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Charter Amendment

posted Oct 4, 2012, 6:46 AM by Kayla Reidel

Hi Neighbor.


I want to take this opportunity to tell you about the unique opportunity you have to fundamentally change the City’s financial management structure. On the ballot this November you will find a Charter Amendment that, if passed, will change the selection process of my position, consolidate departments, eliminate inefficiencies, save money, and create a modern day financial management structure. You get to decide our future.


As you may know, the Comptroller is the City’s chief accountant keeping track of the money the City spends. Currently, the two qualifications necessary to serve as Comptroller are to live in the City of Grand Rapids and to win an election. As the chief accountant, I recommended a Charter Amendment to the City Commission that would change the selection process of the Comptroller from elected to appointed by the City Manager and confirmed by the City Commission. The City Commission voted unanimously to place the Amendment on the November ballot.


If the amendment passes, all the responsibilities, duties, powers, and authorities given currently to the Comptroller in the Charter will remain. But this proposal is much more than a change in the selection process – it’s a consolidation of two positions and two departments. This change would merge the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) with the Comptroller and provide the Comptroller with those responsibilities assigned to the CFO such as budgeting, purchasing, and debt authority.


In addition, this change would require the Comptroller have credentials such as being certified by the accounting industry and have years of experience in finance and leadership. These qualifications are not currently required of the City’s chief accountant. This new design best represents a modern day financial structure. Remember, you get decide our future.


Thanks for your time.


Donijo Robbins De Jonge

City Comptroller