Benton Harbor Emergency Manager changes Jean Klock Park hours – again


I can’t figure this out. You’ll recall that I recently blogged about Benton Harbor Emergency Manager Joseph Harris restricting access to Jean Klock Park by changing the hours of operation. The change happened in May but flew under the radar until Michigan Messenger’s Eartha Jane Melzer reported on it.

Now, it turns out, Joe Harris has changed the park’s hours again.

A May order by Benton Harbor’s emergency manager changing the hours of operation for Jean Klock Park has the Friends of Jean Klock Park up in arms.

But Emergency Manager Joseph Harris said the point is moot because he has changed the parks’ hours to almost what they used to be. Harris said he made the change about two weeks ago.

Carol Drake, a founder of the organization, said in a news release this week that Harris’ May order violated all of the following: the original deed that gave the park to the city, a 2004 consent judgment, the city charter and the lease agreement between the city and Harbor Shores.

Drake and Friends co-founder Clellen Bury sued the city and Harbor Shores a few years ago on the grounds that the golf course violated a 2004 consent agreement that said the park must be open for public use.

According to Harris’ order posted on the city’s website and signed May 4, the park is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. May 1 through Sept. 30 and is closed all other times.

Harris has since changed the hours to 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., but an order to that effect has not been posted to the city’s website.

First, why change the hours in the first place? Second, why change them back? Third, why change them back but not publish the order on the City’s website where orders are published?

Here’s the best part of the story:

Drake said the hours posted at the park were changed as she spoke with a TV reporter at Jean Klock Park Tuesday. When they arrived, there were two sets of park hours posted – a sign that gave the park’s old hours, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., and another posted in the window of the ticket booth that gave the new hours, Drake said.

As Drake was speaking with the reporter, a person from the city came and took the sign posted in the window down.

The clown show in Benton Harbor continues…

  • dkmich

    FYI, Dear Interested
    On June 29, 2011,
    the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) approved the Wolverine
    Power Supply Cooperative, Inc. Permit to Install
    application for the installation of two
    300-megawatt circulating fluidized bed solid fuel-fired boilers and associated
    equipment in Rogers City, Michigan. 
    As a part of this approval, staff revised and added conditions to
    the permit to address certain information received during the public
    participation process and the subsequent analysis of that
    This permit
    application was originally denied on May 21, 2010, due to a failure to
    demonstrate a need for the facility. 
    This decision was subsequently challenged by Wolverine and in its Opinion
    and Order dated January 28, 2011, the Missaukee County Circuit Court ruled that
    the alleged lack of need for the facility alone, separate from air quality
    concerns, is not a legal basis to deny the permit application.  The facility satisfies the air quality
    requirements the MDEQ is to apply to Wolverine’s permit application pursuant to
    the Circuit Court’s Opinion and Order. 
    The Response to Comments document, Permit Terms and Conditions, and
    Company Approval Letter can be viewed at
    Thank you for your
    input regarding our review of this permit
    G. Vinson Hellwig,
    Air Quality

  • ourfreedom4ever

    Game playing anyone? Jean Klock must be turning over in his grave

  • winterinthehinterland

    My understanding is people have been calling the state treasurer Andy Dillon and Joseph Harris asking for an explanation as to why the park hours have been changed.  Perhaps positive people pressure (PPP) is having a positive impact.  Thank you to the PPP!!!