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After recall: temporary appointed officials also have wind leases in Joyfield Township

Some voters in Benzie County might not like the appointments made to fill vacancies left after a recall. It appears two appointed officials in Joyfield Township have leases with Duke Energy for the proposed wind farm there. That’s the reason three elected officials were thrown out of office last week.

Duke Energy is proposing a commercial wind farm in Benzie and Manistee County. Some citizens in Joyfield Township felt their elected officials weren’t doing enough to address the situation. Three trustees known to have signed leases with Duke were accused of a conflict of interest and thrown out of office.

An election will be held in February to fill those seats. Meanwhile, three people have been appointed for the interim. On Wednesday one acknowledged having a lease with Duke. Another, Lisa Sauer, refused to answer the question about leases but did say her appointment is for a short time and she “won’t be voting on anything like that.”

Citizens concerned about the wind farm would like the township to declare a moratorium on the construction of wind turbines so they can study the issue.

Neither of the appointees could be reached for comment.