November 2023 Edition

The previous edition that went out earlier this morning had outdated information in the Mayor's section. This edition has been updated with his most recent messaging.

Greetings from the Mayor's Office

The fall and early winter months bring a special time to the City of Walker. This past month we enjoyed a perfect weather day for Pumpkin Bash. Coming up later this month we have our annual WinterFest at the Walker Ice and Fitness Center as well. These unique events that have become a staple of our Walker community would not be responsible without the help of a few

groups of people. First, the generosity of our numerous sponsors allows us to be able to provide these events at no charge to the public. We are grateful for their support and investment in our

community and would ask that you support them and their organizations when you can. Second, our City staff and volunteers never cease to amaze me. The organization and planning require more than most can imagine, and they are on point every time. Lastly, I would like to thank my colleagues on the City Commission. We have prioritized that sense of place and community, which in turn allows our City staff and volunteers to put on the events. It also gives the sponsors the confidence they need to invest in our community. All these things together make Walker a special place to be.


The Remembrance and Kinney intersection improvements are on track and completion is

expected in the coming weeks. I have been asked why this investment is being made, and

simply put it comes down to safety. While not a high accident count intersection, because of the layout, it has created visibility problems for motorists and pedestrians. With the high activity levels of the neighborhoods with bikers, families walking, etc., we believe that it was time to make some overdue improvements for the safety of all traveling through there.


My last item to share with you is a call to action. While social media has its benefits in

connecting and communicating, it can also and has become a toxic cesspool of controversy,

speculation, and hearsay. Walker is not immune to this, and I need each of you wanting to

reach for the computer keyboards to engage in this, to take a different course. In this newsletter, you will find the contact information for all your elected officials and a number of city staff. Reach out to us and have a live discussion. Even if we might not be able to agree on something, we can at least have a civil and effective discussion and we will leave it reaffirming that Walker is a special place. We can all manage to live, work, and grow together - even if we do not agree on specific things.


Thank you for making the choice to call Walker home.


Mayor Gary Carey, Jr.

Mayor Gary Carey, Jr.

(616) 292-1715

gcarey@walker.city


Steven Gilbert

Mayor Pro Tem

First Ward Commissioner

(616) 828-7763 sglibert@walker.city


Thom Burke

First Ward Commissioner

(619) 379-6036 tburke@walker.city


Roxanne Deschaine

Second Ward Commissioner

(616) 885-4191 rdeschaine@walker.city

Jessica Babcock

Second Ward Commissioner

(616) 634-6015

jbabcock@walker.city


Elaina Huizenga-Chase

Third Ward Commissioner

(616) 334-1900 echase@walker.city


Melanie Grooters

Third Ward Commissioner

(616) 690-1719 mgrooters@walker.city

Like City of Walker on Facebook

Save the Dates!


Nov 30

Walker Winterfest -


Dec

Let It Glow Holiday Light Contest -

Help Shape the Next 20 Years!

Whether or not you use transit, your input is valuable for the growth of our community. You have the power to shape the next 20 years of our region by taking a few minutes to complete this survey from The Rapid.

Clerk's Office Updates

Election Day

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Polls will be open at 7:00 AM and close at 8:00 PM.


The only item on Walker’s ballot will be the KDL Millage proposal. Click here to view the proposal.


New Ballot Boxes

In accordance with voter-approved Proposal 2022-2, two new ballot boxes have been installed in the City. These State-approved boxes can be found: in front of City Hall at 4243 Remembrance Rd NW and at Fire Station #3, located at 1470 3 Mile Rd NW.


Voter Registration

Michigan Voter Registration Form

Michigan Voter Registration Form (large print version)

Check your voter registration

Update your voter registration ONLINE (Requires Michigan Driver's License or State ID)

Cancellation of Voter Registration Form


City residents can submit a registration form by mail, email, fax, online or in-person. Voters can also register at any Secretary of State Branch Office, the Kent County Clerk's Office, and designated state agencies such as Family Independence Agencies or military branch offices.


During the 14 days leading up to election day, voters must register in-person at the City Clerk's Office if they would like to vote in the election. Voters must show proof of residency to register within 14 days of an election. The deadline to register by any means other than in-person at the Clerk’s office for the November 7th Special Election was Monday, October 23.


You can register to vote at the City Clerk's Office during regular business hours. You can also register to vote in the election up to 8pm on election day.


Reminders:

New with the passing of Proposal 2022-2, your return ballot is POSTAGE PAID! You, the voter, must sign and date the return envelope. Per state law, no other person can sign your absentee ballot on your behalf, including a power of attorney or family member.

Public Works Updates

A friendly reminder that City ordinance prohibits residents from blowing leaves into the street. While the City does not come through neighborhoods to collect leaves, you are welcome to drop them off in our Public Works yard as part of the free Leaf Recycling Program. It is open through Tuesday, November 14. Please note City offices will be closed on Friday, November 10, for Veterans Day.


