Grapevine resident questions why city belongs to ICLEI

Steve Norder|Grapevine Courier

GRAPEVINE – Since 2007, the city has belonged to an international organization which has the stated purpose of promoting “sustainable development.”

Last fall, Grapevine resident Carl Young, who says he represents the NE Tarrant Tea Party, questioned the city’s continued involvement with the organization.

Now known as ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, when the organization originally was formed in 1990, the letters stood for the International Council on Local Environmental Initiatives.

Young told the City Council in October that he had a problem with the city’s membership in ICLEI and said the organization had a tie to the United Nations. “This is not a good group of people to be involved with,” he said.

Later, Young explained his belief that ICLEI is an “outside group of individuals trying to control our development without the community having some say.” He asked, “Are we giving up our rights?”

In response to Young’s questions, Assistant City Manager Jennifer Hibbs sent him a letter explaining why Grapevine belongs to ICLEI paying $600 a year for membership.

“As an ICLEI member, the City sets emissions reductions targets and ICLEI provides the necessary software to track progress … towards those targets as well as expert staff assistance in achieving those goals,” Hibbs wrote. “The reductions in emissions have resulted in energy cost savings in addition to the environmental benefit.”

She added that ICLEI also “gives us a worldwide network to discuss our sustainability efforts and share ideas.”