- Doug Smith
New Sustainability Manager position (maybe)
Updated: Jan 25
At my first Council retreat in 2012, we included environmental sustainability as one of the city’s top priorities. Every subsequent Council retreat, environmental sustainability was a top priority.
From this priority, several programs and policies have been created, including: the renewable energy electric aggregation program, the city’s internal green team, the funding of the Worthington Partnership Green Team, installation of electric vehicle charging stations, an opt-in residential composting program, and replacing HVAC systems with energy-reducing units (paying for itself in less than 10 years).
Most of the current Council has been discussing sustainability for several years, and we engaged Power a Clean Future Ohio to help guide us with appropriate next steps. One of those options is to hire a Sustainability Manager position.
Read the report here:
This seems to be the next logical step in advancing Worthington’s leadership in environmental sustainability. The person hired for this position can work on the many of the following initiatives:
building strategic coalitions at the regional level
updating city building codes to support green building and mitigate runoff
capturing federal and regional funds coming from the infrastructure bills and inflation reduction act
grant writing for sustainability-focused programs
helping residents navigate residential sustainability incentives
work with businesses to save on energy costs
Some members of Council do not support hiring a Sustainability Manager, citing budget concerns and bad timing.
However, the city budget is currently sitting at nearly $19 million in the reserve budget. For this position, author Councilman Pete Bucher initially proposed a salary and fringe package of $150,000. When this amount was not supported, he offered a compromise package of $80,000. This proposal was tabled until late February.
If approved, it will likely take several months to hire this position. The timing takes us to the later part of 2023.
I am in favor of hiring for this position because I believe Worthington residents want Council to take the lead regionally on this issue – like we did with renewable electric aggregation. It’s good for the residents, it’s good for our economic development, it’s good for the environment.
Let me know what you think…is hiring this position worthy of support?