The Grand Rapids City Commission held its first meeting of 2017 yesterday, as commissioners voted on a number of ordinances for the new year.
Kicking off the meeting was an amendment to 2017's Budget, as The Income Tax Department has determined that the city would best be served by eliminating Chase Bank processing costs in exchange for the addition of an Income Tax Specialist position to their personal roster. Officials say the new position would save the city around $146,000 in the new budget.
A number of appointments were also made at the meeting, notably Christopher McDonald and Andrew Johnston to the Vital Streets Oversight Commission. Vital streets is an aggressive overhaul of Grand Rapids roads and infrastructure that promises bike enthusiasts miles of new bike lanes downtown.
One of the more interesting things that came out of the meeting was a new list of of expected meeting procedures, including the immediate removal of anyone making derogatory comments directed toward a person's race, religion, or nation of origin during the public comments portion. In December, one member of the public referred to another as an "Uncle Tom," commissioner David Allen said at the meeting that type of behavior will not tolerated by the commission.
The next meeting is scheduled for January 24th.