The Rapidian

Randal Gelderloos and Steve Mass to run for Grandville mayor

In the upcoming November 5 election, two city council members compete for votes as Grandville mayorship opens.

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Election Day: November 5

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Randal Gelderloos (left), Steve Maas (right)

Randal Gelderloos (left), Steve Maas (right) /Courtesy of Randal Gelderloos and Steve Maas

On November 5, two city council members will compete for a rare opportunity for an open seat as mayor of Grandville. James Buck has served as mayor for 29 years and is retiring, leaving the mayor seat open to new candidates. Those two candidates are Randal Gelderloos and Steve Maas.

Randal Gelderloos has been a city council member since 2007 and currently serves on the solid waste energy advisory committee. He is self-employed as a building subcontractor. He is from the area, having graduated from Jenison High School and Calvin College.

Gelderloos wants to focus on Grandville's libraries, parks and schools. If he were to win the mayoral race, he states he will have "the same dedication, integrity and common sense" that he has used in five years on the city council.

Gelderloos' opponent, Steve Maas has served on the city council since 1997, is currently on the Planning Commission and serves as Mayor Pro-tem. Maas wants to focus on attracting younger citizens, caring for its aging residents and reinvigorating the downtown area.

"That's the question we keep asking ourselves: why would a 25-year-old want to live in Grandville?" says Maas.

One way in which Maas wants to attract younger citizens is to focus on Grandville's natural assets. As an avid runner himself, he wants to create a town that offers many outdoor activites that all residents could enjoy.

"We've got a lot of natural beauty around here that we need to capitalize on. We have a couple miles of the Grand River; it really is a hidden gem. Maybe if we had kayak or canoe rentals, food trucks down by the river and other things, we would attract younger people to live here," says Maas.

Maas also draws on his own experience with his parents to see what Grandville needs. His parents wanted to live in a place that had assistance available, but did not need assisted living constantly so they had to move to Holland for that balance.

"My parents lived their whole lives in Grandville. As they got older, they needed a place that if they did need help, they could go to another part of the building. How do we bring a place like that to Grandville?" says Maas. "Why should I leave Grandville when I'm 80 years old?"

Maas has lived in Grandville his entire life and bought a home only two doors down from his childhood home. He says he has the passion and optimism necessary to be mayor of Grandville.

"I'm passionate about Grandville and I bring experience. We have the eternal optimist for mayor right now and I have a very similar temperament," says Maas. "In Grandville, I think the glass is half full and keeps filling so you better grab another cup."

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