Iowa man picked for EGR city manager changes mind

Kent County
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EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — In an unusual twist, the Iowa man named East Grand Rapids’ new city manager is not coming to West Michigan.

Emmanuel Toribio accepted the position in early February, after the city commission voted to offer him the job. But on Wednesday, the city announced Toribio changed his mind and turned down the opportunity.

“After more reflection and soul searching, I determined moving to Michigan was not the best option for my young family at this time,” Toribio stated in a Wednesday news release. “I appreciate the City Commission’s offer and truly enjoyed getting to know the residents and staff of East Grand Rapids.”

Toribio is currently the assistant director of facilities planning and management at Drake University in Des Moines. He was selected from a pool of 28 applicants, which the commission had narrowed down to five finalists.

East Grand Rapids City manager Brian Donovan announced his plans to retire from the post in May.

A month later, East Grand Rapids hired the Michigan Municipal League to conduct the city manager search for $18,000 “plus expenses,” according to a city spokesperson.

In September, formal meetings began in the search.

Donovan retired late last year.

The city says East Grand Rapids Assistant City Manager Doug LaFave will remain interim city manager while the city commission determines the next step in its search process.

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