City of Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids has a new city manager

Aug 1, 2018

Second Ward commissioner Ruth Kelly made the motion to appoint Mark Washington following public interviews with each of the five city manager candidates. 

Kelly decision was based on Washington’s experience with racial equity at the governmental level. The motion was supported by commissioner Jon O’Connor.

“Mark Washington is very familiar with the Government Alliance on Racial Equity is a national network of government agencies addressing structural racism.

The City of Grand Rapids and Grand Valley State University are looking for your input on a street closure near Fulton Avenue.  A survey is now available online.

“With the campus continuing to develop downtown, we want to make sure we’re meeting both pedestrian and bicycle needs of the campus as well as a circulating network for the public as well.”

That’s Chris Zull, Traffic Safety Manager with City of Grand Rapids explaining why they wanted to study the closure of the intersection of Mt. Vernon Southwest at Fulton. 

city of Grand Rapids logo
Courtesy photo / grcity.us

The Governor’s Traffic Safety Advisory Commission is honoring the City of Grand Rapids with the Outstanding Traffic Safety Achievement Award.  This, in recognition of its nationally heralded Driving Change bicycle safety education campaign. 

“You know we’ve been making a lot of improvements over the last 5 to 7 years on bicycling in Grand Rapids and adding the education component has been very important to that change.”

Courtesy office of Mayor Bliss

City of Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss delivered her 3rd State of the City Address last night at Clearwater Place. During her speech, Bliss spoke of nurturing a vibrant and diverse community engaged in developing talent. There was also a focus on improving public safety community relations, and a pressing need for more affordable housing.

“The affordable housing crisis has been one of the most complex and challenging issues we have faced,” Bliss said.

After 33 years of public service, Grand Rapids City Clerk Darlene O’Neal is stepping down from her post this February. Beginning her career as a typist in the Housing Inspections Department in 1985, O’Neal rose through the ranks at City Hall before being appointed as Grand Rapids City Clerk in 2014. WGVU’s spoke with O’Neal about how Grand Rapids has changed in her 33 years of public service, and what she plans on doing once she leaves City Hall for good.

Courtesy of the City of Grand Rapids

After a nationwide search for the next City Manager of Grand Rapids, city commissioners have narrowed the pool of qualified candidates down to three finalists. Monday evening at the Wealthy Street Theater, Pontiac Deputy Mayor Jane Bais-DiSessa, Port Huron City Manager James Freed, and Arlington, Virginia Deputy County Manager Carol Mitten answered a series of questions in a public forum hosted by city officials. 

Freed said the only city in Michigan that could pull him away from Port Huron was Grand Rapids. 

Grand Valley State University logo
GVSU / gvsu.edu

Starting tomorrow Fulton Street at Mt. Vernon will be closed for about five months as the City of Grand Rapids and Grand Valley State University partner to study the effects of closing roadway.  Officials say it’s a low cost study to help inform future campus planning and transportation decisions. 

“With classes ending, it lined up quite well for us to begin this experiment this weekend. The closures will start happening tomorrow and this will be a full closure from Mt. Vernon to the south.”

Mariano Avila / WGVU

 This Tuesday, the topic will be Health and Environment. But, in case you missed it, the one at the Kroc center last Tuesday, November 28 was about economic opportunity. The free dinner was chicken and beef tacos, rice and beans, but the real dish was opportunities and barriers for minority business owners. Here’s Jamiel Robinson from GRAAB who says the main barrier is relational.

“If you look at Steelcase, who’s one of their top suppliers or dealers? It’s Custard! And so that’s two families, so it comes down to relational, in addition to access to capital.”

Rapid Silver Line bus
ridetherapid.org

Everything from how gentrification causes displacement, to how trees affect transportation is on the agenda for the city’s six-part community series. Tonight at six the city will put on a dinner that is free and open to the public, at the Kroc Center. The topic will be Commercial development and economic opportunities. But, to give you an idea of the issues, last week it was all about transportation and among the panelists was Josh Naramore, Mobile GR and Parking Manager for the city of Grand Rapids   .

Grand Rapids city logo
grcity.us

Having a good idea to make the city safer could net a couple rewards if your idea is picked.  The Safe Alliance for Everyone or “SAFE” Taskforce is listening to ideas at its Pitch and Highlight night tomorrow.  A safer community and the funds to help achieve it are at hand.

“I think it’s going to be interesting to hear people say I think we can do these three things or these 5 things and ultimately, the result will be a reduction in violence.”

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