As a member of the Climate Action Plan (CAP) Citizen Advisory Committee I get to meet with 20 other citizens from various backgrounds and with City staff every quarter to discuss CAP related issues. There are some things that are going well. There are some areas that present a lot of opportunity for improvement.
One thing that staff is doing well is soliciting input from a cross section of our community. There are energy experts, business people, school district representatives, and civic groups represented on the board. We sometimes have lively discussion! A common criticism is that our feedback does not translate into policy actions. For example, we are presented with budget requests after they are turned in for review. Our feedback doesn't inform the request. Staff is working on this problem.
The greatest opportunity for improvement may lay in prioritization of action. Instead of prioritizing stronger energy efficiency programs, more democratic solar policy, or electric vehicle incentives staff spent a ridiculous amount of time and money trying to change the name of the CAP. In the end (after about 6 months) they decided that our group was right and they should stick with "Climate Action Plan".
One area where staff wants to improve is in public outreach and education. I have explained to them that CforSE knocks on doors 5 days per week and that in a year we will knock on almost every door in town (~50,000 mostly single family homes). We would happily distribute City literature and talk to folks about the Climate Action Plan. So far they are not interested in our services and are instead struggling with on-line outreach and bill inserts. Apparently not many people read the bill inserts. Staff is not satisfied with their outreach results so maybe they will come around to using the citizen networks that are in place, like CforSE.