Worthington City Council poised to adopt vision statements Feb. 16

Stephen Borgna
ThisWeek group

Worthington City Council is expected to vote Feb. 16 on a resolution regarding formal adoption of the city's community-visioning initiative.

Council members held an informal discussion Feb. 1 about how to frame the resolution that would adopt the initiative’s seven visioning statements.

“We talked about exactly what we wanted to have in the resolution for formally accepting it, and council members discussed a few additional things that they would like to see in the resolution,” council President Bonnie Michael said “At our third meeting this month, we’ll have a revised resolution that includes everything so that we can officially accept the visioning statements.”

The Worthington Community Visioning Committee has been working on the city's visioning initiative since 2019.

Council formerly accepted receipt of the Worthington Community Visioning Committee's final report Jan. 4. 

“City Council has been going through the report, absorbing the report and the vision statements themselves,” Assistant City Manager Robyn Stewart said. “And now they’re working through a resolution that would accept or adopt those visioning statements.”

A few of the ideas broached by council members during the discussion included how to best frame the visioning statements and visioning report as a “guiding” document in the resolution. They cited input from council member David Robinson that the resolution should emphasize that the visioning materials are not legally suggestive or authoritative in nature.

“As a council, are we going to accept and embrace people like ourselves or the committee or anyone else in the community that cites the report as an authoritative document to justify their advocacy of a policy?” Robinson asked during the meeting. 

Council member Peter Bucher brought up the idea of updating the visioning values in the future to reflect the times and implement a manner of continuity. 

“The only other thought that’s kind of going through my mind ... is a kind of commitment to keep updating these or keep making sure these are (relevant) in the community down the road,” Bucher said at the meeting.

Stewart said council members are putting a lot of thought into the resolution to ensure the visioning initiative is implemented in the correct way.

“(The statements are) not just set in stone," she said. "They’re long-term objectives for the city, and they’re things that will be visited and revisited and worked toward over a number of years.

"I think the council doesn’t want to just say, ‘Oh, we’ll just adopt these visions and (look at them again) down the road.’ They’re being really thoughtful about, ‘What does it mean if we adopt these visions? How are we as a city government going to utilize them? What are they going to mean to our organization and our community?’ 

“I think those are good questions to be asking, because then if you really understand clearly how they’re going to be used, then they are more likely to be used. They really are trying to be thoughtful about what this means and how they’re going to utilize it.”

The visioning initiative, which is the city’s effort to gauge residents’ thoughts on the direction they want their community to take in the years ahead and put them into practice, is centered around the following visioning statements: 

• 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 visioning initiative began in 2019.

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve