City Manager Biography

Darrel Schmalzel, City Manager DSC_0017

Darrel was hired by the City of Walker in 1998 to serve as the Planning Director.  He held that position until 2004 when he was appointed as the Assistant City Manager, a post he held until August of 2014.  At that time, the City Commission appointed Darrel as the Interim City Manager following the retirement of the current City Manager.  In October 2014, the City Commission removed the Interim title and formally appointed Darrel as the City Manager.

Prior to joining the City of Walker, Darrel served as both the Planning Director and Planner for Cascade Charter Township for over 10 years.  Before that, he served for 2 years as a Planner for the City of Elkhart, Indiana.

He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban Planning from Northern Michigan University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Western Michigan University.  He is a member of the International City Management Association as well as their local Chapter - the Michigan Municipal Executives.  He continues to retain his American Institute of Certified Planners designation and memberships with the American Planning Association and Michigan Society of Planning.  Darrel also represents the City of Walker on many regional boards, committees, and collaborative efforts.  Outside of the office, Darrel serves on the All Saints Academy Board of Directors and has taught Junior Achievement classes to elementary students for over 15 years.

He can be reached at or at (616)791-6787.

Frank Wash, AICP, PCP, Assistant City Manager

Frank joined the City of Walker staff in July 2004 to serve as Planning Director. Since that time, Frank has helped to design, create and direct the Walker Community Development Department, which encompasses all functions related to building and trade inspections, zoning administration, Planning Commission projects and master plan updates. Frank accepted the position of Assistant City Manager in August of 2014. He has retained the title of Community Development Director as part of his managerial responsibilities. Frank works with the City Manager to refine city efforts aimed at strategic planning, capital improvements, process and decision transparency, community engagement and departmental accountability.

Frank’s professional background includes the following:

  • Adjunct Professor – Grand Valley State University (GVSU) Master of Public Administration program.  2009-2011.
  • Planning Director – Alpine Township.  Kent County, Michigan.  1998-2004.
  • York Creek Watershed Project Manager – GVSU Annis Water Resources Institute.  1997-1998.
  • Project Manager, Grand River Greenway Natural & Cultural Features Inventory – Ottawa County Parks Commission / Day & Associates.  1997-1998.
  • Registered Respiratory Therapist – Butterworth / Spectrum.  Grand Rapids, Michigan.  1994-1999.

  Frank’s educational background includes the following:

  • Master of Public Administration.  GVSU.  2002.
  • Bachelor of Science – Magna Cum Laude.  Natural Resources Management.  GVSU.  1997.
  • Associate of Applied Science.  Respiratory Therapy.  Moraine Valley Community College.  Palos Hills, Illinois. 1992.
  • St. Laurence High School.  Illinois State Scholar.  Burbank, Illinois. 1987.

He can be reached at