Top 3 parks candidates chosen for interviews

Board will talk to Eshenaur, Gogolin, Hoekman on Jan. 10.
The Laketown Township Parks and Recreation Commission oversees township parks, including Laketown Beach.

The Laketown Township Board of Trustees will interview three people on Jan. 10 to fill a vacancy on the Parks and Recreation Commission.

The meeting is 6 p.m. at the township hall, 4338 Beeline Road.

Board members decided at their workshop on Wednesday, Jan. 3, to interview Paul Eshenaur, Gray Gogolin and Tom Hoekman. Each candidate will get 15 minutes.

The person chosen will fill the seat of Jeremy Van Hoven who resigned in November. The person chosen for the position will serve through the November 2024 election.

The board received five applications for the position. Township Manager Al Meshkin compiled the names, sent them to board members who then ranked them. The top three will be interviewed.

Those who did not make the interview list are Mary Jo Bertolino and Steven Ringelberg.

Parks candidates

Here’s more on the candidates being interviewed on Jan. 10:

Paul Eshenaur is an outdoorsman, professional mechanic and has run a small auto repair shop in Holland for almost 20 years. He was also a president of Holland AM Rotary.

“I want to make the Laketown Township parks sustainable and enjoyable for future generations as we adapt to growth and change throughout the township,” he wrote in his application.

Gray Gogolin was the director of Leisure and Cultural Services, was Civic Center manager and recreation coordinator for the City of Holland and recreation programmer for the City of East Grand Rapids.

“I have a passion and interest in parks, recreation and the natural resources field,” he wrote in his application.

Tom Hoekman has a background in construction and maintenance for 40 years.

“I have a love for the outdoors and would like to preserve our natural areas for the future, which includes keeping them properly maintained,” he wrote in his application.

About the commission

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

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.