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Changes in '22 for Village of Grand Rapids

Change! That was the big topic of the latest Village of Grand Rapids Council meeting. The meeting was held on December 13, 2021, and was the last meeting of the year.

Long-time village administrator Chad Hoffman officially ended a 45-year run with the village at the end of 2021. Current village employee Chad Beyer will be offered the position on an interim basis. A payout of $70,933.89 to Mr. Hoffman was recommended by the Finances, Wages, and Audit Committee. The amount reflects accrued sick leave and unused vacation time. All sitting members of council approved the payout to be delivered in January of 2022. Funds were set aside in the 2022 temporary appropriations.

The Village of Grand Rapids will have new representation as Mike Marsh, village solicitor, heads into retirement. Ryan Rothenbuehler of the same office, Marsh and Marsh, will take over Mr. Marsh's duties.

Two members of council exited at the end of 2021 and two new members begin their terms this month. Mark Sarkan and Carol Steck both thanked the mayor and council for the opportunity to serve the community. Lynn Sylvian and Martha Frantz were both elected in November 2021 to fill the empty seats.

A third seat was filled by appointment due to not having enough candidates to fill available positions on council. Council President Rachel Smith nominated Jeff Gensler, Council person Jody Donsbach nominated Bob Krabill, and Council person Rick Tolles nominated 18-year-old Otsego graduate Matthew Snyder. After a written ballot vote, Bob Krabill won with five votes over Mr. Snynder's one vote. Mr. Krabill has been serving on council and will return to serve in 2022.

The idea of "DORA," or Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area, was brought up after residents brought the idea to Council person Donsbach. Ideas ranged from having outdoor seating available to designated areas on the towpath.

The next meeting will be held on Monday, January 10, and will include the drawing of council seats and the nomination of the next president of council. Meetings are open to the public and are being held at the old fire hall on Front Street in Grand Rapids.

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