Government and Human Resources

Grand Rapids names city manager finalists

July 25, 2018
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April McGrath Lynch
April McGrath Lynch. Photo via ferndalemi.gov

The Grand Rapids City Commission has announced five candidates for the position of city manager.

— Tom Almonte, acting interim deputy city manager and managing director of public services, City of Grand Rapids

— Peter Auger, city manager, Novi

— Michael Cernech, city manager, Tamarac, Florida

— April McGrath Lynch, city manager, Ferndale

— Mark Washington, assistant city manager, Austin, Texas

The city manager candidates will be in town July 30-31 to meet with community members and participate in public interviews with the City Commission.

Candidate bios

Almonte has been with the City of Grand Rapids since 2009. He was named acting interim deputy city manager earlier this year and has previously served as managing director of public services, assistant to the city manager and business developer in the city’s Diversity and Inclusion Office. Before joining the city, Almonte was an employment specialist at a local staffing firm and co-founded the news agency El Vocero Hispano.

Auger has served as Novi’s city manager for the past four years. Previously, he was city manager for Auburn Hills, city manager for Davison, village manager for Ortonville, an Auburn Hills police officer and a member of the U.S. Army Military Police Corps. He has worked in local government for 31 years.

Cernech has been the city manager of Tamarac, Florida for seven years. Previously, he was Tamarac’s deputy city manager, assistant city manager and interim director of public works and finance. He has also served as city manager for Shavano Park, Texas and assistant to the city manager in Belton, Texas. He has 23 years of experience in local government. 

Lynch has served as Ferndale’s city manager for seven years. Previously, she was the assistant city manager in Ypsilanti, after serving as its human resources director and working in the planning and zoning departments. She was also Monroe’s human resources director and assistant to the city manager/human resources director for Grand Haven. She has 22 years of experience in local government.

Washington has worked for Austin, Texas since 2009, serving as assistant city manager for the past three years and previously serving as its human resources director. Washington also served as assistant human resources director, compensation and benefits manager and street services project manager for Fort Worth, Texas. He has worked in local government for 22 years.

Next steps in the selection process

A public forum will take place on July 30 from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Ryerson Auditorium at the Grand Rapids Public Library, at 111 Library St. NE. The event will include a formal question-and-answer session between an executive recruiter and candidates, as well as an opportunity for community members to talk with the candidates one-on-one.

First-round candidate interviews will take place on July 31 from 2-8 p.m. in the Commission Chambers in the ninth floor of City Hall, at 300 Monroe Ave. NW. A City Commission review and discussion will be held afterward from 8-9 p.m.

If necessary, second-round interviews will take place on Aug. 7 from 9 a.m. to noon in the Commission Chambers. The interviews will be followed by a City Commission discussion and a vote on the next city manager. 

The City Commission hopes to have a new city manager in place by early September.

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