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On Jackson Mayor Derek Dobies' last day in office, he dedicates new park and reflects on his tenure

Posted at 7:49 PM, Nov 30, 2021

JACKSON, Mich. — Jackson Mayor Derek Dobies is wrapped up his tenure in office Tuesday by dedicating Workers Memorial Park at the corner of Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive and Biddle Street.

Dobies says he thinks it made a ton of sense to put a park at that location.

“We have incredible parks,” he said. “As we bring some of the progress out of downtown out into the neighborhoods, as we’re redeveloping MLK here, I think it made a ton of sense to create a new park here at the corridor.”

The park was named as such to honor workers, he said.

“We chose to name it Workers Memorial Park to recognize the impact front line workers have had in this community during the pandemic and the faculty to help keep people safe, help us combat COVID and do what’s necessary at great risk and also to recognize the role that workers play in fighting for economic justice, social justice and those are the intersectionality of economic justice Dr. King talked about so I think it’s fitting for a park like this sitting right on MLK Drive,” he said.

Prior to Tuesday, he went through the City Council floors and talked to the staff about some of the projects that were undertaken.

“I think one of the biggest things is creating kind of a culture shift and a dynamic not only within the community of doing big things that people thought weren’t attainable like passing a non-discrimination ordinance, renaming a street like MLK here, tackling more projects, rebuilding downtown,” Dobies said.

As for the future of the city, he believes it will be in good hands under the leadership of incoming Mayor Daniel Mahoney.

Derek Dobies
Derek Dobies and Daniel Mahoney at Workers Memorial Park

“One of the things that any mayor looks to when they’re leaving office is making sure there is a team in place to kind of continue on that progress and will continue on that legacy,” he said. “I think that seeing that reflected at city hall with some of the staff administration they’re going to continue that work forward.”

He plans on laying low after leaving office at least for a little bit.

“I don’t know yet. We’re going into the holiday season and I’m going to take some time to kind of reflect on what I was able to accomplish here. Talk to some of my closest friends and family and see what’s next,” he said.

He hopes to see some his vision carried over into the new administration.

“When I first started we put together an overall economic stabilization plan. We accomplished a lot of that stuff. There’s always things that at the end of the day time runs out and kind of get left un-done. I’ve left some of my unfinished projects and policies that I look forward to working with him on.”

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