Appeals Court rooted in 21st century greed
This is regarding the decision by the Michigan Court of Appeals about Jean Klock Park. Judges Richard Bandstra, Jane Mankey and Deborah Servitto stated: "The deed doesn't define 'park purpose' or 'public purpose.'"
They further stated: "Had the drafters of the deed intended that the park be used in its passive natural state, they could have placed such restrictions on the deed."
Had, 90 years ago, Mr. and Mrs. Klock envisioned that the 21st century would become a society of greed and corruption in government and business, they surely would have been far more explicit regarding their deed.
If the courts had upheld the consent judgment of Jan. 27, 2004, these court appeals would be moot.
These judgments should have been deliberated on the mores of the Klock's era, an era when deals - even million dollar transactions - were done on a handshake, an era when a man's word was his bond and worth. It should not be judged on today's immoral mentality.
How can a judge misinterpret the spoken words by Mr. Klock to "see to it that the park is the children's." (How many children have you seen playing golf at $150 per round?)
Perhaps these judges can enlighten us as to how a man of virtue, honor and good character could foresee that 90 years in the future the majority of those in government and business would be sadly devoid of those assets. How could he, at that time, foretell that in the year 2004 the city of Benton Harbor would give his away for a few more "free" dollars. (When I say "give away" I am talking about the whole park - beach and all - when it is all said and done.) He certainly would have been more exact in the wording of the deed.
In closing, I will repeat what I wrote in a previous letter: Berrien County courts are not about justice, but deep pockets. On that note, good luck to the Benton Harbor Fruit Market, because it is up against the same deep pockets that stole "the children's park."
Shirley Stinson, Benton Harbor