The Ottawa County Board of Commissioners provides leadership and policy direction for all County activities. The Board is comprised of 11 members elected every two years from districts of equal population.
The Board has established four, five-member standing committees:
- Finance and Administration Committee
- Health and Human Services Committee
- Talent and Recruitment Committee
- Planning and Policy Committee
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.
Public Comment Protocols
In order to ensure that everyone who wants 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 by email, Zoom or in person. If you are emailing your public comment, you must include your name and address in order for your comment to be included in the correspondence log. For in-person comments, the public will access the building through the main entrance on the upper level of the Fillmore Administration Building. The door on the far right side of the main entrance will be open where County staff will be at a table in the vestibule to have the public sign in to attend the meeting or provide public comment. The public will have to provide their name and the city/township where they live. For those members of the public who 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 allow the first five people to provide public comment during the first of two public comment periods on the agenda. The remainder of the public comments will occur during the second public comment period near the end of the agenda. Each person will have one minute to provide their public comment. A timer will be displayed on the Zoom screen to show everyone, including the speaker, how much time remains.
- The first five people who sign in will be directed to enter the Board Room and take a seat.
- The next 10 people to sign in will enter the building and be directed to the main lobby.
- The next 50 people to sign in will enter the building and be directed to the Main Conference Room. There will be County employees in the Main Conference Room, as well as monitors that will display the Board meeting and the Google Doc signup sheet, so the public will know when they will be directed to the main lobby.
- As soon as the first five people in the Board Room have completed their public comment, they will then be directed to exit the Board Room and proceed outside the building. The 10 people from the lobby will be directed by County employees into the Board Room. The next 10 people from the Main Conference Room will be directed to move to the lobby. The next 10 people from outside the building will be signed in and directed to the Main Conference Room. This cycle will be repeated until all in-person public comments have finished. The public comments from people participating via Zoom will be heard last to be consistent with the County’s past practice.
- The public will not be allowed to congregate in the hallways to avoid disruption to the various departments that work in this area.
- The entrance at the lower level will be closed to those persons wishing to attend the Board meeting. Rather, they must enter through the main entrance on the upper level.
- Public restrooms will be available in the main lobby and across the hall from the Main Conference Room.
- The public will not be permitted to 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.
Roles and Responsiblities
Policy - County commissioners establish the policies of county government. These policies deal primarily with the agencies of county government and less directly with county residents. County policies deal largely with the county budget, appropriations, personnel, capital improvements, county services and other internal matters. At times they may also pass ordinances.
Oversight - County commissioners devote some of their time to oversight of the administrators in county government. In so doing, they seek to assure county department leaders carry out their tasks effectively, efficiently and with fiscal responsibility.
Constituent Services - Commissioners also spend time providing constituent services. Commissioners listen to county government related concerns of residents, help them obtain the services of a county agency, or provide them with answers or information. This involvement with residents also strengthens the oversight function because it gives commissioners a sense of how county programs are working.
The Big Picture - As the elected body that oversees the entire county budget, the Board of Commissioners is uniquely situated to keep an eye on the future, anticipating changes in society and legislation, and, through their policy setting role, work to keep the entire county operation focused on excellence and cost-effectiveness in their provision of services to citizens.
Meet Your Commissioners
- Port Sheldon Township
- Park Township
- City of Holland Ward 4 Precinct 1
Francisco "Frank" Garcia was first elected to the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners in 2016. He represents District 1 encompassing Park Township, Port Sheldon Township and a small portion of Holland city. 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 has served on the County’s Planning and Policy Committee, Health and Human Services Committee and the Talent /Recruitment Committee. He has also represented Ottawa County on the Holland Local Development Authority Board, West Michigan Regional Airport Authority, Area Community Services Employment Training Council, and West Michigan Regional Planning Commission.
- 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
James “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 board member 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 and the Grand Valley Metro Council. He also serves the community on the Visser YMCA Board of Directors and as a deacon, administrative elder and facilities chairman for Ridgewood Christian Reformed Church.
- 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.
Philip D. Kuyers
- Robinson Township Precinct 3
- Olive Township
- Grand Haven Charter Township Precincts 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 & 7
- City of Grand Haven Precinct 3
- 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 third term as a county commissioner. Prior to working 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 Vice-Chair of the Board of Commissioners in 2020. He has served on multitudes of County Boards and has chaired the Mental Health Board as well as the Agricultural Preservation 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 and his wife Alison live in Cambridge, Mass. His daughter Molly lives outside Des Moines Iowa. Matt enjoys doing pretty much anything that brings him in 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 to visit and camp is the south end on Beaver Island, Michigan.