Worthy Point of View: Vision statements encompass ideals of community

Joe Sherman
Guest columnist

Over the past year, the Worthington Community Visioning Committee has shared information through this monthly column about the progress of developing a vision for the community and the many opportunities for you to be involved by sharing your thoughts and ideas for what Worthington should look like in the decades ahead.

We’re pleased to report that your input has been captured and reflected in the final vision statements that were recently shared in our final report to Worthington City Council.

Joe Sherman is chair of the Worthington Community Visioning Committee.

The committee has worked diligently to summarize everything that was heard into seven specific vision statements that are aspirational expressions of the community’s collective imagination of Worthington in the future.

The Community Visioning Committee is honored to present a vision for Worthington that is firmly rooted in our community’s aspirations and core values. The theme of each of these vision statements encompasses these ideals. Our future is where tradition meets tomorrow.

The vision statements are:

• Worthington is a diverse and equitable community.

• Worthington is dedicated to the vibrancy of its downtown.

• Worthington is connected.

• Worthington is a model for environmental stewardship.

• Worthington offers a high quality of life.

• Worthington’s economy is balanced and resilient.

• Worthington’s leadership is open, forward-thinking and collaborative.

The overarching vision encapsulates the ideals reflected throughout the seven vision statements. Each vision includes full aspirational descriptions and a list of related community principles. You can read the full visions online at worthington.org/visioning.

We know we are poised for positive change over the next 20-plus years. This change will simultaneously transform the landscape of our city while maintaining the community feel and characteristics valued by us all.

This visioning process presented residents an opportunity to express core beliefs and a preferred future while learning and listening to each other’s priorities, hopes and dreams. We discovered that there is more that unites us than divides us.

The Community Visioning Committee reaffirmed throughout this process that there is a passion around opportunities for positive change and a conviction that it is time to do something. With our community’s vision statement and principles as a guide, the vision document will contribute to our community leaders’ strategic and operational planning decisions.

Our best chance for success is to maintain a positive, collaborative perspective as we make these dreams a reality. We are ready to make progress together.

This Vision for Worthington’s Future would not have been possible without the input, insights and contributions of our community. Thousands of residents, businesspeople, volunteers, city staff, students, elected officials and nonprofit organizations strive to make our community better every day and enthusiastically turned out for this visioning process. This shared sense of purpose enabled the 13-member visioning committee the opportunity to discover mutually agreed upon values and aspirations for all aspects of our community.

City Council members recently discussed the visions and principles at their planning retreat earlier this month. Our expectation is that they will consider legislation soon to formally adopt the visions for the city of Worthington.

Although decisions still are being made about next steps and implementation, we hope that the community will continue to be involved as this important process moves forward toward direct action.

The full report, executive summary and all the supporting data and documentation are available on the city’s website at worthington.org/visioning.

Joe Sherman is chair of the Worthington Community Visioning Committee.