GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Third Ward Commissioner David Allen plans to step down from his Commission post on June 12, 2018 – the same day the city’s 2019 Fiscal Plan is scheduled to be approved.
The city says in a news release David Allen cited his need to focus on his role as executive director of the nonprofit Kent County Land Bank, in making the announcement Tuesday night:
“It is with great sadness that I announce I am stepping down. However, I cannot personally or professionally handle the volume of work being created by new initiatives at the Land Bank and continue to serve the residents of the Third Ward and the city,” Commissioner Allen said. “This is not a decision I have made lightly. I do so after much prayer and discussion with my family, close friends and colleagues. I believe I have to stay focused and place all of my energy on where the most urgent need is and where I can make the most impact.”
Allen – a first-term commissioner – says in the news release the announcement is being made now in order to provide the City Commission with sufficient time to appoint his replacement, before the City Manager-selection process begins in the summer.
The Commission’s Committee of the Whole is slated to discuss the next steps in the replacement process at its May 1 meeting, which will get underway at 9:30 a.m. in the 9th-floor Commission Chambers at City Hall (300 Monroe Ave. NW). It’ll be streamed live on the city’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. It’ll also be broadcast live on the Grand Rapids Information Network (Comcast channel-26).
“I am proud of the work my colleagues and I have been able to accomplish over the past two and a half years,” Allen says in the city news release. “This includes moving the needle on housing through the establishment of the Affordable Housing Fund and the Housing NOW! recommendations and the way our police department and our community have been working together to affect positive change. I believe we will all be better because of this intentional effort.”
Allen is a former Grand Rapids school-board president. He won the November 2015 election, and replaced term-limited former City Commissioner Elias Lumpkins.
The process for appointing Allen’s successor on the City Commission will include a call for applications and interviews with the City Commission. The seat will be up for election in August 2019, according to the city.
“I am grateful for Commissioner Allen and I thank him for his dedication, his service and for all of his hard work,” Mayor Bliss says in a written statement. “He has been a great colleague, and he will be missed.”