Grand Rapids city manager finalists questioned in public interviews

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GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Residency is not a requirement, but all three finalists for the Grand Rapids city manager job say they will move into the city limits if they are hired.

Port Huron city manager James Freed, Arlington County, Virginia deputy manager Carol Mitten and Pontiac deputy mayor Jane Bias-DiSessa are the remaining candidates out of 61 who applied for the position.

All say they have the experience and skills to do a good job, and they promise to quickly become a Grand Rapids resident.

“Absolutely,” says Carol Mitten. “I would want to live where I could walk to work.”

“It would be something I would definitely do,” agrees Jane Bais-DiSessa. “Move to this great city.”

“I’m taking this job because I want to come to Grand Rapids,” says James Freed. “There is no job in the state of Michigan that could get me even considering leaving my current job except for the city of Grand Rapids.”   

One last round of interviews for the candidates is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 6 in City Hall. Afterward the city commission may choose one for the job or possibly decide they don’t have the right person yet, and continue the search.

Greg Sundstrom, the previous city manager, announced his retirement in August 2017. 

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