November 2021 Edition
Greetings from the Mayor's Office
November is upon us and with that comes a time later this month for the annual holiday of giving thanks for all that we have been and are blessed with in our lives. Personally, it is one of my favorite reflection times of the year and guides me to notice the unsung heroes in our lives who give of their time, talents, and treasures to help and serve others. In a time of great conflict and divide in our world, I would like to offer up a challenge to our community. I am going to suggest a theme of “Take 10 to Thank 10”. This month, take 10 minutes to write down 10 people in our community who may not otherwise get the recognition they deserve. My intent is to help strengthen and bring our great City closer together by recognizing 10 random people/jobs in or community that are essential to the quality of life we enjoy. 

My Mayor’s “Take 10 to Thank 10” 
  1. Gas station/convenience store workers who sometimes must work weekends and holidays, away from their family and friends so that we have a place to go for those last-minute items and other needs. 
  2. Restaurant servers and staff who try to be perfect in making us feel comfortable with a warm meal and friendly environment away from home. 
  3. Animal shelter workers and volunteers who care for and love the pets who might not have been given the easiest of lives. 
  4. Pastors, Priests, and other Clergy who live a dedicated life of service, commitment, and faith in order to serve and lead others. 
  5. Elementary school secretaries and office volunteers. You always seem to have a lot of problems dumped in your lap, yet always manage to find a solution with a smile and positivity for our little ones. 
  6. Youth coaches and organizational volunteers. Whether its sports, arts, and entertainment, or teaching a Sunday School, you all make an investment in our future that is priceless in value. 
  7. Housekeepers and cleaning staffs who take care of our senior care facilities. You have carried a burden and done a service during this pandemic that we probably cannot fully appreciate. 
  8. School bus and public transit drivers. You sometimes see us when we are tired and grumpy. Yet, nothing stops you from getting us to and from where we need to go with service and a smile.  
  9. Grocery store workers who keep our shelves stocked with food and other essentials we need. You do your best to have items available and look presentable for us and, until something is not there, we might not truly appreciate your efforts. 
  10. Roofers who must work in all types of weather conditions, sometimes high off the ground on sloped and slippery surfaces. The phrase “roof over our head” takes a deeper meaning when we consider what you must do in your job. 

This is a random 10 people/groups I have recently thought about and it took me about 10 minutes to write down. I would encourage you to do the same this month and continue to be the community others want to live, work, and grow in.  

As always, thank you for making the choice 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 sgilbert@walker.city

Thom Burke
First Ward Commissioner
(619) 379-6036 tburke@walker.city

Roxanne Deschaine
Second Ward Commissioner
(616) 885-4191 rdeschaine@walker.city
Carol Glanville
Second Ward Commissioner
(616) 443-9313 cglanville@walker.city

Elaina Huizenga-Chase
Third Ward Commissioner
(616) 334-1900 echase@walker.city

Melaine Grooters
Third Ward Commissioner
(616) 690-1719 mgrooters@walker.city
Income Tax Department Updates

Due Dates
Fourth quarter estimated payments for calendar year 2021 are due January 31, 2022. Forms are available on our website.

Questions?
If you are not sure if you need to file Walker Income Tax returns, the most common questions are answered on our FAQ page.
You can also call us at (616) 791-6880.
Department of Public Works Updates
Shake Test
With the snow season just around the corner, the City of Walker is reminding residents to check the structural integrity of their mailboxes by doing the shake test. Grab onto your mailbox and shake it. If the mailbox post is easily moved it will not hold up for winter maintenance.

Mailbox Replacement Policy
It is the Department of Public Works policy that any mailbox damaged by snow as a result of plowing or scraping the roadway, is the responsibility of the property owner. When the mailbox is damaged by direct contact with our equipment, the Department of Public Works will:
  • Repair, if possible or
  • Replace with a standard mailbox and post, or
  • Compensate owner for damage ($15.00 for box, $5.00 for post). Owner responsible to repair and replace.

Repair and/or replacement of mailbox by Department of Public Works may take several days depending on storm conditions and workload.

