As the region becomes more savvy in finding ways to have less environmental impact, Worthington is trying to find ways to use alternative fuels for residential cars and city fleets.
Doug has led efforts to perform grant-funded feasibility studies to install electric charging stations (for electric cars) at city-owned properties and commercial buildings.
As a result of Council and city staff action, Worthington now offers recycling in the Old Worthington Business District.
Edible Plants on Public Land
A personal project of Doug's was to create a policy to allow edible plants, like herbs and produce, to be planted on public land for all to cultivate and consume.
As a result of implementing this program through the Parks & Rec Department, Worthington became the first city in the country to promote "transitional gardens" through city policy.
Read the 2013 Dispatch article here.
View the edible plant map here.
Renewable Energy Aggregation
In 2018, Doug led efforts to pass Issue 39, Worthington’s electric aggregation program. The goals of this program were: save residents money on their electric bills and provide 100% renewable energy to participating residents.
The city launched the program in June 2019 and has seen 97% resident participation.
Rain Barrells & Composting
Doug is a supporter of using simple tools to improve the community. By collaborating with Franklin County Soil and Water Conversation District, residents are eligble to receive rebates for purchasing a rain barrell or composting bin.
To learn more, visit FSWCD.
One major function of city government is to maintain and repair city roads. Each year, city council members take a driving tour to determine which streets need repaired or repaved.
Since Doug was elected in 2011, the following streets (all or partial) have been improved:
Since his re-election in 2015, Doug has led efforts to give proper attention to the city’s aging park system. The past four years, city staff has upgraded Perry Park’s ball fields, constructed new Olentangy Parklands facilities, and replaced the playground equipment at Heischman Park.
Additionally, council has begun developing a final design for the McCord Park renovation next to the Community Center. This includes a natural playground, ball fields, and facilities.
Since Doug was elected in 2011, Indianola Park playground Whitney playground and the Community Center playground have been completely replaced.
The Godown Dog Park was completed, and many other park and playground improvements have been made.
Doug worked with multiple existing neighborhood networks and helped create new neighborhood networks to keep an open line of communication between the neighborhoods and the Worthington Police.
By hosting neighborhood meetings and obtaining face-to-face feedback from neighbors, the police were able to strengthen service and educate residents on creating safer neighborhoods.
Cities thrive or falter with their corporate economy. More than 75% of city revenue generated each year comes from income taxes of people working in Worthington city limits. Only about 4% of each resident's property tax goes to the city. So, it is important to make Worthington a job-friendly community while keeping it a resident-friendly community.
Doug has helped retain large corporations and bring in new businesses by empowering city staff to approach businesses that fit Worthington's culture.
Each year, Worthington generates approximately $30 million dollars in revenue. Part of a council member's job is to help allocate those funds by prioritizing city services, staff, maintenance and all other operating.
Due to smart budgeting and leveraging resources, the city budget is in good shape with a healthy rollover ‘surplus’ of more than $14 million and a AAA Bond Rating from the State Auditor.
These positive results come from making responsible budget decisions year each year. Also, city services and capital improvements have been positively impacted by these responsible financial decisions.
The city spends hundreds of thousands of dollars annually on capital equipment purchases like police and fire vehicles, computers, and more.
Doug spearheaded a policy that will save the city thousands of dollars by purchasing equipment online through a reserve bidding system that has a track record of saving municipalities more than 20% on equipment purchases.
As a board member of the Community Improvement Corporation (CIC), Doug helped lead an effort to revitalize the Huntley Road and Schrock corridors by granting and loaning city money to businesses who planned to improve their commercial property frontage with attractive upgrades and curb appeal improvements. Applicants are required to match 50% of the grant and pay back 25% of the granted amount as a no-interest loan. The program proved success by increasing the number of jobs in the corridor, increasing the number of long-term committed tenants, and improving the corridor aesthetics and ‘curb appeal.’
In recent years, the city council has made mobility and connectivity one of their top priorities. In early 2014, council formed an advisory Bike/Pedestrian Committee to determine the needs of the city as it relates to multi-modal transit.
As one of the council representatives to the advisory committee, Doug led the effort to create a standing city committee to look at the ongoing needs of an increasing mode of transit and recreation in our community.
In 2018, the committee began a 12-month outreach process to identify connectivity needs base on resident input. As a result, council approved the committee’s recommended master plan and has begun devoting more resources to implement these important projects and programs.