East Grand Rapids appoints city manager

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Shea Charles Courtesy East Grand Rapids

The city of East Grand Rapids announced it selected Shea Charles as its new city manager.

Charles was among six finalists for the position as part of a national search that drew 56 applicants. He was unanimously appointed East Grand Rapids’ top administrator by the city commission Jan. 4. He will start the new role in February.

“The commissioners and I were particularly impressed by Shea’s robust background in municipal work and leadership,” Mayor Katie Favale said. “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 his new role, Charles will oversee a budget of $24 million, lead a staff of over 90 individuals and work with community partners to continue the city’s mission to provide a great place to live, work and play.

“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. “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.”

Charles brings 25 years of municipal and managerial experience and, most recently, served as city manager for Howell for 15 years. He will move to East Grand Rapids from Howell along with his wife Barb and their son, Ethan.

Charles succeeded interim City Manager Doug LaFave, who has served in the role since early 2019, following the retirement of Brian Donovan from the position.

The city commission worked with the Michigan Municipal League to find its next city manager. The search process included community and staff surveys on what was needed in the next city manager, a virtual meet and greet with the finalists and interviews with city leaders and the city commission.

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