Bauer has served as the city's counsel since the late 1980s.
City Manager Craig Bessinger said Bauer's shoes will be difficult to fill.
“He's been a good person to work with,” Bessinger said. “He's done a lot of business with the city and he's familiar with us. When you work with somebody like that for so long, it's sad to see him go, but we wish him well in his retirement.”
Council will solicit bids, conduct interviews in October and hopefully have someone in place by the end of November so that person can work with Bauer during a month-long transition period, according to Bessinger.
Councilman Mike DeWitt said he would like to contract with an attorney from the Tri-Cities area.
“I would prefer to keep the money local if we can,” he said. “I would prefer to see a Spring Lake, Ferrysburg or Grand Haven firm — as opposed to taking our money to Grand Rapids.”
Bauer, who lives in Holland, said he will miss his Ferrysburg gig.
“I met a lot of talented people who were interested in serving,” he said. “It's rewarding to work with people who have a common goal.”