GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — After 26 years with the city, Grand Rapids Deputy City Manager Eric DeLong announced Tuesday that he will be retiring in 2022.
DeLong coordinates policy and direction for nine city departments and oversees a $280 million budget across these departments. He also played a role in creating the city's transformation and strategic plans, the Vital Streets program and the parks, pools and playgrounds proposal. DeLong contributed to developing regions across the city, like the arena, convention center and medical mile areas.
Currently, DeLong is leading the Grand River restoration effort, road commission projects and the city's biodigestion program.
“I have had the privilege to serve as deputy city manager to three exceptional city managers – Kurt Kimball, Greg Sundstrom and Mark Washington – all of whom are dedicated to this community,” DeLong said. “Working together with residents, business leaders, our exceptional staff, Mayors and City Commissioners, we have built a better city by design. Best of all, we have built momentum for a very promising future. It has been an honor to help Grand Rapidians achieve their vision for what their city could become. My wife, Sharai, and I treasure this community and call it home.”
DeLong was first hired as the assistant city manager overlooking public works in 1995. He was later promoted to deputy city manager in 1999, and has held that role under three city managers since. Before coming to Grand Rapids, DeLong was the Spring Lake village manager from 1983 to 1995, and an administrative assistant to the city manager of the City of Portage from 1979 until 1982.
“When I arrived in Grand Rapids, Eric was among the first people to welcome me, and he did so warmly with a sincere commitment to help ensure our city’s success," said City Manager Mark Washington. "He has consistently honored that commitment, for which I will always be thankful. Eric is one of the hardest working people I know, and his commitment is reflected not only in the sheer quantity of hours he gives to his work, but also in the excellent quality and consistency of his leadership.”
Washington says a national search will be started in the coming months to fill DeLong's role.
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