Worthington leaders looking for next vice mayor

Stephen Borgna
ThisWeek group
The Worthington Municipal Building at 6550 High St.

The city of Worthington is seeking applicants for vice mayor, a position with several duties that no one has held for a year.

The previous vice mayor, Jim Lorimer, retired at the end of 2019.

Related story:Worthy Point of View: Jim Lorimer’s life has been dedicated to service in Worthington

The main responsibility of the vice mayor, who will serve a two-year term upon being appointed by the Worthington City Council, is to assume the official capacities of Mayor Scott Holmes during his absences and at events where he cannot be present, according to a position profile on the city website, worthington.org.

These duties include, but aren’t limited to, serving as judge of the mayor’s court and acting as a ceremonial head of the city during community events, such as proclamations, ceremonies and ribbon cuttings.

Vice mayor candidates also must have been a resident and qualified elector in Worthington for at least two subsequent years, according to the profile. The vice mayor must continue to be a resident and elector throughout the two-year term.

Being an attorney admitted to the Ohio bar and in good standing with the Ohio Supreme Court are required for all applicants, according to city spokesperson Anne Brown. 

“First and foremost, a qualified, experienced attorney is the No. 1 attribute for being able to serve as the judge of the mayor's court,” Brown said. “But the vice mayor also participates in a number of ceremonial activities. 

“They present at council, or give proclamations or recognition to people. It’s important that the vice mayor be able to be involved in the community and be an enthusiastic supporter of our residents and be someone who can recognize people for all their accomplishments and serve the community in that capacity.”

Cover letters and resumes are due by Dec. 10.

City Council will review applications throughout December and interview potential candidates in January, according to the position profile.

The vice mayor is expected to be appointed at a council meeting in late January or early February.

The city of Worthington has been without a vice mayor since Jim Lorimer retired at the end of 2019. City officials are seeking candidates for the position.

The new appointee will follow in the footsteps of Lorimer, who retired at the end of 2019 after serving as vice mayor for several decades, with 52 years of service in total as an elected or appointed official in Worthington.

Council President Bonnie Michael said Lorimer was known for his passionate proclamations and speeches during his time as vice mayor.

“We used to jokingly call Jim Lorimer ‘the proclatariat,’” Michael said. “He would do the most phenomenal proclamations.”

Michael cited Lorimer’s addresses to local high school sports teams after a championship victory as an example of how his public appearances lifted the spirits of those in attendance.

“When a team would win a state championship, he would put together a presentation that when the youngsters came into City Hall, they felt like a million bucks,” Michael said. “He would tell about their scores, about their games, what they did, how they did it. It was just wonderful the proclamations he would give. It really made people feel special.”

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve