Former Grosse Pointe Park councilwoman challenged status quo

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published January 12, 2022

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GROSSE POINTE PARK — Her tenure on the Grosse Pointe Park City Council might have been brief, but former City Councilwoman Aimee Rogers Fluitt’s two years of service were memorable.

Rogers Fluitt — whose last council meeting was Dec. 13 — had to step down two years before her term was slated to expire because she was moving to the Washington, D.C., area, where her husband was transferred for work and where the couple has extended family. Not afraid to challenge the status quo, Rogers Fluitt ruffled more than a few feathers by routinely questioning policies, practices and purchases in the city, a position that made her a champion to some and a firebrand to others.

A national security consultant who has worked for the FBI and consulted for NASA in the past, Rogers Fluitt has been a stay-at-home mom in recent years, although she continued to do freelance security work. She said she’ll likely have more professional opportunities in D.C., especially as her son gets older.

She said she lived in the Park for seven years, the longest she and her husband had spent in any one community because their careers took them to different cities over the years. She had never planned on running for office but said she got more engaged in the community and people began encouraging her to consider a council run. Rogers Fluitt said she “started paying more attention” to what was going on in the city and attending council meetings, and that’s what spurred her to run for council.

“I did feel there was room for more diligence and transparency,” Rogers Fluitt said. “What became important to me was driven by what residents were telling me.”

That included “making the Park more friendly for working families,” she said.

Rogers Fluitt was elected to the council during a hotly contested election in 2019 that saw newcomers like her oust some incumbents.

“I would like to thank Aimee for helping make local government something everyone can be involved in,” City Councilman Vikas Relan said by email. “The interest level and resident engagement was never higher. We both have helped improve transparency, but our council will need to continue this push. Her passion for promoting our city’s social justice and not taking ‘I am unsure’ as an answer was something so many residents are appreciative of. She helped me become a better representative for our residents. I really learned a lot from her and will miss her dearly.”

Some of Rogers Fluitt’s proudest accomplishments include establishing the Sustainability Committee, spearheading COVID aid grants for local businesses and championing the human rights ordinance, the last of which was unanimously approved by the council in June 2020. The human rights ordinance added members of the LGBTQ community as a protected class in the city, meaning that they were entitled to equal access to services, education, jobs and housing in the city, and shouldn’t be subject to any type of discrimination.

“To me, it was not a partisan issue,” Rogers Fluitt said. “All of the residents in the Park matter.”

Rogers Fluitt would like to see more in the future in terms of sustainability, but she recognizes the Park has some more pressing priorities in the near term, including local and regional changes to the sewer system to prevent basement sewage backups and flooding.

“Our infrastructure is more important than sustainability right now — keeping people’s basements from flooding,” Rogers Fluitt said.

“I was always impressed by Aimee’s energy and intellect,” former City Councilwoman Lauri Read said by email. “She was dedicated to public service and investing in her community from day one, starting with establishing the Sustainability Committee. Climate and environmental issues are daunting on a national and international level. Aimee was not to be deterred and embodied the ‘think globally, act locally’ mantra by starting with small changes and keeping these issues as part of our collective mindset.”

Rogers Fluitt said she’s always enjoyed being able to help others and get things done.

“I got a huge sense of satisfaction being able to answer peoples’ questions and address their concerns,” Rogers Fluitt said.

That was clear to some of Rogers Fluitt’s colleagues around the council table.

“Aimee was always thoroughly prepared for council and committee meetings,” Read said by email. “She was accessible and stayed connected with residents. Since her move, she has continued to keep residents informed, particularly regarding the pandemic, a testament to her dedication to the common good.

“On a personal note, I enjoyed getting to know Aimee and serving with her,” Read continued. “She is smart and witty. She and I shared an affinity for the written word and good grammar. I wish her and her family all the best in their next chapter.”

Park council meetings by Zoom over the last two years often ran four to six hours, with dozens of residents attending, asking questions and raising concerns. While the meeting lengths might have been exhausting to some, Rogers Fluitt believes it was a positive.

“I hope we’re not going to go back to the days of 15-minute council meetings,” Rogers Fluitt said. “I hope that we’ll continue to see growth in resident engagement and resident involvement in city issues and decisions.”

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