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  • Doug Smith

I’m running for re-election

This year’s election is important in determining Worthington’s future in many ways. I am running for re-election to Worthington City Council in November 2023.

The past several years, the city has been pressured by a high-density apartment developer to change zoning on the UMCH property to accommodate their 700-unit apartment complex. The developer conducted almost no public outreach about the plan and it was denied by the planning commission and by city council. The developer proposed the plan after residents handily objected to their previous proposal of 500 units in the same location.

UMCH Property

Subsequently the developer filed a lawsuit against the city, citing they have the right to rezone the property. Recently, the judge dismissed eight out of 10 of their complaints. The ruling solidifies the policy that residents (and the city) have the right to protect the city’s physical character by protecting zoning and property rights.

However, as the lawsuit continues into 2024, electing council candidates who support high-density developments could completely change the outcome through ‘stand-down’ settlements that allow the developer to build high-density apartments.

Worthington’s Character and Charm

Since I began serving on council in 2012, I have rejected high-density proposals and have instead supported developers who work with the community to enhance the authentic neighborhood and family-friendly character.

In addition to the physical character of our city, there are important intangible characters of the community that align with community-based principles. I have spearheaded and supported these initiatives.

Environmental Sustainability: Electric aggregation

I led efforts to pass 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. To date, the program has offset 25.6 million pounds of coal burned (or, 4,987 gasoline-powered vehicles for one year).

The program has saved residents money on their electric bills, and is projected to save a considerable amount as we move into late 2023 and 2024.

Protecting and enforcing voting rights

I introduced the ordinance to protect election workers, placing criminal charges on individuals who harass or intimidate poll workers. Free and safe elections are the foundation of our democracy.

Respecting Elders

The city’s Age-Friendly task force is actively working to identify ways to make the community a lifelong home for residents who are aging. We hired a new Fire/EMS position to proactively work with seniors to provide preventative health measures.

Additionally, I am working on a property tax rebate concept for Worthington residents to reduce the tax burden.

Affordable Housing Initiatives

I helped lead the effort to promote the Source of Income Discrimination ordinance, preventing landlords from evicting renters to pay rent with non-traditional payment methods. Currently I am promoting the ‘pay-to-stay’ policy that allows renters to get caught up with their rent before being evicted.

As always, I am open to your thoughts and feedback. Contact me anytime. I'm here to help.


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