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Two terms is Woll's self-imposed limit

WORTHINGTON -- Mike Woll's original goal was to be a city council member for two terms.

That's exactly what he will achieve in November, and with his decision not to run for re-election this year, it leaves the city's alderman-at-large position vacant.

"I really believe in the idea of term limits, whether it's restricted or self-imposed," Woll explained of his two four-year terms. "The idea is to have an impact, learn from it and be an advocate, and make room for additional ideas."

While some people may consider city government officials as politicians, Woll refers to the position as an extension of community involvement.

"Serving as a city council member is like getting a second degree in democracy," he said of his experience.

He described his opportunity to serve as Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce board president as a "springboard" that led him to file for candidacy as a councilman. Woll has also previously served as chairman for Historic Dayton House.

As an alderman-at-large, he explained that the role he took on is essentially the same as other council members. The only difference is that candidates and voters are not restricted to wards for the alderman-at-large position.

Like Ten Haken, Woll is equally enthusiastic about the various building projects the city has pursued including the work on Memorial Auditorium, the city's new aquatics center and the Biotechnology Advancement Center.

"We do all these things to support people's private lives and private projects," Woll added.

He attributes the half-cent sales tax referendum as a vital funding tool that helped tackle the Memorial Auditorium and bioscience facility projects.

Woll added that an area in which he felt city council has not made significant progress is in energy-efficient projects.

"We've really failed to initiate any significant green projects beyond the standard norm," Woll detailed. "I think it just makes sense ecologically, but maybe because of the financial side of it, we've wobbled our knees a bit."

Overall, Woll expressed how rewarding the eight years have been in forging relationships with various community members to accomplish goals.

"I'm going to use the quote from the Chamber of Commerce that says 'many times the city is doing things that people think just happen,'" he added. "It's really exciting to be part of it.'

As he prepares to end his own stint, Woll strongly recommends running for city council to his fellow residents.

"People are aware of the time commitment, and consequently the role tends to lend itself toward people who are retired or nearing retirement," he said.

He stressed that while it is important to have that background, he is hopeful to see a few seats in the city and the county be occupied by the younger demographic.

"I'd really love to see some women consider the role," he continued.

With his passion for civic involvement, Woll foresees continuing on that path but with a deeper sense of involvement.

He is also looking forward to committing more time for family and his business, Mike Woll Investments.

Woll and his wife, Darci, have two children.

"She (Darci) has been involved in such a supportive way," he said. "I wouldn't have been able to be on council without her having to cover my back in a lot of cases."

The filing period for municipal elections is from July 31 to Aug. 14. A complete list of qualifications is available on the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State website:

Daily Globe Reporter Ana Anthony can be reached at 376-7321.