A lot of changes are taking place at Big Rapids City Hall. On Monday, the City Commission passed resolutions accepting City Manager Steve Sobers letter of retirement and Assistant City Manager Mark Gifford's acceptance of the employment agreement as new City Manager offered by the City Commission. Gifford says he knows there's a lot of work ahead of him, but he's ready.
“I'm thankful to Steve, I'm thankful to the Commission, and I'm excited about the opportunity. The agreement is fine with me,” he says.
Sober's will officially retire on January 27th and Gifford will assume his new position on January 28th to give them time to effect a smooth transition. Sobers has been City Manager in Big Rapids for over 13 years and says he's never had a better job.
“Oh, this is such a great community. Mark Gifford is going to be a fabulous city manager and this is the best city commission that I've served in 40 years in work. The future's bright in Big Rapids.”
Sobers, who is from Ohio, says he and his wife, Helen, will be spending the next year or so in the Columbus area helping to baby sit his one and two-year-old grandchildren while his son is deployed to Kuwait starting in March. He also has two sisters in Cincinnati and so plans to settle down somewhere in Ohio.