Fall Leaf Recycling
Walker residents can drop off leaves and brush through November 15. Please note, it will be closed on November 11 in observance of Veterans Day.
Driving Tips During Deer Season
While the state's two million deer are most active in spring and fall, vehicle-deer crashes are a year-round problem. Each year, there are nearly 50,000 reported vehicle-deer crashes in Michigan. About 80 percent of these crashes occur on two-lane roads between dusk and dawn. The most serious crashes occur when motorists swerve to avoid a deer and hit another vehicle or a fixed object, or when their vehicle rolls over.
 
Here are some tips to avoid a crash:
  • Stay aware, awake, and sober.
  • Vehicle-deer crashes occur year-round, but be especially alert in spring and fall.
  • Signs are placed at known deer crossing areas to alert you of the possible presence of deer.
  • Deer are herd animals and frequently travel in single file. If you see one deer cross the road, chances are there are more waiting.
  • Be alert for deer, especially at dawn and dusk. If you see one, slow down. 
  • Don't rely on gimmicks, flashing your high-beam headlights or honking your horn to deter deer.
 
If a crash is unavoidable:
  • Don't swerve. Brake firmly, hold onto the steering wheel, and bring your vehicle to a controlled stop.
  • Pull off the road, turn on your emergency flashers, and be cautious of other traffic if you exit your vehicle.
  • Report the crash to the nearest police agency and your insurance company.
 
Remember to buckle up, as seat belts are motorists' best defense in the event of a crash. 

Information provided by Michigan State Police.
Clerk's Department Updates

Election News
November 2, 2021 is the special General Election to fill the vacant seat for the 28th District Senate. Before we know it, we will be rolling into the 2022 Elections, which will include the Michigan House, Senate, all Congressional seats, Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State and Walker City Elections of Mayor and a Commissioner from each Ward.
You will find election information and results on our website.
Passports
The Walker City Clerk's Office is an official passport acceptance agency. You can have your passport photo taken here and apply for your passport! No appointment is necessary during the following passport hours:

Mondays – Thursdays: 7:30 am – 4:00 pm
Fridays: 7:30 am – 11:00 am.

Please call (616) 791-6865 prior to coming to confirm a processing agent is available and that you have all the proper paperwork with you, including checks for payment.
Please note: Passports are currently taking longer than usual to process. Please allow at least 16 weeks for your passport to be processed and mailed to you. If you need your passport expedited, processing time is 8-12 weeks.
Police Department Updates
Our officers have enjoyed things going back to (somewhat) normal regarding our interaction in community events. We certainly enjoyed seeing all the costumes at Walker’s Pumpkin Bash, and are already planning our involvement in the City’s WinterFest event. We also enjoyed handing out candy to boys & ghouls during trick or treat hours on Halloween.
We’d like to thank everyone who came out to honor & remember the life and legacy of Officer Trevor Slot. This year marked 10 years since his line of duty death. The support from residents and area businesses was much appreciated and certainly helps bring a little positivity to what is always a tough week around the department.
Our department wrapped up Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion training in mid-October. We’d like to thank Graci LLC for coming in to lead the training effort. Two of our officers also completed Crisis Intervention Training, a weeklong workshop aimed at learning how to better serve those in mental crisis. We also are planning more department training for December.
As we enter the holiday season, many residents will be out and about shopping for the perfect gifts. Thieves know this and it is not uncommon for our larceny from vehicle calls to spike during this time. Thieves are also out and about, looking for valuables inside unlocked cars for an easy score. Be cautious about what you are leaving in your car, always cover up, hide, or remove valuables, and PLEASE LOCK YOUR CAR. Locking your vehicle is the best way to avoid becoming a victim of a crime of opportunity. Don’t let a grinch ruin your holiday!

