Worthington leaders are looking for residents and a consultant to participate in a resident-led effort to guide the future of the city, said Worthington City Council President Bonnie Michael.

Michael said City Council is looking to appoint 13 residents to a community-visioning committee that would oversee and guide the process, with the help of city staff members. She said each council member would choose an appointee and the other six would be chosen by all council members as a whole.

City leaders are expecting the selection process to take about a month, Michael said.

"We want to get this up and running," she said.

Worthington spokeswoman Anne Brown said interested residents have until noon Thursday, April 11, to submit an application.

Applications are available at worthington.org/visioning or at the city manager's office at the Worthington Municipal Building, 6550 High St.

Brown said residents may submit applications through the online portal or at the city manager's office.

After the committee is selected, she said, city leaders want to hire a consultant to work with the committee, city officials, City Council and the community during the process. The consultant would submit a proposal to city leaders on the specifics of the process, she said.

Michael said she did not have many specific details on the process, but it would involve different methods for reaching out to the community. She said outreach efforts could include an online component, door-to-door campaigns and other ways to obtain feedback.

Brown said the deadline for consultants to submit a proposal to the city is noon Wednesday, April 10. They are required to submit a proposal and a statement of their qualifications to Assistant City Manager Robyn Stewart, she said.

Michael said city leaders hope to have a consultant chosen about the same time the committee is selected.

In terms of city involvement, she said, City Council would receive regular reports from the committee and any council members who choose to attend meetings. City staff members would be available to conduct research and help the committee when needed, she said.

"We want it to be an independent process and to be transparent as possible," she said.

Michael said this community-visioning process would be different from any the city has done previously.

"In the past, I think it's been more staff-led, where this committee is going to be choosing their leadership," she said. "We look at this as not only an opportunity for visioning, but an opportunity for education."

Ultimately, Michael said, the results would be used to guide policy and development decisions for the next 10 to 15 years.

She said the process does not have a definite timeline.

"My dream would be nine months," Michael said.

However, she said, it could take up to a year for the process to be completed.

"We want to make sure it's done right," she said.

To learn about the process, go to worthington.org/visioning.

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