Walt Gutowski for City Commission

proudly serving the First Ward of Grand Rapids

Working Hard for the Hard Working People of the First Ward

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I would like to personally thank all of the Volunteers, Supporters, Organizations and Voters who made our victory possible. It was your dedication and support which made all the difference and I could not have done it without you. I am honored to continue serving the wonderful citizens of the First Ward as Your City Commissioner.

Sincerely,

Walt Gutowski

It has been an honor to serve as your city commissioner these past four years, even though during this time Grand Rapids has faced some of the most difficult challenges in its history. More work lays before us, so I am asking for your support to allow me to finish the job I started.
One thing that I have learned in my term of office is that it takes dedication, teamwork and understanding of complex issues to be an effective city commissioner. I hope you feel that I have represented you well in these areas.
Grand Rapids is on a much more solid financial footing now, thanks to cooperation by all stakeholders in city government. Through sacrifices by all involved, we accomplished these changes:
  • A majority of all new city employees will be in a more sustainable 401(k)-like retirement system;
  • Many city employees received a 12.5% pay cut;
  • Most city workers pay an increased percentage for their health care coverage, some as high as 20%; and
  • Savings of hundreds of thousands of dollars annually by streamlining code compliance of city ordinances that eliminated half of that department’s staff
I have worked to keep costs down for our residents by:
  • Supporting the free yard waste program for residents;
  • Opposing the effort to lower the personal exemption on the City’s income tax;
  • Defeating a proposal to increase street lighting utility fees; and
  • Implementing a single stream recycling program that saves residents $200,000 per year.
It takes time to become an effective city commissioner. Thanks to the support of the First Ward citizens four years ago, I gained valuable experience that I would like to continue to put to work for you.  Please support me with your vote on Aug. 2.
Sincerely,
Walt Gutowski

Family Values

My wife Amy and I believe that a strong community starts with strong families. As we raise our four children – Jessica, Walter III, Samantha, and Victoria – we understand first-hand the demands on families today and look for ways to support organizations that strengthen family life.

Community Involvement

• Board member of the Grand Rapids YMCA, and YMCA Diversity Committee (past)
• Board member of the Grand Rapids Urban League (term limited)
• Inaugural Local First Advisory Board
• Aquinas College Leadership Institute Advisory Board (past)
• Board member of St. Ann’s Home (past)
• Recipient of the West Grand Neighborhood Organization Business of the Year Award
• Board member of the Stockbridge Business Association (past)
• Inaugural Recipient of the Mayor Helmholdt Award for Neighborhood Revitalization
• Grand Rapids Chamber EPIC Awards Small Business of the Year 2011
• Recipient of the Michigan Retailer of the Year Award
• Charter member of the West Catholic Touchdown Club and Project Falcon Committee
• Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Committee for Parks & Recreation (past)
• Catholic Central Hall of Fame Inductee
• St. Anthony Parish Pastoral Council member (term limited)
• Labor Heritage Society Committee Member (past)
• Sponsor & Ambassador for “Making Great Waves for Kids” (City Pools Project) (past)


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