Jim Carr, of Rutland Township, was honored by a Barry County Joint Planning Commission resolution with his December retirement from public service. He also earned high praise from Hastings City Manager Jeff Mansfield, a man and friend he worked with for years on city and township planning and zoning.
“Jim Carr was an amazing public official. But in thinking about him, it isn’t easy to summarize what made him successful and effective in a few paragraphs,” Mansfield said. “I think Jim’s success stemmed from a combination of strengths that he brought to the job.
“Jim was, and is, extremely intelligent. He had a very diverse and well-rounded background in public service. Never in it for himself, Jim’s only interest was to do the best job possible for those living, working, or visiting the community,” Mansfield said.
“He is personable and very approachable and can almost immediately relate to anybody he meets. He was willing to put in as much time and effort it took to get the job done and he never settled for simply taking the easy or comfortable route.
“Jim could see the ‘big picture’ and he based his work on the long-term view. He was very rational and analytical, a great thinker and also a great listener. He always viewed his role and position on matters in the context of the whole and would never compromise the interests of those he served. But, Jim was also willing to work collectively with others for the ‘greater good’ of all involved,” he said.
“I thoroughly enjoyed working with Jim and learned a lot from him. He was instrumental in the formation of the Joint Planning Alliance and Joint Planning Commission, and the building of the very positive relationship that the city and our neighboring townships enjoy today. I miss working with him.” //
From the JPC resolution: “Jim’s down to earth personality, his commitment to serving both his community and his fellow citizens and his deep and through understanding of the fundamental concepts for successful planning and zoning initiatives has served both Jim and units of government he has worked for extremely well through the years.”
Carr’s long history of public service includes being Rutland Charter Township supervisor and zoning administrator, building and zoning inspector for both Prairieville and Hope townships, and chairman and zoning administrator for the JPA until he retired in December.
“Jim’s knowledge, leadership and thoughtful approach to problem solving and assisting the JPC with zoning and planning related matters spanning jurisdictional boundaries will be sorely missed,” the resolution concluded.