May 2022 Edition
Greetings from the Mayor's Office
May is always an exciting time of the year as many of our spring/summer recreation programs and events kick into high gear. After a couple of challenging years, there are not many sights better than soccer and ball fields full of players and spectators. Additionally, the trails through our City are as full as I have seen them in some time as people are more comfortable getting out. The City continues to take great pride in being able to back up our motto of being a “great place to live, work, and grow”. This time of year nowhere is that more visible than the outdoor recreation opportunities throughout Walker.

Our Memorial Day Parade is just around the corner. We have decided to keep the parade on Remembrance Road for several reasons. The first reason that comes to mind is that Remembrance Road is named in honor of our military veterans from the first World War. I believe the symbolism in honoring our veterans who have died in service to our country with a traditional parade is enhanced by having it on a roadway named for their service. In addition, logistically it is much easier for City staff in closing that road versus Lake Michigan Drive. We used to have to apply to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) months in advance to close Lake Michigan Drive. We do not have to do that on Remembrance Road, not to mention there are fewer side streets that we must block off to ensure a safe parade. Another reason we moved it to Remembrance is the parade route itself can be nearly double what it was on Lake Michigan Drive, and that allows more people to come and be a part of our annual tradition.

I am also excited about the return of our Summer Concert Series. This year you will see some familiar favorites up on stage, and some new music as well. We continue to get feedback from residents on what they want to see and hear. If you have a band or event you would like to see, please let us know. After a few years of hiatus, we are also bringing back a Movie Night in Community Park. That will be in August with more details to come.

All the above are reasons we believe Walker continues to be a great place to live, work, and grow. As always, thanks to each of you for choosing to call Walker home.

Mayor Gary L. Carey, Jr.
Contact Your Commissioners
Mayor Gary Carey, Jr.
(616) 292-1715

Steven Gilbert
Mayor Pro Tem
First Ward Commissioner
(616) 828-7763

Thom Burke
First Ward Commissioner
*(619) 379-6036

Roxanne Deschaine
Second Ward Commissioner
(616) 885-4191
Carol Glanville
Second Ward Commissioner
(616) 443-9313

Elaina Huizenga-Chase
Third Ward Commissioner
(616) 334-1900

Melanie Grooters
Third Ward Commissioner
(616) 690-1719
Clerk's Department Updates
Election Day is Tuesday!
The Special General Election will be held on Tuesday, May 3. This is to fill the vacancy in the 74th State House District for a partial term. Polls open on Election Day at 7:00 AM and will close at 8:00 PM.

Voters may still obtain an absentee ballot for this election at the City Clerk’s office until 4:00 PM today (Monday, May 2).

You can visit the State of Michigan’s Voter Information Center to verify your voter information, including absentee ballot status.

Walker has two more upcoming elections so mark your calendar:

August 2, 2022: State Primary Election

November 8, 2022: State and City of Walker General Election
Walker Appoints New City Clerk
The City of Walker officially welcomes Deborah Goudy as its new City Clerk.
Commissioners voted unanimously on her appointment during Monday evening's meeting. She will fill the remainder of the term until the November 2022 election.
Jessica Marion was officially sworn in as Deputy City Clerk.
Income Tax Department Updates
Do you need help?
Walker Income Tax returns for calendar year 2021 and first quarter estimated payments for 2022 are due May 2. Forms are available on our website . You can find the most frequently asked questions here.

Quarterly estimated payments can be paid by direct withdrawal from a bank account. Forms can be found by clicking on the link above. Please do not attach your 2022 quarterly estimated vouchers to your 2021 return. Also, check your bank account to make sure the amount you requested to pay has been withdrawn. It usually takes from 3 to 7 business days after the date you requested on the voucher. If you don’t see a withdrawal for the amount you requested, contact us at (616) 791-6880.

Missing Information
Did you receive a letter that your tax return was missing a required attachment? You can provide missing information several ways:
E-Filed Returns:
Did you e-file your 2021 return and it showed that you had a balance due? You may have received an assessment from the Income Tax Department or have a voucher from your tax preparer that shows the amount you owe. All tax due must be postmarked or paid online by May 2, 2022 to avoid penalty and interest. Call us at (616) 791-6866 if you have any questions.

Required Attachments
Please make sure that your W-2 forms showing Walker withholding are attached to your returns. Many returns are missing the W-2 forms this year. Missing W-2 forms will delay the processing of your refund.
Department of Public Works Updates
Fire Department Updates
Fire Extinguishers
A portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives, but portable extinguishers have limitations. Because fire grows and spreads so rapidly, the #1 priority for residents is to get out safely.

Fire extinguishers are one element of a fire response plan, but the primary element is safe escape. Every household should have a home fire escape plan and working smoke alarms.
Safety Tips
Use a portable fire extinguisher when the fire is confined to a small area, such as a wastebasket, and is not growing; everyone has exited the building; the fire department has been called or is being called; and the room is not filled with smoke.

To operate a fire extinguisher, remember the word PASS:
Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you, and release the locking mechanism.
Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
Sweep the nozzle from side to side.

For the home, select a multi-purpose extinguisher (can be used on all types of home fires) that is large enough to put out a small fire, but not so heavy as to be difficult to handle.

Choose a fire extinguisher that carries the label of an independent testing laboratory.

Read the instructions that come with the fire extinguisher and become familiar with its parts and operation before a fire breaks out. Local fire departments or fire equipment distributors often offer hands-on fire extinguisher trainings.

Install fire extinguishers close to an exit and keep your back to a clear exit when you use the device so you can make an easy escape if the fire cannot be controlled. If the room fills with smoke, leave immediately.

