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How Is This Different Than the Worthington Area 360 Visioning Done in 2010?
The Worthington Area 360 Visioning process involved three entities- the City of Worthington, Worthington Schools and Worthington Libraries- and utilized a strategic planning committee with stakeholders and representatives from the three organizations. The goal was to design and develop a shared vision statement for the Worthington Area 360 strategic planning process. It included a two-day visioning conference, focus groups and community telephone survey.
Vision Worthington is a citizen-driven process led by an all resident Visioning Committee, with technical assistance provided by a consultant. Vision Worthington is a community-wide engagement process, and is not for any specific organization, cause or project. In addition, Vision Worthington will provide an extensive array of opportunities for the public to participate through on-line and in-person venues.
The visioning process is based on public input. Information, ideas and opinions will be gathered and synthesized by the Visioning Committee with consultant support. Visions will be tested with residents for consensus before being summitted to City Council.
Poggemeyer is an apolitical planning consultant hired by City Council to consult with the Visioning Committee on visioning best practices. We are following American Planning Association best practices. Poggemeyer is neutral on all issues facing Worthington as they do not have any other current or future projects planned with the City. They have a small office in Hilliard, but this project is being run out of their Westlake and Bowling Green offices.
What Is the Benefit of Bringing in an Outside Consultant to Manage Our Visioning Process?
A planning consultant can bring overall guidance to a visioning process and offer best practices methods for community visioning, as recommended by organizations such as the American Planning Association and the National Civic League. Consultants tend to provide additional structure to the process, following an approved scope of services, as well as including other engagement vehicles to entice public input. Consultants are also helpful in providing unbiased opinions and the ability to summarize all data into an implementable action plan.
How is City Council or City Staff Involved in the Visioning Process?
No member of City Council or Staff sits on the Visioning Committee. The Assistant City Manager and Management Assistant attend meetings as they are public meetings and they are required to provide meeting minutes. Their participation has been limited to answering questions from Poggemeyer and Visioning Committee members, as well as providing institutional knowledge when requested.
Yes. All Visioning Committee meetings are public and members of the public have been attending and asking questions. Residents can also follow along at home with the agendas and minutes being posted online at www.worthington.org/visioning.
Worthington City Council received over 50 applications from citizens wishing to serve on the Visioning Committee. From the applications, they narrowed down the list, conducted interviews and selected six individuals. In addition, each of the seven City Council members also made Visioning Committee appointments, for a total of 13 residents. Council also included the following considerations in the appointments: geographic coverage of the city; age, gender, ethnicity representation; residents active in various community groups; inclusion of persons who work in the community; inclusion of various constituency groups in the community; and inclusion of persons or perspectives that are infrequently heard.
Will the Committee Help Resolve UMCH Development or Other Development Issues?
The Visioning Committee will not resolve site-specific planning issue. Our goal is to develop a shared Vision for the city’s future that can help residents view individual development and investment decisions/priorities within the context of this shared Vision.
The Visioning Committee has a Communications Plan and a Public Input Plan. Through the activities outlined in both documents, the Visioning Committee is hoping to reach at least 80% of the residents to make them aware of this process and to encourage them to share their vision. Online engagement will include Bang The Table Community Engagement software (https://visionworthington.org/), Survey Monkey, Facebook, and Instagram. Informing residents where they congregate at recurring community events will include the Farmers Market and First Wednesdays. Information will also be distributed at the following locations: Old Worthington Library; Griswold Center; Worthington Community Center; McConnell Arts Center; and City Hall. Public participation events will include: an educational workshop with a SOAR (Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, Results) Analysis; Focus Groups; a Visioning Session; a Charrette; and Public Meetings.