2021 Candidate Questionnaire on
Candidate Responses: Chris Smith
Candidate Responses: Chris Smith
What would you like Grandview residents to know about your background, as it relates to the environment, climate, and conservation? If applicable, please describe any relevant educational, career, or service experience you have.
I was the Legal Counsel for the Ohio House Democratic Caucus in the Ohio House of Representatives from 2000-04 where I helped members draft legislation and amendments that were pro-environment. As a political activist, I have always worked for progressive, pro-environment candidates and officeholders. In my two terms with Grandview Heights City Council, I have always been supportive of environmental legislation such as funding for recycling programs and the PACE program to incentivize renewable energy infrastructure for homes and businesses and to make this more affordable.
- Priorities, Values, and Philosophy
To what extent do environmental concerns drive your priorities as a citizen and candidate for City Council? Please share your philosophy and values as they relate to the environment and sustainability.
Environmental issues are a top priority to me as a resident and a member of Grandview Heights City Council. My everyday activities reflect my environmental concerns and values such as recycling. All legislation that I consider as a member of Grandview Heights City Council will be examined for its environmental impact, as appropriate.
Describe the importance of our community’s parks, greenspace, and tree canopy to you. As a City Council member, what steps would you take, if any, to preserve and/or expand these local assets?
Greenspace, park areas and tree placement have always been a priority when I have considered development. This is reflective in the greenspace and tree placement that has occured in the Grandview Yard development as well as the upcoming development with Grandview Crossing and the Bobcat Way improvements where a new park will be built at the middle school campus area.
Describe your views and/or policy positions on transportation in Grandview. What should the City’s priorities be in this domain? Please share any specific ideas or proposals related to pedestrian and bicycle routes, public transit, and/or electric vehicle infrastructure.
I am a proponent of public transportation as a measure to protect our environment. I believe that the less cars on the road, the less fossil fuel and carbon emissions. I have been the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) liaison since I have served on Grandview Heights City Council. In my tenure, I helped save a commuter bus line that transports residents through the city to downtown Columbus that COTA was planning to eliminate. This has helped ensure a source of public transportation to our residents and to help the environment. I have also been instrumental in passing our bike program in our city, which encourages an alternative for residents to using cars as transportation. I also helped pass the legislation that provided for CoGo bikes and stations in our city in 2018.
- Solid Waste
What are your positions on trash, food waste, recycling, litter, and single-use plastics? What, if anything, can Grandview do better in these domains, and what specific policies or programs would you pursue as a member of Council?
Grandview Heights has an excellent curbside recycling program as well as composting and food waste deposit areas on Goodale Boulevard. I and my colleagues have helped encourage programs in the city such as Kids that Compost. As a member of the Finance Committee, I advocated and successfully got through funding for recycling containers on Grandview Avenue and West 1st Avenue. As a city, I believe that we should do all we can to advocate and promote recycling with residents so that a higher percentage of them participate.
- Renewable Resources
Renewable electricity is now cost-competitive with traditional sources of electricity – and it continues to trend downward in price. Do you support joining other leading Central Ohio cities – including Columbus, Bexley and Grove City – in giving Grandview residents and businesses the choice of cost-competitive, 100% renewable electricity?
I believe we should do all that we can to provide consumer choice for energy consumption and competition for our residents. I would be open to learning more about such programs and making it easier for our residents to participate in them.
- Environmental Toxins
Environmental toxins, such as lead and coal tar, pose significant threats to human health. What should Grandview’s role be in mitigating the presence of these toxins in our air, homes, businesses, and waterways?
I have recently learned about the dangerous aspects of coal-tar sealant from a colleague on city council and in my activity on our Safety Committee. I would be open to regulation of this product as long as the issue of enforcement can be formulated and implemented. I am very distrurbed about the presence of lead pipes distributing our water. I believe that the federal infrastructure bill currently working through Congress will provide money for municipalities to replace these lead pipes. Once available, I look forward to utilizing this investment to improve our water system. I do not believe that our city currently has the resources to make such an investment, but I am eager to utilize appropriations from the federal government to replace lead water lines.