Know when to go. Fire extinguishers are one element of a fire response plan, but the primary element is safe escape. Every household should have a home fire escape plan and working smoke alarms.
Portable Fire Extinguishers and Children
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) believes that children should not be trained how to operate portable fire extinguishers. Teaching children to use portable fire extinguishers runs counter to NFPA messaging to get out and stay out if there is a fire. Furthermore, children may not have the maturity to operate a portable fire extinguisher properly or decide whether or not a fire is small enough to be put out by the extinguisher. They may not have the physical ability to handle the extinguisher or dexterity to perform the complex actions required to put out a fire. In the process of extinguishing flames, children may not know how to respond if the fire spreads. NFPA continues to believe that only adults who know how to operate portable fire extinguishers should use them.
Memorial Day and Fireworks
The City of Walker Fire Department wants you to be safe when using fireworks over the long Memorial Day weekend.

Public Act 256 of the State of Michigan allows for the use of consumer fireworks. Use of fireworks in Walker is regulated by Section 38-16 of the City Ordinance. Some of the highlights of the State law and City ordinance are as follows:

  • The use of fireworks for the Memorial Day holiday is allowed on Saturday and Sunday before Memorial Day after 11:00 am until 11:45 pm.

  • Fireworks cannot be set off after Memorial Day (May 30, 2022).

  • You must be 18 yrs. or older to purchase consumer fireworks.

  • Use of consumer fireworks while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances is illegal.

  • Setting off fireworks on public property, in the street, school property, church property, or any other person’s property without permission is prohibited.

  • Please be aware of your neighbors, and the effect that your fireworks use has on them.

The Walker Fire Department would prefer that you leave fireworks displays to the professionals and simply enjoy them from a distance. But if you choose to set off fireworks as part of your celebration, please use extreme caution.
Police Department Updates
Community Outreach Series
Thank you to everyone who attended our department’s presentation on Civilian Response to Active Shooter events. We always enjoy taking time to educate the public on law enforcement-related topics. We hope to do more of these types of events in the future so stay tuned to the City of Walker Police Department on Facebook for further updates.

Mobile Field Force
Walker officers assigned to the countywide Mobile Field Force team have been deployed several times into Grand Rapids to assist with crowd control. Sergeant Bartels is happy to report all protests have remained peaceful and there has been no need for police interventions.
Community Outreach Series
Walker PD is proud to partner with several other area law enforcement agencies to offer high school juniors & seniors a FREE weeklong police academy experience. The 2022 Metro Academy will run June 20-24 with meeting times at Kent Career Technical Center, Kent County Sheriff’s Office, & Grand Valley State University. Lunch is provided each day. If you have an interested student or would like more information, please contact our Community Outreach & Engagement Officer, Mitch Harkema.

Crisis Intervention Training
As we work towards training all Walker officers in Crisis Intervention, two more road patrol officers are being sent to a weeklong training, held locally. Captain Heugel and another one of our officers, now a certified de-escalation instructor, will be presenting at the training.
Walker Ice and Fitness News
Student Summer Special
The Walker Ice and Fitness Student Summer Special makes a great gift for your special grad! The deal includes three months for just $79!

They'll get access to a free gym orientation, extensive free weights and machines, sauna and steam room, cushioned track, group exercise classes, as well as drop-in hockey and open skate!

The offer runs May through August. Call (616) 735-6286 to take advantage of this special student offer!
Walker Memorial Day Parade
The Walker Memorial Day Parade is scheduled for Monday, May 30 at 12:00 pm. All veterans, bands, floats, companies and organizations are invited to participate. Parade route is Remembrance Rd to Walker Village Drive. Registration deadline is Monday, May 2. For additional information, you may email the Recreation Department or call (616) 735-6286.

Political entrants will be charged a $100 entry fee per vehicle, unless they are an incumbent representing Walker.
Any business based outside of Walker with any type of advertising will be charged a $100 entry fee.
Non-profit organizations and businesses based in Walker are exempt from the fee.
Parks and Recreation
KDL Walker Branch News
Parents are always looking for ways to make learning fun and engaging for their children. Well, thanks to a new offering from Kent District Library, they won’t need to look far!

iVOX is a children’s book app that uses the latest in storytelling technology to delight and engage curious young minds. Children can follow along with a story while interacting with its characters and scenes—immersing them in the narrative like never before.

KDL patrons can access these exciting new “books that move!” for free. All they need is a KDL library card. iVOX is available online through any browser or through a free app that’s available for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire. After accessing iVOX through the web or the app, they just need to select a book to bring it to life.

iVOX has already garnered awards from parents’ groups. iVOX won 2021 National Parenting Product Awards for Best Apps for Kids and Families and was named a 2021 Mom’s Choice Award winner for best Apps and Software.
Free COVID-19 Test Kits
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has provided some public library locations with COVID-19 test kits that are available to the public for free. Test kits are limited and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests are asked to take one kit per person, up to five per household. For more information about which KDL branches have kits available, visit
Spring Events
KDL will be offering a combination of virtual and in-person spring programming! Visit our Events page for more information.

Our featured Walker Branch event is Teen Cram Night!

Friday, May 20
5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Suitable for Teens (ages 11-17)

Finish that big project or prepare for a test, while having the library all to yourselves and enjoying pizza and pop. Bring your assignments, study partners and your brain!
Friends of Walker Trails News
Are you following the Friends of Walker Trails on Facebook? Follow along for updates and news on our lengthy network of trails right here in Walker!