As Best of Columbus can attest, there are plenty of things in this city worth celebrating. These aren't those.

The Summer Safety Initiative

“If you're from Columbus and you've lived in the inner city and you've been exposed to aggressive policing, then you may not know the [term] ‘Summer Safety Initiative,' but you definitely know the term ‘jump out boys,'” local activist Tammy Fournier Alsaada told Alive. That's because the city's Summer Safety Initiative (officially known as the Community Safety Initiative) ramped up patrols and sent plainclothes officers to targeted communities. Residents reported being startled by police who, they said, would “jump out” from unmarked vehicles. Some felt the initiative unfairly profiled communities of color and worsened community-police relations.

When Mayor Ginther announced plans in February 2017 to extend the program year-round, cries of anger and bewilderment rang out on social media. This announcement had come after plainclothes officers killed Henry Green in South Linden, and after 13-year-old Ty're King died at the hands of police. But in November, Mayor Ginther announced the end of the initiative, finally echoing what the community knew all along: It represented the worst of Columbus. –Erica Thompson

Columbus branding attempts

“This will put Columbus on the map” is a phrase that seems to crop up every year, and it needs to go away. While it's true that our city doesn't have an easy-to-define personality, it's not because we lack interesting people, places or things. Be proud that this city cannot be defined by or known only as one particular thing. Sure, that makes the city harder to “sell,” but save that task for salespeople. Let Columbus just be Columbus. Also we are, actually, on maps. Right in the middle of the state. And being in the middle is a fine place to be. –Joel Oliphint

Worst Politician: Josh Mandel

Earlier this year, Josh Mandel dropped out of the U.S. Senate race, citing his wife's health. But even removed from the political spotlight (for now), the Beachwood Republican and Ohio Treasurer had a Secretariat-wide lead in the Worst Politician race, and there was no making up ground on him. In a June 20 Twitter post, Mandel dismissed the Anti-Defamation League as “a partisan witchhunt group” and wrote, “I stand with @Cernovich & @JackPosobiec,” a sentence that should disqualify anyone from holding public office (Jack Posobiec was a key figure driving the pizza-gate conspiracies). He also wasted more than $1.8 million in taxpayer funds on self-promotional TV ads, forcing Republican legislators to pass a law closing the loophole. Then there was the mind-numbingly stupid video in support of President Trump's wall that Mandel filmed at the U.S-Mexico border that played like an amateurish audition tape for a White House internship. Dude's like a real-life Jonah Ryan from “Veep.” –Andy Downing

Lists about Columbus made in other cities

Another one! No, we're not quoting DJ Khaled, but we've been pumped with just as much self-importance, uttering those two words with every new city ranking we received in 2017. told us we were the most underrated city in America for gay travelers (AFTER the #BlackPride4 protest, mind you); ranked us the fifth best metro for millennials; and put us at number eight on the list of best cities for college graduates. If you're going to pay attention to any list, it should be homegrown, like that time that random dude ranked us the best city in the world. And this list you're reading now. –Erica Thompson

Whitewashing of campus

The campus area has become unrecognizable from what it was just a few years ago, especially along High Street. Bernie's is gone. Used Kids, Evolved and Too's moved north. Five new upscale apartment complexes will house students in the University District this fall. The squeaky-clean look of campus along High Street is likely a plus for OSU parents who want to feel comfortable leaving Caden and Haley on their own in the big city for the first time, but it's a loss for the quirky, campus-area small businesses and their patrons, who were still trying to get over the loss of Larry's. –Joel Oliphint

Dumbest Columbus Controversy: The Clintonville Rain Gardens

As a Columbus resident, what are some of your top concerns in your neighborhood? Rising rents and home prices? Police brutality? Opioid use? For Clintonville home owners last summer, the answer was rain gardens. As part of the city's Blueprint Columbus plan to prevent storm water from flooding sewers and polluting rivers, gardens were installed along sidewalks. Nevermind that the project is allowing the city to save $1 billion and meet EPA requirements; they aren't pretty, the residents said. From “ditches” to “eyesores” to “unsightly toxic dumps,” people tossed off colorful descriptors to reporters investigating the issue. “There's so much change going on in Clintonville that it's making people nervous,” one resident told the Dispatch. There goes the neighborhood. –Erica Thompson

