Car 29 Lawsuit Delayed- GLAHC Responds
In journalism school, I once incorrectly answered there were two sides to every story. I was corrected that there are virtually unlimited sides to every story, you just have to dig deep enough to find all of those interesting to your readers.
The continuing plight of the interurban Car 29, The Grass Lake Area Historical Connections and the Lost Railway Museum (LRM) is ample proof of that lesson learned.
As reported last week, a group of people involved in the building of the new Lost Railway Museum in Grass Lake have filed a lawsuit against Grass Lake Area Historical Connections and two of its members to get an injunction to keep them from selling historical “Car 29”. Additionally, a “Notice to Quit to Recover Possession of Property” was sent by the Village of Grass Lake to GLAHC seeking to have Car 29 evicted from the village’s DPW barn.
The preliminary hearing on the injunction scheduled for this past Tuesday was pushed back to February 9th.
Marilyn O’Leary, accompanied with counsel Rebecca Arnold responded to the quotes published in last week’s edition.
In response to Tom Nolte’s quote “It would be a little different if somebody were working on that thing – but nobody’s been working on that car for a year,” O’Leary provided the Grass Lake Times with a copy of an email sent to the Village Council on November 13, 2016 outlining the work completed in the past year on Car 29 and on Car 154, which was purchased for parts in the efforts to restore Car 29. To Nolte’s quote “[GLAHC] is not going to pay you anything.” in regards to moving the car, O’Leary said nobody has talked to the GLAHC about paying for anything. “There has been no request to pay for it. The only communication we have received was the eviction notice.”
O’Leary added that Car 29 “Has only ever been offered up for sale to the Lost Railway Museum”.
O’Leary feels they have been unfairly targeted and pressured to conform to a very specific group of folks way of thinking. Ms. Arnold provided a copy of an email from Phil Willis dated January 17, 2016 that reads “Our group is adamant in getting control of car #29 again. We will begin to apply the political pressure when we have our plans finalized: hopefully in April.” Included in the recipients were at least 5 plaintiffs to the lawsuit and additionally Joe DeBoe, Village President and Tom Nolte, Village Manager. Not all recipients were able to be identified by the email addresses.