News Saugatuck/Douglas Commercial Record

Laketown 35-year manager Meshkin to bid adieu

By Jim Hayden


The Laketown Township Board is looking to replace 35-year Manager Al Meshkin, who announced his upcoming retirement July 3.

“As a Laketown resident,” said Supervisor Linda Howell, “I thank Al for his contributions and hard work, and wish him a peaceful and relaxing retirement. 

“He’s earned it,” Howell said.

Meshkin began work for the township Jan. 2, 1990 and his last day will be Jan. 3, 2025, per his letter to the board presented at last Wednesday’s workshop. His contract requires 30 days’ notice.

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

Hiring a Firm

The board plans to seek a firm to lead the search for Meshkin’s successor. 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 infrastructure projects and all township-owned properties, handling complaints and performing other duties as required.

Applicant qualifications 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, members plan to choose how to proceed at their regular meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 10, at the township hall, 4338 Beeline Road.

Township Growth

Meshkin has overseen almost two generations of growth and change in the township.

His tenure has included adding Wolters Woods, Sanctuary Woods, Huyser Farm and Shore Acres parks, the latter with a disc golf course and the Felt Mansion. Laketown has recently bought more land for its Lake Michigan Beach Park too.

“During his 35 years, Al has guided many 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 the new Graafschap 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, a native of Allegan County, graduated from Fennville High School and Western Michigan University.

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