Press & Media

Longest-Serving Wyoming City Council Member William A. Ver Hulst Announces Retirement

Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2018 | Press & Media, News & Announcements

William A. Ver Hulst, the longest-serving Wyoming City Council member, announced his retirement at Monday night’s meeting.

Citing health reasons, Ver Hulst said that he would step down effective immediately from his representation of Wyoming’s First Ward. Ver Hulst, 77, served six years on the board of Wyoming Public Schools before being elected to the seven-person Council in 1993. He has served with four different mayors and 21 different Council members during his tenure on the Council.

The Wyoming City Council plans to appoint a replacement to serve the remainder of Ver Hulst’s term, which expires in November. Those interested in being considered should submit a letter of their qualifications and a resume by Thursday, March 15 to City Clerk Kelli VandenBerg.

After resumes are reviewed, Council members will interview candidates during its special meeting on Monday, March 26 at 5 p.m. and select a replacement, whose tenure will begin at that time.

“As a community, we are deeply grateful for Bill’s decades of selfless leadership,” said Wyoming Mayor Jack Poll. “He has always had a heart to serve the community, which he has done with tremendous integrity. For Bill, it was never about advancing his own agenda – he cared about his fellow Wyoming residents and did his best to represent their interests.”

Born and raised in Holland, Michigan, Ver Hulst graduated from Holland High School. After a brief stint in the National Guard, he graduated from what was then Davenport College with an associate’s degree. He then attended Ferris State University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He was offered a scholarship to attend Michigan State University, where he earned a master’s degree in accounting before successfully completing the requirements to be a certified public accountant, or CPA.

Ver Hulst took a position working at the accounting firm Seidman & Seidman. He and his wife, Karen, bought a house on Plas Street SW in Wyoming, later moving to a home on Cranwood Avenue that they shared until her death in 2016. He loved the intimacy of the Wyoming community and the proximity to his church, Grace Reformed Church. The couple raised their three children, Clark, Julie (Dyke) and Bart in Wyoming.

Clark Ver Hulst said his father’s faith was the most important thing in his life and the driving factor in his decision to run for the school board first and then City Council.

“I remember campaigning with him when he was running for City Council,” Clark Ver Hulst reminisced. “I went door to door with him, and it was a great opportunity to say ‘Vote for my dad; he really cares about the community and the people.’

“My dad felt his accounting background and experience as a CPA would be beneficial to the City of Wyoming.”

And it was, according to City Manager Curtis Holt.

“Throughout his tenure, Bill made tremendous contributions to ensure our fiscal stability,” Holt said. “Bill’s steady hand and wise counsel helped the City navigate safely through the Great Recession of 2008. The team at City Hall and I deeply appreciate his dedication and his passion for service.”

After leaving Seidman & Seidman, Bill Ver Hulst went to work at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, where he spent more than two decades as chief financial officer. Before retiring a dozen years ago, he took a position with Priority Health, where he worked as an auditor.

Active in the community, Bill Ver Hulst served on the board of Westown Jubilee Housing and is a longtime supporter of Words of Hope Ministries. Active in Grace Reformed Church, which he still attends, he has been a youth group leader, Sunday school teacher, after-school program volunteer and mentor. He still oversees the finances for the Reformed Church of America.

“Family has always been very important to my father,” Clark Ver Hulst said. “He has been a great dad to the three of us and wonderful to his six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. When he was on outings with his grandchildren, it was always hard to tell who was having more fun – my dad or the kids. He’s a big kid at heart.

“He was also an exceptional partner and outstanding caregiver to my mother, Karen. In the last two years of her life, he was her round-the-clock caregiver and companion.”

Clark Ver Hulst noted that his father is a huge sports fan and “very faithful” to the Chicago White Sox and the Michigan State Spartans.

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