Longtime Grosse Pointe Park Planning Commission official honored

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published November 20, 2020


GROSSE POINTE PARK — A resident who has spent more than 30 years in different roles in Grosse Pointe Park city government has been honored by his peers.

During a meeting Nov. 9 by Zoom, the Grosse Pointe City Council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution honoring David Gaskin, who served on the Planning Commission from 1991 to 2020. During his Planning Commission tenure, the Planning Commission came up with the Park’s last major master plan, in 2012, and Gaskin served as the chair of the Master Plan Subcommittee in 2019.

A 56-year resident of the Park and an attorney who retired from Butzel Long PC in 2005, Gaskin also served on the City Council from 1983 to 1991 and as Grosse Pointe Park’s representative on the Grosse Pointe Public Library Board of Trustees.

Mayor Robert Denner said that, over the years, besides being thankful for Gaskin’s “service and dedication to the city,” he had come to appreciate Gaskin’s dry sense of humor.

“I’m really grateful that he did share his expertise with the city,” Denner said. “He has indeed had a great impact on the city, starting in those early days.”

City Councilman James Robson said Gaskin’s more than 30 years on various Park government boards “could be the longest tenure of service in the history of Grosse Pointe Park.” He said Gaskin had even served longer than late former Mayor Palmer Heenan, who was mayor for almost 32 years.

“You were always thoughtful and prepared,” Robson told Gaskin. “You were kind of a quiet leader.”

In her comments, City Councilwoman Michele Hodges referenced an alumni page for Gaskin in which he described himself with the words fortunate, healthy, blessed, curious and fairly steady.

“We’ve been fortunate, and certainly blessed, to have your curious perspective at the table,” Hodges said of Gaskin.

City Councilwoman Lauri Read thanked Gaskin for his work.

“He certainly has a long perspective,” Read said. “I appreciate his service, and I know Mr. Gaskin will continue to contribute to the vibrancy of our city.”

City Councilman Vikas Relan echoed that sentiment and also credited Gaskin for recognizing the need to update the master plan.

“It’s the most important document in our city,” Relan said.

Relan told Gaskin he hoped Gaskin would “stay engaged,” given his wealth of historical knowledge.

Gaskin thanked Denner and the council, as well as Planning Commission Chair Fred Olds.

“We have been, as a city, extremely fortunate to have good leadership in our mayor, our City Council, our city managers and our employees,” Gaskin said.

He said the Park has also benefited from “a high degree of philanthropy,” with resident gifts and endeavors contributing “so much to the city’s betterment.”