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Embattled Douglass Township Board approves 2 wind ordinances  

Credit:  Facing recalls, primary election opponent and referendums, Douglass Twp. Board members pass wind energy rules | By Elisabeth Waldon | | Daily News | July 09, 2022 | www.thedailynews.cc ~~

DOUGLASS TOWNSHIP – The Douglass Township Board voted 5-0 to approve two wind energy ordinances Wednesday evening, even as three township board members are in the process of being recalled, a fourth is facing a challenger in the August primary election, and both new ordinances will almost certainly go to a referendum.

The board voted to approve a principle wind energy ordinance, as well as a second version of the ordinance which includes a “savings clause” regarding the township’s 2017 wind ordinance which was never properly published by the township and thus remains in dispute.

The principle wind ordinance adopted Wednesday included a change to the turbine sound language – eliminating “Lmax” sound language and inserting “Leq” sound language. The Montcalm County Planning Commission, when reviewing the draft ordinance, previously recommended that the township use “Leq” sound language instead of “Lmax” sound language.

“I’ve had a lot of suggestions from people from one side to the other,” Supervisor Terry Anderson said to the audience before voting. “We have choices too, you know what I mean?”

Anderson, Clerk Ronda Snyder and Trustee Tom Jeppesen are all facing a recall in November. Montcalm County Clerk Kristen Millard officially issued the “call to election” on Friday for the recall. Any candidates wishing to run against Anderson, Snyder and Jeppesen in November have until 4 p.m. July 18 to file.

Meanwhile, Trustee Pat Althoff, who was appointed to a partial term, is facing opposition in the upcoming August primary election from township resident Eric Tester. Multiple residents have repeatedly stated that they will referendum a wind ordinance once it’s approved.

About 75 people attended Wednesday’s meeting, with those in support of and against Apex Clean Energy’s proposed wind farm project divided down the aisle – blue-shirt supporters of Apex on one side and commercial turbine opponents on the other side, some wearing yellow and black “Protect Douglass Township” shirts.

While many wind supporters were present, no one spoke in support of the township board’s vote except for Douglass Township Planning Commission Chairman Jack Jeppesen, who helped create the wind ordinance, and his wife, Kellie Jeppesen. All other comments were against Apex, the proposed wind project and the newly approved wind ordinances.

“I’ve been drug through the mud, I’ve been FOIA’d, I’ve been accused of different things, along with the other township officials here,” said Jack, who added that he was speaking as a taxpayer and not as the PC chairman.

“Jack, we’ve had somebody lie about us too, Kathy Craig here,” interjected Tom Jeppesen (Jack’s brother).

“Excuse me?” asked Craig who was seated in the front row.

The meeting then devolved into shouting until Montcalm County Sheriff’s Deputy Emily Paulsen stepped into the middle of the room and held up her hands for people to quiet down.

“My business has been turned in to the DEQ,” Jack Jeppesen continued. “We’ve just got to look out for our backs now. I want you township officials, when you walk out of here tonight, hold your head high because the people who count in your life know your character and know who you are.”

“I would like to know what I lied about,” Craig asked Tom Jeppesen.

“You said in the letter that Sheila Crooks read that Jack and I had signed our land up,” Tom responded. “We have not.”

“I have never said that,” Craig declared.

“You did, you wrote it in the letter,” Tom responded.

Tom was apparently referring to an Aug. 30, 2021, letter written by Craig and distributed by Crooks to the township board on Sept. 1, 2021. The Daily News clarified with Craig after Wednesday’s meeting what the letter said.

Craig said the final version of her letter stated: “More concerning, wind opponents have been called terrorists and told to choke on their dinners. The latter two comments are from a sitting PC member, Mr. Jack Jeppesen. Mr. Jeppesen is clearly a pro-wind member who stands to gain financially from the turbines. He should be censured by the board for his comments. He should also recuse himself from the wind issue.”

However, Craig said an earlier version of her letter incorrectly stated: “Mr. Jeppesen is a leasee who stands to gain financially from the turbines.”

Craig said she had heard Jack Jeppesen had signed a lease with Apex and she originally included this statement in her letter, but she soon learned this was not true and so she removed it from her letter. She said she thought she township officials received a final edited copy of her letter, but township officials appear to have received the original unedited version.

Neither version of Craig’s letter mentioned Tom Jeppesen.

Craig emailed the township and reached out to the Jeppesens on Friday to clarify the issue and apologize for the incorrect information regarding Jack.

“It is never my intention to broadcast false information and I certainly do apologize for this oversight,” Craig wrote in her email.

Source:  Facing recalls, primary election opponent and referendums, Douglass Twp. Board members pass wind energy rules | By Elisabeth Waldon | | Daily News | July 09, 2022 | www.thedailynews.cc

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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