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City Manager Greg Sundstrom attends his last city commission meeting

Tuesday night's City Commission meeting, on January 30, 2018, had City Manager Greg Sundstrom Retire and Eric DeLong sworn in as interim manager. Citizens also talked about affordable housing and the search for a new city manager.
City Manager Greg Sundstrom makes comments at his last City Commission meeting

City Manager Greg Sundstrom makes comments at his last City Commission meeting /John Rothwell

Eric DeLong is sworn in as Interim City Manager

Eric DeLong is sworn in as Interim City Manager /John Rothwell

Greg Sundstrom all smiles as he departs last City Meeting

Greg Sundstrom all smiles as he departs last City Meeting /John Rothwell

Exactly eight and a half years ago, to the day, Greg Sundstrom was sworn in as Grand Rapids City Manager. Tuesday night’s City Commission meeting was his last.

Sundstrom announced his retirement last August. He addressed the Commission for the final time at the start of the January 30, 2018 meeting. Thanking his wife Audrey Sundstrom, Sundstrom let her know that he would never be late coming home on a Tuesday evening, ever again. He went on to thank many of the people that he worked and served during his tenure with the city.  He concluded his speech by challenging the City Commission staff along with the entire community to focus upon their collective energy to eliminate poverty in Grand Rapids.  

“Imagine a Grand Rapids where zip code does not eliminate opportunities and restrict your life choices,” Sundstrom said. "This is not beyond what city employees are capable of accomplishing. We can change outcome that can improve the lives of children and families across our city."

Wishing Eric DeLong the best as interim manager, Sundstrom vacated his seat  allowing for the swearing in of DeLong until a permanent replacement can be found.

The meeting continued with an open discussion by members of the audience raising concerns about affordable housing within the city of Grand Rapids.

"People can't get as job, hold a job if they don't have housing," Grand Rapids resident Martha Cooper said. "Saying that you cannot set a policy saying that sixty percent of AMI (Area Median Income) is really a failure of leadership and integrity".  AMI, or Area Median Income, is an economic classification related to the median household income.

In public comments, Russell Olmsted asked the Commission if there was a way to get questions to the potential new city manager candidates in advance of the forum to consider and answer. The forum is to be held on February 5, 2018.

"It's a great idea," Mayor Rosalynn Bliss said. “We will follow up on that."

The next City Commission meeting will be held February 6, 2018  in the Commission Chambers on the 9th floor of City Hall Located at 300 Monroe NW.


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