New parks leader open to ideas and opportunities

Brad Laninga was named chairperson of the parks commission on Dec. 20.
Brad Laninga is the new chairperson of the Laketown Township Parks and Recreation Commission. Dec. 22, 2023.

The Laketown Township Parks and Recreation Commission named Brad Laninga its new chairperson on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023.

The chairperson position opened in November when Jeremy Van Hoven resigned.

“I want to thank Jeremy for his time and leadership,” Laninga said.

Laninga joined the commission in June after a parks member resigned.

“I’ve always had an appreciation for the parks in Laketown Township. The township is a beautiful place to live,” he said. “I’m open to ideas and opportunities to continue to make the parks and what we have the best they can be.”

Laninga has been a township resident since 2006.


There is still an opening on the parks commission.

Applications for the open seat should be submitted by 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 29, to township Manager Al Meshkin at

An application form is available on the township website at Choose “Boards & Commissions” then scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “Looking to apply for a township board or commission position? Fill out the application here.”

Meshkin will compile the applications, send them to township board members who will then choose the candidates they want to interview at the Jan. 10 meeting. A decision could be made at that meeting.

The person chosen for the position will serve through the November 2024 election.

The parks commission is an elected five-member board that oversees township parks. Current members are Laninga, Karen Simmons, Richard Becker and Anne Brand.

The commission meets at 6 p.m. every third Wednesday at the township hall, 4338 Beeline Road.

For more information, visit or call (616) 335-3050.

In other business, the commission decided to wait until spring to collect more bids for painting the Old Township Hall, 6280 142nd Ave. The commission has one estimate for $4,800.