The municipal government of the city of Grand Rapids has not in a11 respects been entirely successful. Dissatisfaction has manifested itself in parts of the community, especially in that portion which has to bear the burthen of taxation on account of increasing bonded indebtedness and the great increase of expenditures in carrying on the affairs of the city. Lack of discrimination in the objects of expenditure, and disregard of legal limitations upon the authority of the council, have caused uneasiness and comment. Notwithstanding these, the city has grown in population and material wealth, and I can say without self-adulation, is a pushing, thriving and beautiful city. Incorporated in 1850 with a population of about three thousand, it has grown until it puts forth a claim of over eighty thousand inhabitants. The study of its development will disclose, as in the case of every modern city, at first a frugal administration of its affairs by men well fitted for the places to which they were elected; and as wealth and population increased, there was exhibited a decided tendency to increased expenditure and lavish disposition of the public moneys.
Champlin, John W. "Some Remarks Upon the Government of Municipalities Suggested by the Experience, Growth and Development of the City of Grand Rapids." Publ. Mich. Pol. Sci. Assoc. 1, no. 6 (1894): 1-16.