Grand Rapids City Manager Greg Sundstrom announced he will not renew his current contract, which expires Dec. 31 2017.

Sundstrom has served for more than 35 years, including eight years as City Manager. In a letter to Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, he said:

“On July 29, 2009, I pledged my endless loyalty, professional management of this organization, and dedication to the improvement of the lives of our citizens. I promised that I would work tirelessly, inspire the best from our employees, and listen to our citizens. I insisted that we use common sense to bust bureaucracy, that we work transparently with our residents to make inclusive and equitable decisions, and that we innovate, be willing to take risks, be held accountable, and that we do this all quickly with great customer service. I would like to report, that to the best of my ability, I have fulfilled my pledge and promise.”

Sundstrom began his career with the city as a seasonal employee in 1981, working his way up through an entry-level permanent employee in 1986 to his election to City Manager by the City Commission on July 29, 2009.

Under Sundstrom's leadership, Grand Rapids "corrected a $30 million operating deficit, grew reserves by $30 million, and invested $30 million to lower costs and improve city service delivery," according to a press release from the City of Grand Rapids.

In addition, Sundstrom developed the Transformation Plan towards sustainability, the Transformation Fund for reinvesting in city services and the Twelve-Point Plan to Improve Community and Police Relations.

In a statement from the city, Mayor Bliss commented:

Greg has dedicated his life to public service and I am grateful for his leadership. It has been a joy to work with him over the years; and I appreciate all he has done for the organization and our community. I wish him well as he transitions to a new phase in his life.I plan to talk to City Commissioners about doing a RFP to identify a search firm to assist with the recruitment and hiring process. I will also ask several community members to participate on a review committee and will work to create a process to ensure community input once final candidates are selected.

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