The council voted 4-1, with Mayor Peter Ohtaki dissenting, to target a 27 percent reduction, as compared to emission levels in 2005. He remained true to concerns he voiced last year that the target was too high and expensive.
"I'm very supportive of the overall program, I'm just uncomfortable with the 27 (percent)," Mayor Ohtaki explained during the June 4 council meeting. Menlo Park could set a target of 17 to 20 percent, he said, and still be committing to an ambitious reduction plan.
Other local cities have set reduction targets ranging from 15 percent, including Palo Alto and San Mateo, while others have gone higher, with Los Altos at 30 percent and San Jose at 35 percent.
Potential funding sources for Menlo Park include public-private partnerships, an increase to the users utility tax, selling the methane generated by the landfill at Bedwell Bayfront Park, and upgrading the energy efficiency of the city's facilities and vehicles to save money.
The overall goal as noted by the council is to reach an 80 percent reduction by 2050 in accordance with state law. And now that Menlo Park has set a goal, the council noted that it needs to start figuring out how to achieve it.
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