Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Interview by:Leah Martin-Rosenthal
Mr. Sal Talarico is the Finance Director for the City of Oberlin and manages the citys finance department. He has served the City of Oberlin for 15 years, and a total of 20 years in the public sector. The finance department is responsible for financial reporting, liability, property and health insurances, utility billing, revenue collections, accounts payable, payroll, treasury and investment management, income tax collections and administration, and debt management.
Q: What words/images would you use to describe Oberlin?
A: Images would be that of some sort of nature picture: trees, clean rivers. [Oberlin is] at the forefront of key issues, not just environmental, but just about everything.
Q: What does the word sustainability mean to you?
Citywide theres a culture for all employees to be conscious of recycling and energy conservation.
Q: What actions are you, personally or with the city, pursuing to achieve this sustainability in Oberlin?
A: Most of the sustainability efforts are addressed through other departments- water, wastewater, electric, buildings and grounds division reports to the city manager as well. I know the city has done quite a bit in sustainability especially in its electric generation. But citywide I think theres a culture for all employees to be conscious of recycling and energy conservation. I think that the employees in town in particular, whether theyre city or not, have a good grasp of sustainability. That seems to be a positive trend in my opinion, nationwide and hopefully in the world as well.
Q: Do you see a focus on local or sustainable purchasing as important? Why?
A: Buying locally makes sense if, I think for instance you could walk down the street and go to the baker. I grew up in a time I could go to a butcher shop, that had a deli, and get within walking distance, really everything you needed.
99.9% of the people that come to town have the same goals, and that is some sort of sustainability-making sure that this planet is here for our children and grandchildren.
Q: How can Oberlin community members get involved in creating a more sustainable, more locally focused sustainable economic
A: You know, our goals are all the same. People sometimes argue about sustainability and green, but if you boil it down, 99.9% of the residents, businesses, and people that come to town have the same goals, and that is some sort of sustainability-making sure that this planet is here for our children and grandchildren. The only time we seem to bicker is how we get there. So its refreshing, and I think we need to focus on the refreshing piece of it, that our focus and our objectives are all the same. Now its just a matter of how we get there. And thats the part we should work together to figure out a way that makes sense.
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