GR OKs task force to examine ward, election proposals

Grand Rapids
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City commissioners gather in Grand Rapids. (March 5, 2019)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grand Rapids City Commission this week finalized plans for an 11-member task force to delve into the possible impact of increasing Grand Rapids wards and shifting election years.

One citizen-led initiative would more than double the number of wards in Grand Rapids from three to eight, with a single representative for each ward. Another proposal would move elections to even years. The task force will research the impact of all proposed changes.

The city’s six commissioners and mayor will appoint residents to the task force, which will include a scholar in public administration, political science or public policy, and members of Grand Rapids Democracy Initiative and Empower the Citizens, which are spearheading the citizen-led initiatives.

City employees from the city manager, city clerk and city attorney offices and fiscal services department will serve as advisors.

The task force will host at least one forum in each ward to gather community input about the proposals. The team will have until Dec. 17 to present its findings and recommendations to the city commission.

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