trzynka, P.C.

-Dr. Larry Wiedman, Professor of Biology at the University of St. Francis and Director of the Environmental Science and Field Studies Programs