Most Tone-Deaf Social Media Post: Route 62 Barbecue

Personal politics and geography aside, what's to be gained by complaining about any sort of action honoring the death of police officers fallen in the line of duty? But that's right where Route 62 Barbecue owner Brad Jalovec found himself after a since-deleted Tweet he posted after he was forced to watch a televised golf tournament in split-screen while a local station showed ongoing news coverage about the deaths of Westerville officers Eric Joering andAnthony Morelli. Wait, it wasn't even personal politics or geography, but an inconvenience in watching golf on TV? I can't even. And neither can a lot of other folks, especially in Johnstown, where Jalovec does business. Jalovec backtracked and said he planned to contribute to a GoFundMe effort to support the officers' families, but in the social media age, the damage is done. –Jim Fischer

Music venue closures

2017 was a rough year for the local music scene, in some regards, with beloved local venues Carabar and Double Happiness closing up shop for good. In addition, Park Street Saloon in the Arena District, long a go-to stop for larger touring hip-hop acts such as Ghostface, gave up the, uh, ghost, making way for a long-planned luxury hotel. Then there was the abrupt closure of Scarlet & Grey Cafe, long an incubator for local jam bands. Columbus has, of course, been through this before — just look at the generations that still mourn the loss of venues such as Stache's, Little Brother's and Bernie's. Regardless, here's hoping a new venue or two springs up in the near future. –Andy Downing

Local Nazis

At this point it's been well-publicized that Andrew Anglin of neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer grew up in Worthington, both in these pages (see our cover story from February 2017) and in the national press (the December 2017 cover of The Atlantic). Most recently, Vice filmed a documentary segment with the local process server trying to serve Anglin papers in the suit brought about by Montana real estate agent Tanya Gersh, who received threats after Anglin published her personal information on his website. Though Anglin is the highest-profile Nazi with local ties, he's far from the only one. In the last year local tattoo shops have come under fire for flaunting apparent ties to white nationalists, and in February 2018, The Washington Post published a profile of Columbus resident and avowed white nationalist Kam Musser under the headline “I don't know how you got this way.” –Andy Downing

Worst Job Hunt: The search for the next Columbus school board superintendent

John Stanford was moments from being appointed as the next superintendent of Columbus schools when the state auditor stepped in and warned school board members they might have violated Ohio's Open Meeting Act. Less than a month later, board members terminated the search and said they were starting over — this after investing $53,000 combined on a search firm and money paid to Stanford after his hiring was voided, according to the Dispatch. Will Ferrell's job interview in “Step Brothers” included fewer comic turns. –Andy Downing

Short North tax abatements

Look, we get that tax abatements can be a tool for redeveloping underserved neighborhoods, but when they're handed out like Halloween candy in a bustling neighborhood that doesn't need the boost, well, that's where issues creep in. In October 2016, the city hired HR&A Advisors to study incentives offered by Columbus, and the report suggested the city is too generous with incentives offered to Short North developers, according to a draft of the report the Dispatch obtained and reported on in July 2017. “The study found that abatements aren't needed to lure the mid-rise developers … that have popped up in the areas off High Street in the Short North. Those projects can be profitable for developers even without the incentives,” the paper wrote. Of course, in December City Council approved a 10-year, 75 percent tax abatement for the Pizzuti Company, which is redeveloping a former Short North antique market and a consignment store into a four-story, mixed-use building. The abatement is worth $3.1 million. –Andy Downing

Worst Sports Team Owner: He Who Shall Not Be Named

Well, let's see. There are two major league professional sports teams in Columbus, and only one has an owner who is dead-set on moving their team from the city. All that love for the city and the team the new owner expressed when he first acquired Crew SC from the Hunt family … was it just BS from the get-go? Did he have a radical change of heart? Is he just a money-grubbing low-life? (That assumes he would actually make more money in Austin.) Or is he some master manipulator who has always intended to relocate the team to Austin because he wants to have a second home there or he wants to be part of some cool scene he believes exists or whatever? Whether a snake-oil salesman, an opportunist or a rich kid who just wants to do whatever he likes with his toys, the dude whose name I haven't mentioned is definitely persona non grata. #SavetheCrew –Jim Fischer