Project Journal

Join us in Advocating for a Carbon Neutral City as the City of Hermosa Beach Engages in a Strategic Planning Session Tonight.
by Robert Fortunato on December 13th, 2012 No Comments

After attending the strategic planning session last night, Robert felt compelled to send a note (attached and below) to city council and staff.  If you are available, tell them what you think during the session tonight at 7pm in the civic center.

Dear Mayor Duclos, City Council and Staff,

It was a pleasure seeing you all at the City’s strategic planning meeting last night. I apologize for having to leave early. We have guests in from out of the country that will also preclude me from being at the meeting this evening.

Nonetheless, I wanted to acknowledge the City Manager for initiating the process. It is critical to the city’s success and – as written on the building where we were last night – “Without Vision the People Perish”.

Because I can’t be there this evening and there wasn’t an opportunity for public comment last night, I wanted to respectfully submit a couple of thoughts that I hope are helpful in the process. My degree from the Wharton School of Business and 25 years of experience doing strategic planning and leadership work has led me to define the work in a way that has been useful to my clients:

“Strategic planning is the process of identifying and occupying a defensible place in the market in order to maximize the benefit for all stakeholders”.

In the case of our city, I believe you are looking to find and occupy that defensible place that attracts and retain businesses, tourists and potential residents that will have a beneficial impact on our lives, economy and standard of living. I am confident that you will get there with Tom’s and Lyle’s assistance.

In watching the dialogue, it was clear when the subject of “innovators, iconoclasts and champions” was brought up in the room there was a particular energy that came with it. The dialogue shifted because it represented something that was evident and true for all of you. Obviously, from that a positioning can be made that attracts businesses, tourists and potential residents.

That spirit of innovation is what attracted us to the city and inspired us to build the Green Idea House here. It is also what allowed you all to support the project that made it the winner of: 2012 Green Leadership Award for Los Angeles County, 2012 Environmental Leadership SEED Award a case study for Energy Upgrade California and Build it Green’s Green Point Rating. It is also the cornerstone case study for Southern California Edison’s Net Zero Energy Initiative that makes possible the CPUC’s guideline that all new residential buildings be net zero energy by 2020. We most recently received Build It Green’s Builder of the Year Award in the Custom Builder Category

As a result, we get tourists and businesspeople from all over the country and all over the world coming and knocking on our door to see what we have done. We also get visits from Congressmen and Assembly Members who are interested.

The point is that the Hermosa Beach has the same opportunity to attract interesting and interested affluent tourists, residents and clean tech businesses to the City with the carbon neutral (Green Idea City) positioning that you have already started. Your commitment to Cool Cities, the $410K CN grant and most recently the Blue Zone designation make it easy to for you to be a first mover and occupy that defensible place in the market in order to maximize the benefit for all stakeholders.

Also, as you all pointed out last night, our proximity to the ocean and our beautiful beaches are obvious draws. We should have the cleanest water and air in the city. We don’t. Environmental protection is important to our health, the preservation of our lifestyle and the attraction of businesses and tourists.

For those reasons, I urge you all to choose Carbon Neutral positioning as well as Environmental Protection as two of the core values you adopt in this process. I am confident they will lead to the short term and long term gains this city is looking to achieve through this planning process.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.


Robert Fortunato

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