Andrew J. Ginther, President
(Chair: Rules & Reference Committee)
Committee Member of: Finance; Health & Human Services; Workforce Development; Administration; Veterans' Affairs; Development; Recreation & Parks; Small & Minority Business Development; Technology; Public Safety & Judiciary; Public Service & Transportation; Public Utilities; and Ad Hoc Committees.
Councilmember Andrew J. Ginther was unanimously elected City Council President on January 3, 2011. A member of Council since 2007, Ginther has served as the chair of Finance & Economic Development, Public Safety and Public Utilities committees. His top priorities are job creation and economic development, and building healthy, safe and strong neighborhoods.
Ginther believes the best measure of our quality of life is the safety of our neighborhoods. Since day one, he has worked to ensure that Columbus Police Officers and Firefighters have the resources they need to protect Columbus families and businesses, championing critical crime prevention strategies, including the Columbus Police Summer Strike Force, Community Crime Patrol and Crime Stoppers. He has fought for additional funding for bulletproof vests, police vehicles, and new technology that has helped Columbus Police work smarter and harder. Ginther also sponsored legislation to provide the Columbus Division of Fire with life-saving tools, including turnout gear, thermal imaging cameras and new fire engines, medics and ladder trucks. Ginther also secured funding to purchase warning sirens to alert residents during severe weather events, and is an advocate for safety cameras in Columbus neighborhoods. He also drafted ground-breaking anti-scrap metal theft legislation that became the model for municipalities across the nation, and which provided the foundation for a new state law.
As the Finance and Economic Development Committee chair, Ginther delivered on the promise made to voters to fight for every job, while working to reform government and reduce costs to taxpayers. In 2010, Ginther helped drive an unprecedented investment in economic development that resulted in the announcement of at least 8,000 jobs new to Columbus, including a historic expansion at the Ohio State Medical Center, the proposed CODA Automotive manufacturing facility and Nationwide Insurance’s commitment to bring 1,400 jobs to downtown Columbus. In 2010, the City’s economic development efforts equated to $3.1 million in new income tax receipts, more than 3,000 jobs and $155 million in new payroll. Every $1 spent on economic development netted over $65 in private investment and over $3 of tax revenue. In addition to creating jobs, Ginther has joined the Mayor and other elected leaders in pushing for changes to how the City does business aimed at reducing costs to taxpayers. Through the collective bargaining process, the City has successfully negotiated reduced health care, workers compensation and pension expenses that will result in total savings of at least $119 million through 2019.
Moving forward, Ginther will remain focused on the City’s aggressive job creation efforts and investing in the core City services that contribute to our high quality of life, business expansion and job growth. Ginther believes that through investment in public safety and our neighborhoods, we can continue to create new employment opportunities for our residents. These new jobs will help grow our local economy, put Columbus residents to work while charting a path for future success.
Ginther, a Columbus native and proud Columbus City Schools graduate, has a long history of community service. Prior to joining Columbus City Council, he was elected to the Columbus Board of Education in 2001 and re-elected in 2005. Prior to his career in public service, Ginther earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in political science from Earlham College. While at Earlham, he studied peace and conflict resolution at the University of Ulster and Queen’s College in Northern Ireland and taught at public schools in Belfast and Derry. He also served in consecutive internships at the Carter Presidential Center in Atlanta, Georgia, where he taught non-violence and dispute resolution to school children in the most dangerous parts of the city. Ginther is currently the Vice President of Community Affairs and Outreach for Children’s Hunger Alliance. He, his wife, Shannon, and his young daughter live in Clintonville.