The Board of Commissioners is comprised of 11 members elected every two years from districts of equal population. They have four, five-member standing committees: Finance and Administration Committee; Health and Human Services Committee; Talent and Recruitment Committee; and Planning and Policy Committee.
What does the Board of Commissioners do?
- Set Policy - Commissioners pass resolutions which establish polices for internal matters like budgets, services, capital improvements and other matters. While commissioners may pass county ordinances, they are few due to the limited power of boards.
- Provide Leadership - Commissioners participate in countless county, regional and state committees giving them unique perspectives of their communities. The board engages in an annual strategic planning process, anticipating changes and needs for the future.
- Add Oversight - While commissioners only make the hiring decisions of one employee, the county administrator, they spend time monitoring and evaluating the work of many department officials. Doing so assures that county-funded services are effective and efficient.
- Serve Constituents - Commissioners are available to connect with county residents and find them the information or service they need. The Board also attends functions such as chamber meetings to learn the needs of the business community, farming events to hear from agri-business and non-profit gatherings learn the needs and gaps in human services.
Commissioners do not oversee city or township boards or services. Similarly, the County Commissioners do not have any role with school boards, school curricula or their budgets. The Ottawa County Board of Commissioners does not adopt resolutions on items outside of its statutory authority, with the exception of honorary resolutions. Other counties' boards may choose to adopt resolutions outside of their authority, however such resolutions are not enforceable even within those counties.
Meetings of the Board of Commissioners and its Committees are open to the public. The Board meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month at 1:30pm in the Board Room at the Administration Building: 12220 Fillmore Street, West Olive. Watch videos of recent meetings on YouTube. The Board Rules contain more information about the structure and dynamics of meetings. Each meeting opens and closes with an opportunity for public comments. Since comment time is limited, it is helpful to come prepared and be succinct. You can also contact your Ottawa County Commissioner at any time.Submit a Public Comment Online »
Public Comment Protocols
To ensure that everyone who wishes to provide public comment at an Ottawa County Board of Commissioners meeting can do so in a safe and efficient manner, the County has implemented the following procedures:
- Public comments are accepted online, Zoom or in person. If you are emailing your public comment, you must include your name and city or township.
- For in-person comments, you should access the building only through the entrance on the upper level of the Fillmore Administration Building. Please do not use the lower level entrance. County staff will greet you in the vestibule to have you sign in to provide public comment. You will need to provide your name and the city or township for the record. If you do not wish to enter the building but still view the meeting, it will be streamed for viewing on Zoom and YouTube.
- The Board will invite the first five people to provide public comment during the first of two comment periods on the agenda. The remainder of the public comments will be welcomed at the second comment period near the end of the agenda. A time limit per comment will be set by the board chair at each meeting. A timer will be displayed so you will know how much time is remaining.
- The first five people who sign in will enter the Board Room and take a seat. The next 10 people to sign in will wait in the main lobby.
- The remaining meeting attendees will sign in (if speaking) and be invited to the main conference room until a capacity of 50 is reached. There will be County employees in the main conference room who will advise you when your turn to speak is approaching. Television monitors will display the board meeting so that you can view it while you wait.
- With the assistance of County staff, the public will rotate from the outdoors, the main conference room, the lobby, and into the board chambers to share their comment, as space allows. This will give everyone an opportunity to provide public comment in a safe and efficient manner. The cycle will be repeated until all in-person comments have finished. Following the in-person comments, the board will hear public comments from virtual participants.
- To avoid disruptions to customer service and ensure everyone’s safety, please do not congregate in hallways.
- Please do not bring food or coolers into the building.
Contacting your Commissioner
In lieu of participating in public comment, you can contact your Ottawa County Commissioner at any time via phone, email or letter. Letters should be addressed to Ottawa County Administration, 12220 Fillmore Street, West Olive, MI 49460 and include your County Commissioner’s name. If you are unsure which district, precinct or ward you reside in, this map can help or use our interactive mapping tool below.
New County Commission Districts take effect on January 1, 2023. If you would like to contact your current County Commissioner, please use the map and information below. If you would like information about your new County Commission district, please visit the Ottawa County Apportionment website.
Meet Your Commissioners
- Port Sheldon Township
- Park Township
- City of Holland Ward 4 Precinct 1
Francisco “Frank” Garcia was first elected to the Ottawa Board County Board of Commissioners in 2016 to represent District 1. He and his wife (Yolanda) have been residents of Ottawa County since 1977. Francisco is a graduate of the University of Michigan (Political Science and History) and Michigan State University (Educational Leadership). After 30 years as a local educator; classroom teacher, school administrator and superintendent, he retired in 2008. Francisco currently serves, or has served, on the County’s Planning and Policy Committee, Health and Human Services and the Talent and Recruitment Committee. He has also represented Ottawa County on the West Michigan Regional Airport Board, Area Community Services Employment Training Council, West Michigan Regional Planning Commission and the Holland Local Development Authority Board. When not participating in County related activities Frank enjoys golfing, biking, leisure walks and reading. He also spends time doing “daddy fix-ups” at his daughter’s (Daniela) and son’s (Damian) residence.
