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Candidates for Village of Sand Lake

The Village of Sand Lake has one seat up for grabs due to a recall petition and two people running for the seat. Trustee Rachel Gokey is being recalled due to a petition filed by Jack Christensen, who is now running against her. According to the petition language, he filed it because Gokey did not sign the social media policy passed by the board. She now has to run to hold on to her seat. The partial term will expire in November of 2022.

Rachel Gokey

My name is Rachel Gokey.  I am 40 years old and have lived in the Village of Sand Lake for over 16 years.  I am married to Jeff Gokey with three kids, all of which attend Tri County Schools.  As a GVSU Grad with a bachelor’s Business Administration with emphasis in Management & Marketing, I have a passion for helping businesses run as efficiently as possible while assisting with marketing to reach the furthest guest base.  I am currently running a nonprofit pantry and resource center for Sand Lake and area communities, Tri-Unity, community resources.  We are in the process of finding a new location.  I also do marketing for six local businesses and have recently started a full-time position assisting in day-to-day operations for a small business in Muskegon.

I enjoy helping others, working with the community and getting to know people. I previously served on the following Village of Sand Lake committees:  Buildings & Grounds, Department of Public Works, Public Safety, Human Resources, Streets, Events and Community Promotion. You will find me working closely with the Tri-County Junior Eagles and members of other, local, nonprofit groups. I believe that everyone should be welcomed and invited to participate in our community, not just those that have lived here generation after generation.

If elected I hope to bring additional transparency and accountability to the community. I plan to continue to ask questions, to ask for supporting documents, to continue offering my assistance to local groups and businesses. I have served on the Village Council since September 2018. As a council member I have been locked out of my Village email, excluded from communication, not given proper supporting documents, and even repeatedly denied requests for financial records. It is my duty to ensure accuracy. There needs to be better communication with our residents, more proof behind the words, less believing without seeing supporting documentations. Be careful what words you believe without doing research of your own. Transparency and accountability are necessary! Be cautious of what others state as “Unity,” it can also be seen as “Quorum” and the right to free thinking begins to disappear.  I would love to see our business district grow and develop! Salisbury Park is such an amazing space, it would be amazing to see it host community events more frequently. Be a part of the community, meetings, and events.

I am the best candidate for the current available position. I was previously elected by the Village of Sand Lake residents to serve on the Village Council and hope they wish for me to continue bringing light to issues. I am currently running under a recall re-election. I can honestly say that I have never met the candidate running against me. Yes, he chose to recall me just as I chose to run for my spot. If re-elected I would be finishing out my Trustee term through November 2022. Remember, attend meetings (3rd Monday of the month @7pm, Village Meeting Hall) and go vote to re-elect Rachel Gokey November 2, 2021!

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Jack Christensen

I am 56 years old.  I was born and raised on a farm in South Ionia, the youngest of 5 children. I came to Sand Lake about two years ago. Having lived most of my life in more rural settings, I wasn’t so sure how I would like living “in town,” however, living “in town” has turned out to be a wonderful experience. I have kind and considerate neighbors who are willing to help me when I need it and I’m willing to do the same for them. As a village, we must be willing to take care of each other, because sometimes, each other, is all we have.

In my 22 years at Amway, I have found myself collaborating with all kinds of people across the corporation and across the globe, to solve difficult problems together. There is nothing I have seen in my career that could not be solved, but when working within a group or committee, mutual respect and consideration, must be observed.

If elected, I would work to reestablish a coherent and civil dialogue among council members and the citizens of Sand Lake, so that we might return to the business of serving the residents of our fine village.

Civil dialog, cooperation and unity, seem to be a missing factor in the business of running the village recently. These elements are the cornerstone of any successful endeavor, where multiple parties need to coordinate a response. While civil discourse is essential as well, obstructionism, for the sake of obstruction, is counter-productive and we must not stand for it. 

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