March 3, 2017

Climate change, infrastructure, policy and governance – who should be doing what?

Time

1:40 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Location

1605 Tilia, Room 1103, West Village

Speaker(s)

Suzanne Smith, Executive Director, Sonoma County Transportation Authority, Regional Climate Protection Authority

Abstract

Defining roles and responsibilities around addressing climate change is both critical and challenging. Local government typically plays takes the lead in decision making for infrastructure and land use, but when those decisions impact a neighboring community questions about political structures, legal authorities and liability come to the fore quickly. And to add to the complexity is the need to balance mitigation measures with adaptation measures. Exploring how to facilitate cross jurisdictional collaboration on climate action planning and implementation is new territory that layers in all levels of government and raises big questions about who will use what resources to protect and preserve infrastructure.

Biographical Sketch

Suzanne Smith joined the Sonoma County Transportation Authority (SCTA) in October 1997 as the Executive Director. The SCTA is the countywide transportation agency responsible for coordinating regional, state and federal funding and administering Measure M, the local ¼ cent transportation sales tax.

In 2010 the SCTA took on a new role as the Sonoma County Regional Climate Protection Authority (RCPA) and Suzanne serves as the Executive Director of that entity as well. The focus of the RCPA is to coordinate local activities, secure grants and strategically plan local efforts to reduce GHG emissions from all sectors.

SCTA is responsible for monitoring Caltrans projects within the County; developing long range transportation plans; managing a quarter cent sales tax measure; staffing various advisory committees including the Countywide Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee and the Transit/Paratransit Coordinating Committee; and maintaining a county-wide land use database and traffic model.

Suzanne is past Chair of the California Self Help Counties Coalition, an organization of 19 counties with transportation sales tax measures. She has also served as the Chair of the San Francisco Bay Area Partnership and the Bay Area Congestion Management Agencies Association.