Grand Rapids restarting search for City Manager

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The City of Grand Rapids is going back to square one in its search for a new City Manager.

The City Commission voted Tuesday evening to restart its search following a candidate forum at the Wealthy Theatre Monday.

The decision came after the commission selected and interviewed three finalists for the job.  Those finalists were Pontiac Deputy Mayor Jane Bais-Disessa, Port Huron City Manager James Freed and Arlington, Va. Deputy County Manager Carol Mitten.

City leaders say they couldn't agree on which of the finalists should take over the position, and didn't want to create division within the community.

“We have heard from strong candidates with a breadth of experience,” said Mayor Rosalynn Bliss. “Being city manager of our amazing city is no easy task. We are a growing city with unique neighborhoods, engaged residents and a robust business community. That is why we need to make sure we have the best of the best when it comes to candidates."

The search for a new manager began after Greg Sundstrom announced in August that he was retiring at the end of 2017. He had been working for the city since 1981 and became manager in 2009.

City leaders are hoping to have a course of action in place for the renewed search in the next month or so, but also say they don't want to rush the process.

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