Worthington News

City council considers tweaking its meeting schedule

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After a longstanding meeting schedule of three monthly sessions, Worthington City Council is considering eliminating one session a month.

City Manager Matt Greeson's office put together an assessment showing how long the sessions typically last. Changing from three meetings to two a month could decrease time spent in meetings and time spent preparing for them.

The idea prompted some disagreement among council members, and a decision is planned for the council's next meeting March 10.

Councilman David Norstrom was the strongest proponent of a change.

"I think the stats show that moving to two meetings makes sense," he said. "What we're doing is asking staff to do a lot of extra work that isn't necessary. ... I think if we start doing our work smarter, we can be more efficient with what we do."

Norstrom said he believes the council should focus more on policy than nitpicking individual numbers and figures, and he hopes they could save time and money with better planning and preparation.

Councilman Bob Chosy appeared less certain about the improvement.

"The assumption that if we have fewer meetings, we'll get more efficient is more in theory than real, I think," he said, noting that he was unsure of which option he favored.

Councilwoman Rachael Dorothy said she favored the existing schedule because it set better deadlines and "keeps projects moving."

The council decided not to make any decisions in the absence of councilman Scott Myers.

In other matters:

• Although Veterans Day has been recognized by Worthington, City Council decided March 3 to officially recognize the day as a city holiday, closing all city functions and offices on Veterans Day each year.

The decision came after Myers presented the idea during a previous meeting, saying he wanted to signify the importance of the holiday to the city's residents and staff members.

Rather than add an official holiday, Worthington will replace Columbus Day with Veterans Day.

Greeson said the decision was made after a study showed Columbus Day was much less recognized throughout the state and country than Veterans Day.

The switch also would promote the city's "family-friendly work environment," Greeson said, because Worthington City Schools and others in the area have Veterans Day off, creating problems for some parents who have to work.

Council approved a variance to allow the Worthington Industries office at 200 Old Wilson Bridge Road to add a 40-foot expansion at the back of its property.

The building was required by Worthington to be 50 feet away from Interstate 270, and the 40-foot add-on would cut that setback to just 10 feet.

The expansion will be used for an expanded fitness center for Worthington Industries employees and will feature an outdoor rooftop plaza and patio to allow for a new eating and break space for employees.

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