As always, keep up with our daily posts on social media by liking & following our Facebook page!
Fire Department Updates

10 Turkey Fryer Tips to Stay Safe
The average turkey fryer uses 3 gallons of oil at 350 degrees. Each year, improper use of turkey fryers results in…
  • 5 deaths
  • 60 injuries
  • 900 house fires
  • $15 million in property damage

Deep Fryer Safety Tips
Do NOT try to extinguish an oil fire with water. It will keep burning and may even spread the fire. Instead:
  1. Thaw and dry the turkey completely before cooking.
  2. Place the fryer in an open area away from structures that could catch fire.
  3. Have at least two feet of space between the liquid propane tank and the fryer burner.
  4. Position the fryer so that any wind will blow the heat of the fryer away from the fuel tank.
  5. Ensure the pot is centered over the burner on the cooler.
  6. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to determine the proper amount of oil to use.
  7. Check the oil temperature often.
  8. If you notice any smoke coming from the pot, turn off the burner immediately.
  9. Lift and lower the cooked food slowly to reduce splatter and avoid burns.
  10. As a precaution, cover any bare skin when adding or removing food.

Call 911 in case of fire.
Walker Ice and Fitness News
Walker Ice and Fitness Center is hosting USA Hockey’s Try Hockey For FREE day on Nov 6 from 12-1pm. All kids ages 5-13 are welcome to participate – no experience needed!
Bring a helmet if you have one (a bike helmet is fine) and we will have a limited supply of equipment and sticks for participants. Skates will be available for everyone.

If you have questions, please contact Mike Fountain. You may preregister (although not required) through USA Hockey You are also welcome to just drop-in!
Black Friday Specials

November is the perfect time to stop by the WIFC and take advantage of our November membership, personal training, tanning and Pro-Shop specials!

Renew your membership with our best deal of the year: Buy 12 months of membership and get an additional 2 months FREE!

Give yourself the gift of fitness, or buy a membership for someone. They make great gifts! This offer runs November 17 - December 3!
Toys for Tots
KDL is supporting Toys for Tots this holiday season. The Walker Branch will be collecting donations of new toys Monday, November 15 through Sunday, December 12. Last year, over 9,000 children in Kent County were supported through this program! Help make the holidays a little brighter for a child in need. Thank you in advance for your generosity.
Fall Events
KDL will be offering a combination of virtual and in-person fall programming! Visit our Events page for more information.

Our featured Walker Branch event is Family Storytime!
Mondays at 6:30 p.m., September 13 – November 15
Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m., September 15 – November 17
Read and sing together as a family. Enjoy stories, music, movement and rhymes that develop early literacy skills.

Our featured online event is Clean Slate Criminal Record Expungements!
Thursday, November 18
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Join Legal Aid of Western Michigan, presenting what you need to know about clearing your criminal record history. Michigan’s new laws have expanded the kinds of criminal records that can be expunged and help people move on from past mistakes
Ex-straw-ordinary Scarecrows!
Thank you to ALL of our participants who decorated and displayed a scarecrow during our Standale Scarecrow Contest. We loved seeing all the creative designs! Third Ward Commissioners Melanie Grooters and Elaina Huizenga-Chase presented our top three winners with plaques. Look for the Standale Wreath Competition soon!
1st Place:
Seven and Mane Salon
2nd Place: Standale Reformed Church
3rd Place: Walker Fire Department
American Legion Post 1111
Please join American Legion Post 1111 and the City of Walker for the Veterans Day Parade on Saturday, November 6, 2021 at 9:30am. Come out and support our veterans and show your patriotism! The route will be from Sobie Meats to Walker City Hall. If you have any questions, please call Bill Parsons at (616) 482-9370. 

American Legion Post 1111 and V.F.W. Post 702 have partnered to send 1,111 gift bags to troops this holiday season to boost morale. The BIG GIVE is the final push to collect items needed to fill each and every bag with the comforts of home and bring a smile to the service men and women who are away on deployment during the holidays. Donations can be made through a drive-thru donation lane on Tuesday, November 9th from 3-7pm at the Walker Ice and Fitness Center. 
 
Commander Jena Wilmers 
American Legion Post 1111 (Walker, MI)
(231) 629-1274
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!