First, I want to express my thanks to the citizens of Worthington for giving me the opportunity to serve on city council these past four years and to thank my family members, friends and residents for the support and encouragement they have given me.

First, I want to express my thanks to the citizens of Worthington for giving me the opportunity to serve on city council these past four years and to thank my family members, friends and residents for the support and encouragement they have given me.

My term on council has been a real learning experience for me and has reinforced my belief in public service and the need to engage more of our residents in this endeavor. Worthington has so many talented citizens, and we need to appeal to their sense of civic responsibility and encourage them to share their expertise and leadership skills for the benefit of our community.

I have learned more about the operations of the city and have become better acquainted with the supervisors and staff members who provide essential services to our residents and businesses. They are truly dedicated employees who want to provide the highest quality of service and daily demonstrate their concern for the welfare of our citizens.

Change is challenging and in the past four years we have seen many changes. The city's two top managers, Dave Elder and Paul Feldman, retired after distinguished careers in our city, and other seasoned managers have retired or resigned. In addition, Lou Briggs left her council post after 31 years, and Doug Holmes took a position out of state and resigned.

While these departures were difficult, the city hired Matt Greeson and other new leaders who have the skills, knowledge and experiences that meet the needs of our city at this time. I am confident that the city's management team, which may continue to evolve over the next few years, will provide the leadership that council expects and needs during these challenging times for our community. Similarly, Dave Norstrom and Dave Foust, as well as Mike Duffey, with their diverse backgrounds and previous city service have brought new ideas and approaches.

The city is on the right path. New policies have been put in place to strengthen our financial management and new budgetary approaches are being considered. The city now has a solid management plan in place that defines key performance areas and expectations for the management team. And other accountability measures have been implemented.

And the spirit of collaboration is strong. The city is partnering with the schools and the library in a strategic planning process involving the entire community and seeking unprecedented input. This kind of joint planning will make our community stronger and more effectively address the needs of our citizens. And in 2009 the partnership of the schools, city and the arts community came to fruition with the opening of the MAC and the implementation of a new arts program service contact between the city and the arts center board.

And we have made some progress in economic development with the formation of the Community Improvement Corporation and the addition of new tools on the city's Web site to assist businesses that are exploring out city as a location site.

I am proud to have been part of these efforts and thank my colleagues on city council and staff for the consideration they have given to my views and their patience. While we may not always been in agreement on some issues, I hope I have demonstrated respect for each of you and your viewpoints.

I started these comments by referring to my term as a learning experience. I have learned from each one of you. I have also re-learned that governing is easy in the abstract but extremely challenging in the real world. For me, a key factor in governing is developing a strong leadership team where diversity of ideas and people is valued, relationships are nurtured, and team members create an environment where continuous learning and mentoring are fostered and clear direction and expectations are set.

These are tough economic times. With declining revenues from income tax receipts from employers and their employees, loss of revenue from other sources and rising costs, the city faces many financial challenges. I extend my best wishes to you as you explore solutions to strengthen the city's financial position and rebuild the city's local economy. If I can be of any assistance in the future, I would be happy to help.