“There are so many exciting things happening in Grand Rapids right now when so much of the rest of Michigan is in chaos that I just quite honestly feel its fun and a great honor to represent this city as its mayor.”
Heartwell’s current term expires at the end of next year. If he’s elected and serves out a third term, Heartwell would tie his predecessor John Logie as the Grand Rapids’ longest serving mayor. Grand Rapids is the state's second largest city.
Heartwell admits he’s announcing his campaign a couple months ahead of his typical schedule.
“I certainly want to show anybody who might like to challenge me that they’re going to be in for a tussle.”
Heartwell touts his accomplishments in trimming city spending, improving water quality and recycling services. He says the challenge of doing more with less is invigorating. The city has faced budget deficits each of the 7 years he’s been in office. “Far from weighing me down, I am as energized today as I’ve ever been,” Heartwell said.
In addition to his part-time job as mayor, Heartwell’s full time job is as president of a non-profit-faith-based-retirement community in Grand Rapids.