Leelanau officials struggle to find consensus on anti-racism resolution and response

Aug 12, 2020

A Northport man covered county signs to protest a road commissioner's racist statements. While the signs were up for a short time, his images caused a stir on social media.
Credit Tom Swift

After Leelanau County Road Commissioner Tom Eckerle was caught using, and later defending, a racial slur, local officials are arguing about the county’s response. 

Eckerle has since said he will resign from his post. 


But Leelanau County Commissioners couldn’t agree on the language of an anti-racism resolution at an executive session Tuesday. Instead several commissioners steered the conversation toward other hot-button issues, like abortion and protests over police brutality, according to the Leelanau Enterprise.


“At least two of the commissioners really wanted to address the issue of … abortion in the African American community,” Leelanau Enterprise Reporter Eric Carlson said. 

Another commissioner said calling police officers “pigs” also qualifies as racism, and others took issue with the term “racial equity” being used in the resolution, according to Carlson.

The commission asked for the county administrator to change the resolution, which could be discussed again as early as a Thursday budget meeting.