DETROIT (CN) — The mayor of the Detroit suburb Highland Park sued City Council members to force them to establish districts as mandated in a newly adopted city charter.
Mayor Hubert Yopp’s mandamus lawsuit in Wayne County Circuit Court claims the council members have ignored the revised charter that was approved by voters in May 2018 after several years of efforts.
Highland Park, pop. 10,375, almost completely surrounded by the city of Detroit, was once home to the headquarters of the Chrysler Corporation but has languished in the decades since the automaker moved 30 miles north to Auburn Hills in 1992. Its median household income of $18,045 is only about one-third of the state median of $52,492, according to city-data.com. And its median home or condo value of $39,916 is only 27% of the statewide median of $147,100. Ninety-one percent of its residents are black. It has lost 38% of its residents since 2000.
The mayor’s lawsuit says voters approved a revision of the charter in 2012 by a 76% to 24% margin. A charter commission was elected two years later and drafted new resolutions in 2017 that were approved by then-Gov. Rick Snyder in January 2018 and by voters in May 2018.
Council members are required by law to establish three separate districts for three seats along with two at-large seats to be filled by the City Council president and City Council pro tem but have ignored those obligations according to the lawsuit.
The complaint was filed by The Kelly Law Firm, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Nor City Council members.