Village president not seeking re-election

Marie Havenga • Jul 6, 2016 at 8:00 AM

SPRING LAKE — Village President Jim MacLachlan has announced he will not seek re-election in November.

His two-year term will officially expire in January 2017.

MacLachlan has served as president since 2012 and on Village Council since 2008. He was also a member of the Village Council from 1992-96.

MacLachlan said his reason for forgoing another term is that he wants to travel more.

“You can't really be the president and be gone a lot,” he said. “It hurts continuity and the ability to keep things running the way you need to have them go. I just felt it was time.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my last four and a half years as village president, as well as the previous three years I served as a council member and president pro tem,” he continued. “As I look forward to completing the remainder of my current term, I'm grateful for the diligence and dedication of my fellow council members, as well as that of our administration and professional staff.”

MacLachlan said he's proud of helping the village reduce operating expenses by collaborating with municipal neighbors — Ottawa County, Spring Lake Township, and the cities of Grand Haven and Ferrysburg.

“We've also been able to develop significant new sources of revenue — and, as a result, our financial position has been strengthened substantially,” he said. “We were also able to lower our total millage rate last year as we continue to demonstrate our commitment to careful stewardship of our taxpayers' resources.”

MacLachlan said council has worked well together.

“We have a fabulous group that will continue their great work,” he said. “I'm very confident that village leadership will continue to deal effectively with whatever challenges lie ahead, and that our community will continue to be a place we can all be proud to call home.”

Village Manager Chris Burns said she is sad to see MacLachlan go.

“He's been a wonderful boss,” she said. “I think he's kind of laid the ground work, and I think council will continue on in the same spirit and continue some of the projects he had in mind. Hopefully, it's seamless with whoever our next president will end up being.”

MacLachlan works as the financial senior vice president of a Grand Rapids wealth management firm, and Burns said that financial background has been a great bonus for the village.

“He's very, very strong with numbers and finance,” she said. “That certainly came at a time when we needed it.”

Burns said MacLachlan is also a master at leading meetings.

“He has a very calm demeanor when it comes to running a meeting,” she said. “I've never seen anybody run a meeting as well as he does. He's firm but he's kind.”


Anyone interested in running for the village president seat has until July 26 to file a petition with Spring Lake Township Clerk Carolyn Boersma. Boersma said to date, she has received no petitions.

President pro tem Steve Nauta said he plans to run for village president.

“I have gathered a lot of experience in the last seven years as a council member and I would like to put that experience to use in this new role,” Nauta said. “I believe Jim has done a great job and the village government is in a good place.”

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