Kentwood Mayor Richard Root (center with his wife Karleen at his side) is honored by fellow Grand Rapids-area officials Thursday.
KENTWOOD, Michigan – The League’s Summer Minnick and I had the pleasure to attend a luncheon Thursday honoring long-time Kentwood Mayor Richard Root. Mayor Root is retiring after serving as Kentwood’s mayor for the last nine years and he has more than 33 years of service in Kentwood city government.
In his many years of service, Mayor Root has been a huge supporter of the League in numerous ways. He has frequently come to Lansing to fight for Michigan’s communities by testifying at House and Senate hearings on a variety of issues. He also was a regular attendee of the League’s various events and education seminars. The League honored him in 2011 with our Outstanding Service Award and in 2004 with our Excellence in Service Award.
During the lunch Thursday, hosted by the Urban Metropolitan Mayors and Managers group, Root talked about his years of service to the community he loves. The lunch turned into a friendly roast as Root and his fellow Grand Rapids area mayors and municipal managers shared stories from over the years and politely teased and joked with each other. With his wife, Karleen, sitting at his side, Root advised those attending to keep fighting on behalf of Michigan communities.
In retirement, Root said he will focus on his family, his battle against cancer and his favorite hobby – fast cars. Root said he plans to keep his TV tuned to his favorite channel – the Speed network – and he has a 1971 Corvette that he hopes to get out to the race track this summer with his son.
Retiring Kentwood Mayor Richard Root