Mayor Ginther

As a longtime community leader and 2023 Columbus mayoral candidate, I find it appalling that hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars are being spent to falsely sway public opinion regarding Andy Ginther and Columbus City Council’s city-wide tax abatement and zoning policy changes.

A recent Columbus Dispatch storyAs Columbus pushes massive zoning overhaul, PR firm enlisted to bolster public support gives an in depth look at how Columbus-based Paul Werth Marketing and PR Agency is utilizing taxpayer dollars to deceptively demonstrate support for the City’s recent city-wide tax abatement policy and proposed “massive zoning overhaul.” Paul Werth Senior Vice-President Dan Williamson, who is the former Deputy Chief of Staff of Communications of Mayor Michael Coleman, is leading the team assigned to the City’s marketing project.

It’s unconscionable for Ginther and City Council to use taxpayer dollars to pay a marketing firm to falsely create an illusion that various "housing experts” and others are 100 percent behind City-wide tax abatements and zoning changes.

One has to wonder what other underhanded and dishonest measures are being undertaken by Mr. Williamson and his staff. But then again as a City Hall insider and former Deputy Chief of Staff of Communications for Mayor Coleman, Mr. Williamson is undoubtedly familiar with using such cooked-up tactics. It is suspected that individuals and organized groups are involved with promoting this campaign on social media as well, allegedly at the behest of City Hall officials and/or the marketing firm.

These actions clearly suggest that the 60-day public comment period being offered by Ginther and City Council is a formality and just another dog and pony show, while the general public is being deceitfully peppered with a taxpayer paid underhanded marketing scheme to sway public opinion. So don’t count on any seeing any type of noteworthy deviation from the city’s 280-page zoning changes after the 60-day public comment period. And once again, our Mayor who claims to be transparent and to be held accountable, refuses comment for this story as he heads to the golf course.