If you have any questions, please contact the Department of Public Works Office at

(616) 791-6854.

Police Department Updates

It has been nice to see Walker neighborhoods coming together to foster community pride by recreating or strengthening some area Neighborhood Watch groups. Observant citizens are a true force multiplier when it comes to deterring suspicious or criminal activity in our area. Please remember to continue to report unusual activity as it occurs, as it gives our Patrol Officers the best chance to catch

criminals in the act. We appreciate the extra eyes and ears!


Walker PD recently assisted Michigan State Police with motorcade training on area

roadways. MSP no longer uses motorcycle patrols to assist with motorcades, so

other area jurisdictions needed to train on the new tactics using cruisers. If you

happened to see an overwhelming amount of police cars through Walker the

second week of October, that was why! No major emergency, just practicing for

the upcoming “election season.”


While we have been spoiled with some wonderful fall weather, we know, this is

Michigan and soon winter weather will be upon us. Remember, as the winter

precipitation begins to fall, reduce your speed! The best way to avoid a winter

crash is to take it slow on ice and snow!

Follow Walker PD on Facebook

Fire Department Updates

Safety during the holiday season is important to protect yourself and your loved ones from various hazards that are more prevalent during this time. By being mindful of safety measures and responsible behavior, you can make the holidays a time of joy and celebration rather than accidents and mishaps.


Traveling for the holidays? Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle.


Decorate safely with some helpful tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Council.


Food poisoning is no joke. Keep your holidays happy by handling food safely.

Follow Walker Fire Department on Facebook

Income Tax Department Updates

Due Dates

Fourth quarter estimated payments for calendar year 2023 are due January 31, 2024. Forms are available on our website.


Forgotten Returns

If you have past years of Walker returns that you have forgotten to file, contact the tax department immediately at (616) 791-6880. If you file prior year returns and pay the tax and interest due, you may request a waiver of penalty. If the tax department contacts you first regarding unfiled returns, you will not be eligible for a waiver of penalty. We are electronically matching State of Michigan returns filed from a Walker resident address with Walker returns filed. If you have forgotten to file Walker returns from prior years, now is the time to get that cleared up before the letters go out from this matching program.


Questions?

If you are not sure if you need to file Walker Income Tax returns, the most common questions are answered on our website. You can also call us at (616) 791-6880.

Walker Ice and Fitness News

Celebrating 25 Years!

Serving the Walker community since 1998, more than 16,000 fitness members have used the Walker Ice and Fitness Center to work out, take classes, make friends, and have fun! Thousands of area children have learned to skate, play hockey, and value teamwork. Recreation programs and events have brought our community together year after year. The Walker Ice and Fitness Center is where active families play!  

Follow Walker Ice & Fitness Center on Facebook

Parks and Recreation

Follow City of Walker Parks & Recreation on Facebook

KDL Walker Branch

Follow KDL - Walker Branch on Facebook

Upcoming Millage Vote

On November 7, Kent County residents in the Kent District Library service area will be asked to consider a new rate of 1.1 mills, which reflects a reduction of 10.9% off KDL’s current millage rate of 1.2355 mills. If approved, taxpayers will see immediate savings as the KDL Board has committed to lowering the millage rate effective January 1, 2024, even though the current millage doesn’t expire until December 31, 2024.

If the millage is approved by voters, the new rate will sustain and grow access to our 700,000 physical items, 15.6 million digital items, and all our programs and services, all while saving taxpayers money. Cast your vote on November 7, 2023.

Find the Right Resources, Faster

Looking for a book that KDL doesn’t have? Have you checked MeLCat, or asked a librarian to

check it for you? The Michigan Electronic Library Catalog, abbreviated MeLCat, is a statewide

catalog that allows KDL patrons to borrow interlibrary loan books from library systems

throughout Michigan.

'Book Club in a Bag' Program

Are you in a book club or looking to start one? Kent District Library makes things easy with our Book Club in a Bag program, which is available to all KDL, GRPL, and Lakeland Library Cooperative cardholders.

We have over 300 popular fiction and nonfiction titles to choose from and we add new titles every year. Most kits come with 12 regular print copies of a book, two large print copies, and a discussion guide. A kit can be checked out through our KitKeeper service for six weeks and can be picked up at the KDL branch location of your choice.


Want to Join a Book Club? Walker Branch hosts monthly book discussions for adults! This month’s discussion is on Tuesday, November 14, at 11:00 a.m. We will be discussing Wintering by Katherine May. You can pick up a copy of the book from the branch.

Fall Programs

Here's a peek at some of our upcoming programs this season:


Glow-In-The-Dark Party


Learn Beginning Skills for Hand Sewing