Mayor 15th Term
Mayor 15th Term. The 89-year-old mayor of a Detroit suburb has begun his campaign for his 15th consecutive two-year term -- unopposed once again.
Grosse Pointe Park Mayor Palmer Heenan, who has had someone run against him just once since first being elected to office in 1983, said he would rather be recognized for his accomplishments than for his advanced age, the Detroit Free Press reported Monday.
"I don't need any recognition for living a long time," said Heenan, who turns 90 in December, not long after he hopes to celebrate his re-election.
"I try to take care of myself. I'm trying to take care of my city, too."
Heenan's work in office includes heading the effort to combine the police and fire departments into a single public safety department, which Public Safety Director David Hiller said helped the city save money and reduce serious crime to last year's 15-year low.
"I'm not going to take credit for that," Heenan said. "I depend on other people, and that's also my strength."
Heenan, a conservative Republican, is not without his critics in the city of about 11,500 people.
"I think he thinks Grosse Pointe Park is in the 1950s," said Betsy Breckels, 50, a five-year resident. "It's a changing demographic. We should be embracing that more."