Logie Says His Goodbyes

February 3, 2003
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GRAND RAPIDS — In his eleventh and final State of the City address before the Downtown Rotary Club Jan. 30, Mayor John Logie took a trip down memory lane.

Logie ran through the city’s year-by-year highlights since 1992, and said he felt “fortunate” to have been involved in city government these past 11 years.

Looking ahead, he said in order to be competitive locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, the city and the region have to function in a more unified fashion.

“If we are going to optimize this region’s prospects, we have to continue to forge alliances between local government units, as we have with the new ITP, the new water and sewer agreements, the Grand Valley Metro Council, and others.

“We must sharpen economic development and planning and finally face up to shared social and environmental problems.”

Logie stressed that the city must find ways to deal with concentrations of poverty, including the development of affordable housing.

He pointed to a recent study by the University of California-Santa Cruz, which indicated that reducing poverty in the central city leads to more rapid income increases for residents of the entire region.

“Clearly, we must tie into this new paradigm, including management of our land-use resources with direct and aggressive policies designed to retard sprawl,” Logie said.

“Our Urban Utility Boundary creating, as it has, the first effort at reining in completely unplanned expansions in our metropolitan area, is the beginning of a program that must expand throughout our region to be effective.”

Another “shining example” of regional cooperation across municipal boundaries, he said, is the joint planning and zoning overlay for the portion of the East Beltline that stretches through Grand Rapids and Plainfield and Grand Rapids townships.

He said the city’s new master plan tries to incorporate the same regional cooperation principles.

Logie said throughout his years as mayor he’s had ample opportunity to indulge in his “second most favorite activity” — groundbreakings.

Most recently, he officiated at the ribbon cutting for the new Krispy Kreme doughnut franchise on 28thStreet and the Big Boy restaurant downtown.

A different kind of groundbreaking will take place in Grand Rapids Feb. 16 when the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit opens at the Van Andel Museum Center, he noted, adding that more than a quarter million people are expected to view the exhibit during its three-and-a- half month run here.

Logie said he has no intention of seeking some other political office when his term as mayor expires later this year.

He said he will continue to serve on the Convention Arena Authority through 2004.

Logie thanked his partners at Warner Norcross & Judd, as well as his wife, for “empowering me to give this job as much as I could.”

“On St. Patrick’s Day, just 45 days from now, I will finally pass George Welsh and become the longest serving mayor in our 153-year history. So, thank you, Grand Rapids. I sure have enjoyed it.”

Logie concluded with some words of wisdom for his successor, whomever it might be. Among them:

  • Have beliefs and communicate them.

  • Listen.

  • Set an example.

  • Stand up to bullies.

  • Under-promise and over-perform.

  • Don’t assume a damn thing.

  • Keep your promises.

  • Serve the people.

  • Don’t do anything small.           

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