That's Kirk Profit speaking, Ann Arbor's lobbyist in Lansing. Coming out of Ypsilanti Township government in the 1980s, Profit spent ten years representing the eastern county in the state house before he turned to lobbying in 2002 as a director of the Lansing-based Governmental Consultant Service, Inc.
"I've been involved with the [Natural Resources] Trust Fund for over thirty years in one capacity or another," Profit explains. "The Huron River and Ford Lake were long ago identified as a focus for urban recreation in the county. Historically, Ford Lake was used as a place where waste was disposed of, and we only started cleaning it out after the fish kills of the 1970s. Then we started building parks all the way up the Huron, and [the Gallup Park livery] is part of that larger project."
Profit acknowledges the skate park is "a nontraditional piece for the trust fund. But the fund wants to broaden their scope, wants to find ways to be relevant to kids. I believe this is the first skate park the fund has ever approved. And let me stress that the skate park had no chance until city activists came forward--and I also have to give credit to the city's elected officials, who identified the skate park as a high priority for the community."