When Grosse Pointe Park quietly blocked off a main road at the border of Detroit earlier this year, Mayor Mike Duggan took a decidedly diplomatic approach and quietly hammered out a deal with the suburban government to remove what turned out to be an illegal blockade.
But the mayor, who has fostered good relations so far with suburban leaders, bluntly criticized Grosse Pointe Park officials on Friday for missing a Nov. 30 deadline to remove the farmer’s market sheds that block Kercheval at Alter.
“It’s obvious we can’t trust the Grosse Pointe Park leaders,” Mayor Duggan told Fox 2. “They don’t mean what they say.”
Those fighting words came on the same day Grosse Pointe Park began to remove two smaller sheds. But the main one hasn’t moved, and Park officials continue to dodge questions about the blockade.
Mayor Duggan didn’t mince words.
“I’m tired of the lying and tired of the dishonesty of the Grosse Pointe Park leadership,” the mayor said. “They promised the sheds would be gone at the end of November, they promised yesterday that they would be gone today. I think at this point, we’re going to have to look at moving to the next step.”
Grosse Pointe Park officials have been deceptive about the intersection since last year. When we showed that Park crews were blocking the intersection with massive piles of snow last winter, officials dismissed rumors that the road would be blocked permanently. And then in June, crews blocked the street by erecting a farmer’s market without gaining the required approval from city council.
Residents who expressed outrage at public meetings were often brushed off, and their questions went unanswered.
Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.