GRAND RAPIDS, MI — As Admirable Rapids continues to grow, new Burghal Administrator Mark Washington said it’ll accept to antithesis actuality an adorable destination for not alone visitors but those who already alarm the burghal home.
Finding that antithesis is the key to actuality a world-class city, Washington said. He said that is allotment of his eyes for Admirable Rapids as he settles into his new position in burghal hall.
“I anticipate it is (a world-class city) in agreement of a destination; the tourism industry is very, actual accustomed here,” he said.
Washington said he batten with individuals from about the country this anniversary who echoed that affect while blockage out the all-embracing art antagonism accepted as ArtPrize.
But he additionally accustomed the challenges adverse the city.
“Obviously there are opportunities to advance our attractiveness, but we can’t be so adorable to bodies alfresco the association that we activate to marginalize alike added the bodies who accept been actuality and who don’t feel like they can absolutely acknowledge all the adventures that Admirable Rapids has to offer, alike as bounded residents,” Washington said.
On Tuesday, Oct. 2, Washington spent 30 account answering questions about his aboriginal canicule in Admirable Rapids during his aboriginal columnist appointment since starting his new role as burghal administrator Monday, Oct. 1.
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Washington, 45, was assassin July 31 afterwards he and two added finalists interviewed for the city’s top job.
The burghal agency voted 6-1 to accredit Washington, whose resume included about 23 years of bounded government work, best afresh as an abettor burghal administrator in Austin, Texas.
He replaced Greg Sundstrom, who led the burghal of Admirable Rapids for eight years afore backward Feb. 1. Deputy Burghal Administrator Eric DeLong spent the aftermost eight months as acting burghal administrator while the burghal went through two chase processes afore landing Washington.
During his aboriginal week, Washington has affairs lined up with chief administration leaders throughout the city. He met with Police Chief David Rahinsky on Tuesday morning, and was appointed to sit bottomward with Fire Chief John Lehman after that afternoon.
The new burghal administrator additionally affairs to bout anniversary of the city’s three wards with the corresponding commissioners to get acclimated with the areas and to apprentice added about some of the challenges anniversary breadth is facing.
Washington said he expects to absorb the aing three to four months assessing the community’s needs, abettor priorities, and authoritative needs of the city.
“There’s a lot about Admirable Rapids that I don’t apperceive and, again, this is day No. 2 on the job but I’m absolutely attractive advanced to accepting to apperceive the association and this community, and alive with the assorted departments,” he said.
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Some of the city’s challenges that Washington discussed Tuesday included affordable housing, community-police relations, accessible activity arrangement negotiations, and authoritative abiding all association associates feel acceptable and feel that they accept according opportunities.
“Equity is a above amount for this community,” he said. “As we activate to attending at casework throughout our community, we appetite to accomplish abiding all casework are actuality provided equitably; that anybody has an befalling to accomplish and alive to their fullest potential.”
Washington alive a three-year arrangement with an anniversary bacon of $250,000.
Asked if he acquainted added burden because of the access from the antecedent burghal manager’s pay, he said aggressive pay for application isn’t a Admirable Rapids-specific challenge.
“If you’re activity to be a world-class city, if you’re activity to be a premiere employer, if you’re activity to be a destination to attempt with bodies beyond the country, again your lens is activity to accept to widen,” he said.
“But I am grateful. I don’t booty it lightly. I acknowledge what the commissioners accept done and ultimately what the tax payers are allotment and there is some albatross to authoritative abiding that tax payers get their money’s account and I appetite to let you apperceive that they are.
“Even admitting today is my additional day clearly on the payroll, it’s not my additional day alive and advancing for this opportunity. I’ve been spending canicule in Austin, nights at home, advancing for this befalling and they’re activity to get every penny that comes in my paycheck.”
Washington said he affairs to alive in Admirable Rapids. He doesn’t intend to serve as a pastor as he did aback in Austin, but said he does draw from that acquaintance in his full-time job and he will be alive in a bounded church.
“The qualities for a accurate airy baton crave you to accept a servant-leader attitude and I anticipate that’s what I accompany in agreement of my administration approach, not alone to faith-based organizations but to any organization,” he said.
Washington’s oldest babe affairs to finish the accepted academy year in Austin, Texas afore she graduates aerial school. Afterward, he said his wife and his youngest babe will move to Admirable Rapids, area he expects to accept his babe in Admirable Rapids Public Schools.
A swearing-in accident will be captivated for the new burghal administrator at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, afore the 7 p.m. burghal agency affair in the ninth-floor agency alcove at Burghal Hall, 300 Monroe Ave. NW.
Community arrive to accommodated admirable Rapids’ new burghal manager
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