- Holland Charter Township Precincts 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 & 11
Joe Baumann was first elected to the County Board of Commissioners in 2010. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Finance and Administration Committee and is a Past Board Chairman and Vice Chairman.
Prior to being elected to the Ottawa County Board, Joe served on the Holland Charter Township Board as a Trustee for 6 years. He is also currently serving on the Macatawa Area Transit Authority Board. He is a lifelong resident of the Holland area and is married and has two grown children.
- City of Holland Wards 1, 2, 3 & 6, Ward 4 Precinct 3
Doug Zylstra was born and raised on the west side of Ottawa County. He is a graduate of Calvin Christian High School, The University of Michigan, and the Eli Broad School of Business at Michigan State University. He is the President and owner of West Side Clothing since 1996. His family is composed of Ketziquelt Zylstra, whom he married in 1998, and his two sons, Samuel and Sebastian. Samuel is a student at The University of Michigan, and Sebastian attends Black River Public School. Commissioner Zylstra was elected commissioner for the City of Holland district in 2019 . Previously, he was on the Ottawa County Planning Commission from 2010 to 2017. He also served one term on the West Michigan Regional Planning Commission. He serves or has served on many board and committees including: the Finance Committee, SmartZone Board, Health and Human Services Committee, the Community Mental Health Board, the Talent and Recruitment Committee, as well the Local Emergency Planning Committee.
Allen “Al” Dannenberg has lived in this area his entire life. He is a graduate of
Zeeland High School. He retired from Mead Johnson after 35 years of employment there. He is now an
Ottawa County Commissioner and a Realtor for FiveStar Lakeshore.
He and his wife Barb are members of Haven Church in Zeeland. They have three married children and nine grandchildren.
Al has been a Zeeland City Councilman for ten years and an Ottawa County Commissioner since 2013. He currently serves on the Health & Human Services Committee, the Planning & Policy Committee, the Community Mental Health Board, WEMET, the Solid Waste Planning Committee, the Food Services Appeals Board and the Zeeland Recreation Board. In his spare time, he enjoys golf and reading.
- Holland Charter Township Precincts 5, 9, 10 & 12
- City of Zeeland
- Zeeland Charter Township Precincts 2 & 3
Randall "Randy" Meppelink is a lifelong resident of Ottawa County, Randy graduated from Zeeland High School in 1984. After school Randy enlisted in the US Navy where he served in the 3rd Fleet. He is also a retired fire fighter with 20 years of service with Blendon Township Fire. He also served with the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Marine and Reserve Unit. He served for four years as township Trustee, and then four more as Clerk. Randy has been married to his wife Bonnie for 33 years. They have two sons who also live in Ottawa County. They enjoy boating on Lake Michigan as well as snowmobiling in the winter-time. Randy and Bonnie are members at Community Reformed Church in Zeeland. They have two grandchildren Randy and his Wife Bonnie own Great Lakes Window Coverings, Window Products Inc. and multiple E commerce sites. "Having these companies keeps us very busy. We enjoy West Michigan and are proud to have our companies located here." Randy's hobbies also include hunting, traveling, and the outdoors.
- Jamestown Charter Township
- Blendon Township
- City of Hudsonville
- Zeeland Charter Township Precinct 1
Kyle J. Terpstra
- Georgetown Charter Township Precincts 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 & 16
- Georgetown Charter Township Precincts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 & 10
Jim Holtvluwer attended Calvin College and Ferris State University and holds a BA in Business Administration. Jim spent over a decade as a partner in Jurgens and Holtvluwer Menswear in Jenison. He also worked many decades in commercial and retail real estate sales and leasing. Jim was a trustee of Georgetown Charter Township before serving as the supervisor for four years. After his time in Georgetown, he was elected to the County Board of Commissioners where he has been serving since 2006. As commissioner, Jim is on the Mental Health Board, the Parks Board, the Health and Humans Services Board and the Grand Valley Metro Council. He also has served the community on the Jenison Ambucs and the Visser YMCA Board of Directors, Jim and his wife Rachel are members of Ridgewood Christian Reformed Church. Together, they have four married children and twelve grandchildren.
