WORTHINGTON — The Worthington City Council's Ward 2 election is a race between an incumbent and a challenger. The Globe sent questionnaires to both candidates, and their responses follow.
Amy Ernst (incumbent)
Occupation: ISD 518 IT Coordinator
What qualifications do you have for the office of city council member? I have been a member of the community 35 years, working for Worthington ISD 518 as the head of the IT department for 33 years. I have enjoyed my first term as a city council member over the last four years and appreciate the many conversations with the citizens of Worthington, discussing various topics. Serving on various committees allowed me to learn a lot about the workings of city government. I would be honored to serve another term, listening and finding sensible solutions for the issues that arise.
What is your top priority in city government? Listening to and responding to the needs and ideas of the people in Worthington while keeping in mind how the council’s decisions impact the tax levy. It is also important to make Worthington a place that you as a citizen are proud of and want to live in as well as attract others to the community to help maintain our economic stability.
Local governments are projected to have tight budgets in the coming year. Where would you prioritize funding? How do you propose to use funds the most effectively? The council will need to look at the big picture and determine priorities. In the near future that includes the pandemic, the well-being and health of our citizens has to be at the forefront of our mind.
Where do you see opportunities for amenities/attractions to the Worthington community? During the last four years I have been fortunate to be involved in the start of many positive improvements in town and would like to continue to work on these projects and be a progressive advocate for the city of Worthington. The council members and city administration went out into the community asking what the citizens of Worthington thought would make it a better place to live. In response to the feedback and the half-cent sales tax, the council has been able to or are in the process of implementing projects which include; trail lighting throughout the city, the new Beach Nook, the pedestrian bridge at Centennial Park, splash pad, the 10th Street Bridge realignment, remodeling of the blue building at the bottom of the hill near the fire station into a field house where indoor activities and sports can happen year round for all ages, 10th Street Plaza, updates at many parks throughout town, building a spec building to be leased for a movie theater, water quality improvements, lake improvements, a new aquatic center and additional upgrades to Memorial Auditorium.
Occupation: future city council member
What qualifications do you have for the office of city council member? An address in Ward 2, but in all seriousness an open ear to listen and a willingness to learn.
What is your top priority in city government? To help instill sound financial decisions that will enhance the daily lives of everyone in Worthington.
Local governments are projected to have tight budgets in the coming year. Where would you prioritize funding? How do you propose to use funds the most effectively? Infrastructure. City government's primary focus needs to maintaining and improving the city infrastructure in a well-planned manner. Allowing future private endeavors to get off the ground quickly and proficiently.
Where do you see opportunities for amenities/attractions to the Worthington community? In the hands of private investors.