After 35 years, manager ready for retirement

The board is beginning the process to replace Al Meshkin.
Laketown Township Manager Al Meshkin announced he is retiring in January 2025.

The Laketown Township Board of Trustees has started the process to replace long-time Manager Al Meshkin who announced on Wednesday, July 3, 2024, his upcoming retirement.

“As a Laketown resident, I thank Al for his contributions and hard work, and wish Al a peaceful and relaxing retirement. He’s earned it,” said township Supervisor Linda Howell.

Meshkin began work for the township on Jan. 2, 1990. After 35 years of serving the township, his last day will be Jan. 3, 2025, according to his letter to the township board at the monthly workshop meeting on Wednesday.

His contract requires 30 days’ notice.

“This letter gives you six months’ notice, which should be more than sufficient time to find my replacement,” he wrote.

Hiring a firm

The board plans to seek a firm to lead the search for Meshkin’s replacement. Proposals would be due by 5 p.m. July 31.

The salary range is $115,000 to $140,000.

Meshkin’s salary is $139,100, according to township documents.

The job description lists the manager’s duties that include preparing, presenting and implementing the annual budget, overseeing general bookkeeping, investments, purchasing, payroll and related official records, supervising all township employees, managing and overseeing all township infrastructure projects and all township owned properties, handling complaints and performing other duties as required.

Other qualifications for applicants include a bachelor’s degree in public administration, urban and regional planning or related field with five years of experience in public or business administration.

Because the township board does not make decisions at its workshop meetings, the board plans to make the formal decisions on how to proceed at its regular meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 10, at the township hall, 4338 Beeline Road.

Township growth

Meshkin has overseen the growth and change in the township.

His tenure has included the addition of Wolters Woods Park, Sanctuary Woods Park, Huyser Farm Park and Shore Acres Park with a disc golf course and the Felt Mansion. The township has recently purchased more land for Laketown Township Beach.

“During his 35 years as manager, he guided numerous projects that make Laketown a wonderful place to live,” said Howell. “Through his efforts in working with boards, we have a balanced budget with money in the bank, a beautiful and popular park system, miles of bike paths, a modern fire station and township hall, and solid relationships with our municipal neighbors.”

Under Meshkin, the township established 12-miles of bicycle paths and built a new fire station on 60th Street. Pickleball courts were recently added to the Township Hall Park.

“In January I will leave the township with the best fund balance it has ever had, and an extremely well trained, courteous, efficient and effective township staff. Please take good care of both,” he wrote in his retirement letter.

Meshkin is a native of Allegan County and graduated from Fennville High School and Western Michigan University.