2019 Recreation Commission Candidate Response

The Wellesley Recreation Commission consists of 5 elected members, who meet regularly to review policy, programs, procedures and the fee structure. The Commission welcomes community input. The mission is to provide recreational and educational opportunities to enhance the quality of life for all Wellesley residents in the most cost-effective manner. “Something for Everyone.”

1. What is your track record on environmental sustainability, including any related interests, experience, or initiatives?

Jim Rodrigue

First and foremost, my track record on environmental sustainability begins with acknowledgment and awareness. I acknowledge that climate change is the single most critical issue we face today as a global society. I am aware that its adverse impact on environmental and human health, food security, and economic systems is expanding, threatening our survival.

While I have not led any environmental sustainability initiatives, I have participated in several of them here in Wellesley. These include abandoning the use of pesticides, active participation in the RDF recycling and Food Waste program, purchasing and driving a hybrid vehicle, using electricity from renewable sources, and installing smart thermostats in my home, among others. Also, as a Town Meeting Member I am committed to ensuring that the town allocates funding for green growth and sustainable development in all new projects.

2. What are your thoughts on sustainability as a consideration and an opportunity for the Recreation Commission?

Jim Rodrigue

Climate change is one the most ominous threats to global public health. Both physical and mental health are adversely impacted by more extreme weather events (wildfires, floods, heatwaves, droughts, etc.), poor air quality, contaminated water and food supplies, water shortages, and diseases spread by insects and pests. We are not immune to these threats here in Wellesley. We must engage all town residents and government agencies, including the Recreation Department, to ensure that they recognize the problem is here now, not something that is a distant problem not yet affecting our community.

3. How would sustainability factor into your own decision-making regarding the development of recreational programs, facilities, and the use of those facilities?

Jim Rodrigue

I think it is the responsibility of all town government officials and departments to ensure that “sustainability” as a core value is considered when discussing any new initiative or program. New programs should not be approved without an assessment of their environmental sustainability and a strategy for mitigating any potential adverse environmental impact.

A central objective of the Recreation Department is to develop educational and recreational programs that encourage new learning, physical activity, and health-promoting activities, which have favorable downstream effects on our community carbon footprint.  As a Recreation Commissioner, I will continue to support and encourage such programs.  Also, I will work collaboratively with others in the Recreation Department to further the Town of Wellesley’s larger environmental sustainability goals, including sustainable development in all new projects, waste minimization, resource efficiency and conservation, protecting water resources via green infrastructure practices, and implementing zero-waste programming and events.


All 2019 Candidate Responses