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Over 300 residents gathered July 25 at Lipke park to rally for its opening. The city closed it and wants to give it to a church, the Salvation Army. McDonald’s owner Errol Service, who sits on the Salvation Army board wants to put a commercial water park on the site. Mayor Mike Duggan and Council person Scott Benson want the Salvation Army to have it, and are insisting the citizens draw up a proposal if they want to keep the 15-acres and 10-year old field house. Neighbors believe a public hearing on the park will be held Sept. 4, but the city has not confirmed the date. MICHIGAN CITIZEN STAFF PHOTO

The battle over the future of Lipke Park in northeast Detroit says a lot about politics in the city, the sorry state of representative government, the lack of democracy. It also explains in large part the “apathy” of Detroiters over the approaching primary election while exposing the pitfalls of privatization.

Children are what make the Lipke area unique. The largest concentration of children under 18 in all of Michigan, live in the Lipke neighborhood. Concern about those children and their future is absent from city plans for the park.

Fifteen acres and a 10-year-old fieldhouse, that is Lipke park. It was thriving, well used, offering a number of classes and sports teams until the heating and air conditioning units were stolen and Mayor Dave Bing shut down a viable program and facility.

Mayor Duggan, his aide Charlie Beckham and the area’s district councilperson Scott Benson are pulling to give the property to the Salvation Army. It is a church. Its doesn’t pay taxes and is not required to report how much money it takes in or how it spends it.

Salvation Army is a corporate church with political ties. Families on public assistance no longer receive cash clothing allowances. Now they get vouchers to use at Salvation Army. Recipients don’t even have the chance to pick which used clothing store they will shop. It’s Salvation Army or nothing.

Community members make it plain they don’t want the water park or the Salvation Army; they want the field house open and owned by the public.

Read the full story about this tragic occurrence in The Michigan Citizen 

To contribute to helping keep Lipke Park public please call 313-891-7709 and 313-377-6550

Keep Lipke Park public was originally published on

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