Growing up on a farm in northern Ohio, Doug Smith learned the values of hard work and public service. Expect to see plenty of both from him over the next four years.

Growing up on a farm in northern Ohio, Doug Smith learned the values of hard work and public service. Expect to see plenty of both from him over the next four years.

Only 28 years old, he is already a business entrepreneur, a new father, and the newest and youngest member of Worthington City Council.

He upset veteran council member Dave Norstrom for the third four-year term filled in the November election. Records show that Smith clearly outspent his opponents, but he also put in the footwork that would be expected from a young and enthusiastic politician.

During the weeks leading up to Election Day, Smith knocked on 3,000 doors. At 2,200 of them, he was accompanied by his one-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Felicity.

"It wasn't just a stunt, it is actually who I am," Smith said.

He is not only a hands-on parent, but a caring person as well, he said.

"I would like to carry that on in the community, to care for everyone," he said.

Back to the family farm, that is where he learned to care for animals as well as people. He had daily chores, and raised swine for 4-H projects.

But his father was also an assistant Erie County prosecutor, an elected position that gave Smith a taste of local politics at a young age.

"Somewhere I got the crazy notion that public officials can actually do things to help people," he said.

He came to central Ohio to attend Capital University, where he earned bachelors' degrees in public relations and political science in 2005.

During college, he was elected as an international trustee of Circle K, the Kiwanis Club college branch. For a year, Smith traveled around the country helping to set up service projects.

He is still an active member of the Northland Kiwanis.

After college, he and his college roommate started a company now called Bluestreak Strategies. They work on campaigns - political and otherwise - and do community outreach and marketing.

In 2007, he purchased the New Standard, the weekly newspapers serving central Ohio's Jewish families. Based in Columbus, it has a 20,000 circulation.

More recently, they started two weekly newspapers in the Cleveland area. The Bedford Standard and the Heights Standard are soon to welcome a third paper in the chain, the Mill Creek Standard, in Erie, Pa.

He works mostly from his laptop computer, wherever he is, though he recently rented a small office over a pizza shop on High Street in Worthington.

His schedule is busy, but flexible.

"This gives me the opportunity to be there in the community," he said.

Besides being accessible to residents, Smith plans to work on economic development, sustainability, and the maintenance of city services over the next four years.

New ideas include setting up an investment process that would provide tax credit to residents starting small businesses in Worthington. There are a lot of motivated, ambitious people in Worthington who need support, he said.

"Transitional communities" is another idea Smith supports. He describes them as any open available space that can be turned into a garden area. Native trees and plants that bear fruits and vegetables would be community owned, with the crops being available to anyone.

He would like to get at least one up and running by 2013.

Smith also knows how important city services are to residents. After talking to so many people during the campaign, he realizes that maintaining police, fire, trash collection, snow removal, and other services must always be a top priority.

He said he hopes to eventually set up regular office hours at the Worthington Municipal Building.