After long search, East Grand Rapids selects new city manager

Kent County

A photo of East Grand Rapids City Manager Shea Charles. (Courtesy city of East Grand Rapids)

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — East Grand Rapids has hired a new permanent city manager after nearly two years with someone serving in the role on an interim basis.

Shea Charles was appointed by the city commission at its Jan. 4 meeting. He’ll get to work in February.

“The commissioners and I were particularly impressed by Shea’s robust background in municipal work and leadership,” Mayor Katie Favale said in a Thursday statement. “We are confident he will build on our City’s great work, lead us into the future and work seamlessly with our experienced staff and community partners. We look forward to his leadership as we begin to transition back to normal operations in 2021.”

In addition to holding several administrative roles across the state, Charles was previously the city manager of Howell in mid-Michigan for 15 years and most recently the interim CEO of the Michigan Municipal Services Authority.

“East Grand Rapids is such a vibrant community, and I am eager to get started working with the team and jumping right in,” Charles said in a statement. “I am looking forward to getting to know the residents and the community and learning more about how we can work together to continue enhancing it.”

He’ll take over for Doug LaFave, who has been the interim city manager since early 2019 when Brian Donovan retired.

East Grand Rapids had previously hired Emmanuel Toribio to be city manager, but in March 2019 he changed his mind about wanting the job, saying the move from Iowa was not right for his family.

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