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Mark Washington. 

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — The Grand Rapids Metropolis Fee initially deliberate to nominate its subsequent metropolis supervisor subsequent week, however after a day of interviews town leaders decided. 

On Tuesday, July 31, the fee voted 6-1 to nominate Mark Washington, the assistant metropolis supervisor for Austin, Texas, as the following Grand Rapids metropolis supervisor. Third Ward Commissioner Senita Lenear was the lone opposing vote.  

“Fairly instantly Mark Washington stood out to me,” stated Mayor Rosalynn Bliss. “I see the worth in bringing in somebody new with the breadth and depth of expertise that Mark has.”

Bliss stated she favored Washington’s dedication to innovation and his expertise with matters together with inexpensive housing, racial inequity and financial growth.

A number of commissioners added that Washington’s expertise working for a big metropolis like Austin could be helpful to Grand Rapids. 

Washington was chosen over a gaggle of 4 different finalists, together with Grand Rapids’ Appearing Interim Deputy Metropolis Supervisor, Tom Almonte. 

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Commissioner Lenear stated her first selection would have been Almonte — the candidate different commissioners thought-about their second selection.  However she stated she would have picked Washington as her second selection.

“This feels rushed to me,” stated Lenear, who wished the fee to attend till its deliberate Aug. 7 assembly to be able to hear from the general public earlier than making a call.

Commissioner Ruth Kelly made the instant movement to appoint Washington for the open place.

Meet the 5 finalists for Grand Rapids metropolis supervisor

“I do not suppose we have to extend this any longer,” Kelly stated. “We’re desperate to get somebody in place. That is our second go-around however it was clever of us to take heed to our neighborhood, push pause, and do that a second time.”

Tuesday’s appointment ended a course of that started in August 2017 when former metropolis supervisor Greg Sundstrom introduced his plan to retire. Since then, former deputy metropolis supervisor Eric DeLong has been filling in as interim Grand Rapids metropolis supervisor. 

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Sundstrom held the place for 9 years.

Grand Rapids’ metropolis supervisor oversees 1,500 workers, 14 collective bargaining models, and a mixed funds of greater than $590 million. The place pays a beginning wage between $175,00 and $250,000. 

The fee employed the recruiting agency Springsted Waters for $26,500 to help in its second try to seek out Sundstrom’s alternative. Beforehand, town paid GovHR $25,000 for its assist in a search course of that did not produce a becoming candidate within the eyes of the fee, neighborhood teams and residents. 

Washintgon joined Austin’s municipal workforce in 2009, serving as human sources director for six years earlier than taking up as assistant supervisor for the final three years. He additionally beforehand served as assistant human sources director, compensation and advantages supervisor, and avenue providers undertaking supervisor for town of Fort Value, Texas. 

His 22 years in native authorities embody the final three serving to to handle a metropolis of practically 950,000 residents, 14,000 workers and a funds of $four billion. 

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The opposite finalists have been Peter Auger, Novi’s metropolis supervisor, Michael Cernech, Tamarac, Florida’s metropolis supervisor, April McGrath Lynch, Ferndale’s metropolis supervisor, and Almonte.

All 5 candidates interviewed with the fee Tuesday afternoon, following a neighborhood meet-and-greet occasion Monday night on the metropolis’s public library. 

The subsequent step is for Grand Rapids’ metropolis legal professional workplace to draft a contract for Washington. The fee hopes to have Washington in workplace by September. 

Almonte has labored for Grand Rapids since 2009. He was promoted to director of public providers in 2015 and beforehand served as assistant to town supervisor and enterprise developer within the metropolis’s range and inclusion workplace.

In February, Almonte stepped into the deputy metropolis supervisor position on an interim foundation. He was filling a spot left quickly vacant by DeLong.

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