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 salaries of the Ottawa County Commissioners as well as other non-judicial elected officials are determined by the Officers' Compensation Commission as permitted by PA 485 of 1978. The Officers' Compensation Commission presents its recommendations to the Board of Commissioners. The recommendations go into effect unless they are rejected by the Board of Commissioners. The most recent compensation determination can be read in detail beginning on page 14 of the meeting agenda from March 24, 2022. It was approved at the meeting.
Meetings of the Board of Commissioners and its Committees are open to the public. The Board meets on the second Tuesday at 9AM and the fourth Tuesday at 6:30PM in the Board Room at the Administration Building: 12220 Fillmore Street, West Olive. On the first Tuesday of each month, the Planning & Policy Committee meets at 9AM and the Finance and Committee meets at 10AM. On the third Tuesday of the month, the Health and Human Services Committee meets at 9AM and the Talent and Recruitment Committee meets at 10AM. Watch videos of recent meetings on YouTube. The Board Rules contain more information about the structure and dynamics of meetings.
Opportunities for the Public to Comment
Each Board Meeting begins and ends with an opportunity for the public to address the Commissioners. Comments are also accepted online. The County Clerk does ask you to sign up when you arrive at the meeting because this assists their office in ensuring accurate meeting minutes. Approximately 45 minutes before the scheduled meeting time, the sign-up sheet for public comments will be available. Your name and address will appear in the minutes. Typically, the Board Chair offers each speaker three minutes at the podium. If there is a large crowd, the Board Chair may choose to shorten the speaking time so that all persons can have a chance to address the Board. The County Clerk will ask you to state your name and address for the record, and then you are welcome to make your comment to the Board.
To keep the County business of the agenda progressing, comments to the board are not intended to be question and answer sessions or times for discussions. You are invited to communicate directly with your Commissioner via email, phone or mail outside of meeting times to engage in discussions. Their contact information is below.Submit a Comment Online »
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 you reside in, please use our interactive mapping tool below.
Meet Your Commissioners
- Port Sheldon Township
- Olive Township
- Park Township Precincts 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 & 7
Gretchen A. Cosby was elected to the Ottawa Board County Board of Commissioners in 2022 to represent District 1. Her entire career has been one of service. “It is my very nature to think of others first. I work to create then continuously innovate processes and environments where the experience of people is enhanced.” Gretchen holds Associates, Bachelor's and Master's degrees in nursing and nursing management. She has 30 years of practical, working experience. As a nursing leader, she has provided vision and direction to teams of 200 people with healthcare budgets of more than $30 million dollars. She served as the Director of Nursing Services for North Ottawa Community Hospital, opened and ran the Holland Hospital COIVD testing center, was the Practice Lead for two Mercy Health's Innovative Primary Care practices, assisted in the development of strategy for Region 6 Statewide Trauma Initiative, has had leadership responsibilities for emergency rooms, intensive care units, and taught mental health for nursing. Gretchen served on the Rest Haven Board of Directors. Gretchen has worked in the service of fair elections as the local leader for Election Integrity Force.
- Holland Charter Township Precincts 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 & 11
- Park Township Precinct 4
Doug Zylstra was born and raised in 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. 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.
- City of Zeeland
- Holland Charter Township Precincts 5, 9, 10 & 12
- Zeeland Charter Township Precincts 1, 2 & 3
Joe Moss, Chairperson
- Blendon Township
- City of Hudsonville
- Jamestown Charter Township
- Zeeland Charter Township Precinct 4
- Georgetown Charter Township Precincts 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 & 17
- Georgetown Charter Township Precincts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8
Rebekah Curran is a seasoned sales & marketing professional with 15 years of managerial experience with Marriott International, Hilton Hotels, Hyatt Hotels, and The Berkeley Hotel. In 2012, after completely submitting her life to Christ, she felt led to forge a new path into politics and fundraising. She is thankful for the honor of working for The Family Foundation, Amanda Chase for Virginia State Senate & Governor, Ben Carson's Presidential Super PAC, and Trump Victory. She also worked in fundraising to advance the cause of many non-profits. She has been married to her supportive husband, Jeff Curran, for 21 years. Together they have raised two amazing children, Devin & Conner. Rebekah, and her family, live in Georgetown Township and attend Resurrection Life Church in Grandville. As a first-time Commissioner, she is looking forward to bringing a new perspective and serving the people of Ottawa County.
Sylvia Rhodea, Vice-Chairperson
- Allendale Charter Township
- Grand Haven Charter Township
- Robinson Township
- Spring Lake Township Precinct 5
Roger (Rog) Belknap is a lifelong West Michigan resident, having grown up in Chester Township and currently resides in Grand Haven Township. Belknap is a small business owner and has over 20 years of public service experience, most recently working for the Michigan Department of Transportation as the Transportation Asset Management Council Program Coordinator. He has infrastructure planning and management experience gained while working as the Public Works Director for the communities of Cedar Springs and Spring Lake. Rog also worked for the Kent County Road Commission as a Transportation Planner where he was involved with roadway information system management and coordination of community development initiatives. Rog earned Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Public Administration and over the course of his career obtained licenses for municipal utility operations and other vocational training. Belknap represents Ottawa County Commission District 9, which includes the townships of Grand Haven, Robinson and Precinct 5 of Spring Lake Township.
- City of Ferrysburg
- City of Grand Haven
- Spring Lake Township Precincts 1, 2, 3, 4 & 6
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 1999, Roger took his post on Grand Haven City Council where he served four years. Following that, Bergman served as Grand Haven's mayor for eight years. Next, Roger turned his attention to Ottawa County and was elected to the Board of Commissioners in 2012. As Roger looks back at this time, he sees how God has blessed him and my family in so many ways and is thankful.
- Chester Township
- City of Coopersville
- Crockery Township
- Polkton Charter Township
- Tallmadge Charter Township
- Wright Township
Allison Miedema was elected in 2022 to represent District 11 as county commissioner.
Allison has a teaching degree from Grand Valley State University with a Master's degree in Early Childhood, and has taught preschool for 21 years in both public and private schools. Allison looks forward to bringing her expertise in child development to advocacy for the best interest of children in policy decisions made by Ottawa County. Through her work with hundreds of families, Allison fostered strong communication skills, relationships, team work, and goal setting.
Allison became involved in politics when she noticed the rights of parents and children, along with the everyday American citizen, were being neglected, abused, and overstepped by the government in response to Covid-19. Due to the government overreach in schools, which violated her own personal conscience and spiritual convictions, she resigned her much loved position as a teacher in August 2021. Allison understands the government must work for the people to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for citizens. She prioritizes freedom, the Constitution, and parental rights.
Allison is married to her best friend Brent and they have a teenage son. Her family is an active part of a local church where she has led a ladies Bible study, served as an active participant in the high school youth group, children's ministries, and more recently served on the pastor search team. Allison enjoys many outdoor adventures including camping and hiking, as well as enjoys reading and spending time with family and friends.