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  • Doug Smith

Update on the Community Visioning Statements

In 2020, the city’s Visioning Committee (VC) began their outreach to the community.

Due to the pandemic, the VC had to pivot away from the original plan of “hitting the street” and going door-to-door to ask questions directly to residents about the vision. Instead, they hosted online forums, mailed outreach postcards, and hosted events consistent with health protocols. The fruits of their efforts were an excellent visioning report highlighting seven vision statements. The statements were - by design - aspirational and broad.

In early 2021, Council adopted the report and the statements with a commitment to “dig deeper” into the meaning of each of the seven statements. Council has taken some time to really think through the approach and determine next steps. We have discussed this publicly numerous times and I believe we are at a point where we can move forward.

As author of the Visioning Committee’s duties and scope of work documents (2019), I can say with confidence it was the original intent of Council to request the VC develop and implement a plan to collect feedback from the community. Council asked the VC to create a general visioning report that encompassed the “feeling” of Worthington residents and community members. The VC accomplished this.

The next step was for Council to ‘own’ the vision and determine what to do with the vision presented by the VC. My personal hope has always been to ask residents for feedback about specific issues and specific topics. I wanted a way to connect with residents who don’t normally get involved in city activities. I proposed accomplishing this through door-to-door questionnaires.

Now that Council has the ownership of the process, I am requesting Council works as a group to identify a wish list of policies and projects that embody the vision statements. I also want Council to determine questions we can ask residents. This could mean developing questions about specific projects, actions, or policies. Or, it could mean asking residents questions relating to personal opinions and philosophy - probing further into the meaning of the abstract vision statements.

If Council agrees to move forward with this approach, I fully expect a robust community outreach campaign will be included. Though I hope you participate when the time comes, I request your feedback now.

What do these vision statements mean to you? Do you have any specific policies or actions you want to see, relating to a specific vision statement?


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