Greensboro is going through the process of becoming LEED certified and the City Council is captivated with the prospect.

Not since the City Council spent six months discussing, considering, hiring consultants, hiring more consultants and holding public hearings about panhandling, has any issue caught the interest of the City Council like this.

Water Resources Director and Sustainability Coordinator Steve Drew gave a report on the LEEDs process at the Greensboro City Council meeting last week in the Public Safety Training Facility on Church Street.

It was pretty much the same report that Drew gave the City Council on July 17, because there isn’t much to report.  On July 17 Drew told the City Council that they were in the data gathering phase and until they got all the data in and had a chance to analyze it there wouldn’t be much to report.

The report on Sept. 3 was no different in substance, Drew said they were about to finish the data collection portion of the effort and once they analyzed it they would have a better idea of where they stood.

Perhaps next month Drew can come back and tell the City Council that they have collected the data and are analyzing it.  No disrespect to Drew, he was asked by the City Council to come give a report and he did. Maybe this time someone on the City Council was paying enough attention to know that until the data is collected and analyzed Drew won’t have any basis to make recommendations on how to make the city more sustainable, green, environmentally friendly or whatever the term de jour is.

Frequently at City Council meetings councilmembers Justin Outling and Tammi Thurm ask for work sessions on a topic.  Mayor Nancy Vaughan usually agrees that it would be a good idea, but these work sessions rarely seem to get scheduled.

The one business meeting a month the City Council holds, has such packed agendas that city councilmembers, with the notable exception of Councilmember Sharon Hightower, hesitate to get in long discussions.  When there are 72 items on the agenda, everyone knows that if the City Council gets hung up on only one or two items, it’s going to be a long night.

It doesn’t leave the City Council much time to hear reports from staff and discuss the $567 million business of running the city, but evidently the City Council has plenty of time to hear the same report on LEED certification twice in three months.