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Montcalm County sheriff clarifies wind support comment

STANTON – The Montcalm County sheriff has clarified that his office is neutral on the subject of wind energy.

During the July 26 budget talks meeting of the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners, Chairman Patrick Q. Carr of Lakeview spoke in support of Apex Clean Energy’s proposed wind turbine project for Montcalm County. In response to Carr’s comments, Undersheriff Andy Doezema spoke up during public comment to say, “Also, we support wind.”

This comment did not go over well with the Montcalm County Citizens United Facebook group, a self-described “grassroots coalition of citizens advocating against the irresponsible and invasive placement of industrial wind turbines and solar arrays in Montcalm County.”

Sheriff Mike Williams during Monday’s county budget talks meeting clarified that his office does not have an official position on wind energy.

Williams addressed the matter at the request of Montcalm County Commissioner Adam Petersen of Montcalm Township near the end of Monday’s meeting.

“I was asked to ask the sheriff what that stance was, what your stance is on wind turbines because there’s a big uproar about it,” Petersen noted.

“I would say that the comment that was made (by Doezema) was off the cuff and didn’t represent the official position of the sheriff’s office,” Williams responded. “We don’t have a position on that, we’re neither for nor against that. I think that probably muddied the waters with all the other budget things going on and I don’t think it’s an issue for the sheriff, quite frankly.”

“I don’t disagree,” Petersen responded.