- Allendale Charter Township
- Robinson Township Precincts 1 & 2
Gregory DeJong attended Muskegon Community College, preparing him for a career in
the foodservice industry. With his passion to serve, he opened the Rock Island restaurant in Holland, along
with the Goal Post Family Restaurant in Allendale. Giving back to the community has always been important to
Greg. He ran for Township Trustee in Allendale and served eight years on its board. An interest in County
government lead him to volunteer on the county’s first-ever Agricultural Preservation Board. Soon after
that, he felt a calling to serve on the Board of Commissioners for Ottawa County.
Married to his wife Pam for 30 years, he is also the proud father of sons Justin and Alex, along with two great daughters-in-law, Missy and Bridget. He also has two grandchildren which he loves to spend time with. DeJong takes great pride in communicating with people and lives by the motto: Trying to make a difference every day in someone’s life.
- Robinson Township Precinct 3
- Olive Township
- Grand Haven Charter Township Precincts 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 & 7
- City of Grand Haven Precinct 3
Philip Kuyers was elected to Board of Commissioners in 2000 represent District 9. He was born and raised in Robinson Township where he co-owned and operated a dairy farm for more than 40 years. In addition, Kuyers was the co-owner of Pigeon Creek Golf Course for 20 years. Phil served and continues to take on many leadership roles in the community including Board of Commissioners Chairman, Michigan Association of Counties President, and Ottawa County Farm Bureau President. Phil has been married to his wife, Pam, for 38 years. Together, they have four children and seven grandchildren.
- Grand Haven Charter Township Precinct 4
- City of Grand Haven Precincts 1, 2 & 4
- City of Ferrysburg
- Spring Lake Township Precincts 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5
Roger A. Bergman was born in Holland, and attended Holland Christian schools and Hope College. In 1966 He started working at Borr’s Bootery and met his wife Karen that same year. They soon married and started a family after moving to their first home ten miles south of Holland in Allegan County. When Borr’s opened a new store in Grand Haven, they moved north and followed the store to the city. In addition to being involved with the merchant's organization, they soon became active in starting a new church. At the same time, Roger was the legal guardian for two mentally challenged older brothers as well as was co-director of a financial planning ministry. In addition to this, Karen and he were raising two boys, Nick and Bryce.
In 1998, Roger was asked to run for Grand Haven City Council and in November of 1999 was elected to the four-year term. In 2003, Roger Bergman was elected as mayor for the following eight years. After serving Grand Haven City, Roger decided it was time to try something different. Since both Denny Swarthout and Jane Ruiter were retiring from their county service, Roger decided to run for the 10th district seat on the Board of Commissioners and has been on the board since. He sold the shoe store many years ago but still works for them doing the books, making his service to the merchant 52 years! As Roger looks back at this time, he sees how God has blessed him and my family in so many ways and is thankful.
- Spring Lake Township Precinct 6
- Crockery Township
- Polkton Charter Township
- City of Coopersville
- Tallmadge Charter Township
- Wright Township
- Chester Township
Matt Fenske is in his fifth term as a county commissioner. Prior to becoming an Ottawa County Commissioner for District 11, Matt had a 33 year career with the 17th Circuit Court in Kent County. Matt had performed in almost every capacity within the Circuit Court system finishing as the Superintendent of the Detention facility. Matt earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice from Michigan State University and a Masters of Counseling and Personnel from Western Michigan University. Matt's interest in local government began when he moved from Grand Rapids to Tallmadge Township in 1992. He has served on the Zoning Board of Appeals, Board of Trustees and on the Planning Commission since 1995 to the present. Matt has been involved in numerous professional and service organizations with the most recent one being the establishment of the first Kiwanis Chapter in the Coopersville area in 2016. As commissioner, Fenske was elected Board Chair of the Board of Commissioners in 2022. He served as Vice Chair of the Board in 2020 for two years. He has served on multitudes of County Boards. He currently chairs the Ottawa County Mental Health Board, Agricultural Preservation Board and vice chair of the Ottawa County Groundwater Board. Matt also serves on the Area Community Services Employment & Training Council, Ottawa County Drain Board, Lakeshore Regional Entity Executive Board, Ottawa County Insurance Authority and the Ottawa County Plat Board. Matt Fenske is a Christian, is pro-life and supports the 2nd Amendment of the United States of America. Matt has two children living outside the state. His son Tyler, wife Alison and their two boys live in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His daughter Molly and her husband Patrick live in Des Moines, Iowa. Matt enjoys almost everything that brings him into the great outdoors. Always has a vegetable garden, makes great hot salsa, loves to hunt and hike, but is especially passionate about his horses. Best and favorite vacation spot for Matt and his family is to visit and camp on the south end of Beaver Island, Michigan.