WORTHINGTON — As Jeremiah Cromie enters his fourth week at Worthington City Hall, he says he is still adjusting but already loves his new community.
Cromie and his wife, Kristen, just moved to Worthington from Spokane, Wash. so Cromie could begin work as Worthington's city planner. Kristen accepted a position as a math teacher with Independent School District 518.
A recent graduate of Eastern Washington University, Cromie accepted the job sight unseen after phone conversations with City Administrator Steve Robinson and Director of Community Development, Planning, Zoning and Building Services Jason Brisson.
"Everybody's been super friendly and nice here. That's part of the reason I felt comfortable accepting the the job," Cromie explained. Although he and his wife had previously visited Pipestone on a cross-country road trip, he had never been to Worthington before beginning his new job.
One of the first manifestations of "Minnesota Nice" Cromie experienced was moving into a new apartment. The Cromies, along with Jeremiah's father and Kristen's mother, had made the three-day road trip to transport all their belongings to their new home. Jeremiah broke his leg a few weeks ago, so his ability to lift and carry heavy objects was greatly compromised.
When they arrived, some of Kristen's new co-workers, football coach Gene Lais and a few members of the WHS football team were on the scene to help unload the U-Haul.
Cromie said that act of kindness was a welcome introduction to the community.
"I'd like to get out more," he explained, but he still has limited mobility as his leg heals. He looks forward to exploring Worthington's parks when he is back on his feet.
As a city planner, Cromie said he is excited to "help people understand the regulations and why they're in place," as well as helping people make improvements to their properties.
Cromie will mostly handle city planning and zoning, freeing Brisson to focus on economic and community development. He wants to work with the public on changes it would like to see, and will also work on multi-year projects such as updating the comprehensive land use plan.
"I always tell people to get involved, attend meetings and meet with council members," Cromie said. "It's one thing to comment online, but if you want to see something happen, you need to get involved."
He added that some people are unable to attend council or committee meetings because of work or other activities. He encourages those folks to call or email city council members before the meetings, so those concerns can be considered during discussions.
"I appreciate the community we've found so far," Cromie said of his first few weeks in Worthington. "I'm looking forward to meeting more people."