Parks leader announces resignation

Tom Shuff stepping down as chairperson of parks commission in May.
Tom Shuff, chairman of the Laketown Township Parks and Recreation Commission, talks with volunteers at Huyser Farm Park, 4188 64th St. in Laketown Township during the United Way Day of Caring in September.

The Laketown Township Parks and Recreation Commission is looking for a new member after the board’s chairperson announced his resignation.

Tom Shuff reported his departure in the township’s quarterly newsletter released last week. His resignation is effective May 4 when he will no longer be a resident of the township.

“The past six years have been enjoyable, educational and informative. Thanks for allowing me to serve on the parks commission as your chairman,” he wrote at the end of his regular column in the spring newsletter distributed to Laketown Township residents.

The newsletter is available on the home page of the township website at

The parks commission planned to discuss Shuff’s resignation at the April 19 meeting, but that was cancelled due to illness. The next parks meeting is 6 p.m. May 17 at the township hall, 4338 Beeline Road.

Vice Chairperson Karen Simmons will lead the parks commission.

The township board has 45 days to appoint a replacement for Shuff.

Anyone interested in serving on the parks commission should send an email to


Shuff’s first meeting as a parks commissioner was February 2018. He was voted chairperson in January 2019.

As chairperson, he oversaw the beginnings of the Blue Star non-motorized path that is now being constructed from the Shangrai-La Mobile Home Community, 6180 Blue Star Highway, to the Michigan Department of Transportation Park and Ride site at Exit 41; started a review of signage at township parks that led to the expected installation of new informational and directional signs at all parks by this fall; began in 2020 discussion of a millage request for the parks, culminating in the November 2022 vote; and oversaw the installation of the township’s first pickleball courts in late 2021.

Shuff also formed a committee in 2022 to look into the future of the house at Huyser Farm Park, leading to the transfer of the home’s fate to the township’s building authority. The commission had debated what to do with the 1939 house for more than 20 years, never coming to a consensus. He said the building authority is the best group to deal with the house since the authority has managed the demolition of prison buildings at what is now Shore Acres Township Park, the rehabilitation of the Felt Mansion and the construction of the Graafschap Fire Department building.