Wind Developers Seek to Destroy Safety Provided by Riga Ordinance

Below is a link to a letter from Joyce Thompson to the Riga Township Board, seeking to remove the protections provided by the Riga Township Wind Turbine Zoning Ordinance.

Joyce Thompson Letter

Below is the response of the IICC to all Riga Township residents:

Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition, Inc.
101 East Adrian Street, Blissfield, MI, 49228

July 18, 2011

Dear Resident,

As we previously informed you, the Riga Township Board voted 4 – 0 to pass an ordinance that properly regulates industrial wind turbines in our area. The IICC believes that this ordinance will adequately protect the citizens of Riga Township from the dangers of irresponsibly sited industrial wind turbines. However, as we predicted, the wind developers and their leaseholders are attempting to destroy those protections we fought so hard to get.

On July 14, 2011, Riga resident Joyce Thompson filed a “Notice of Intent” with the Riga Township Clerk, indicating her intention to circulate petitions seeking to place the Riga Township Wind Turbine Zoning Ordinance up for referendum on the November ballot. A copy of that document is attached for your review. It should be noted that Mr. and Mrs. Thompson have signed a lease with juwi Wind, a Cleveland, OH subsidiary of a German corporation. Thus, Mr. and Mrs. Thompson stand to profit handsomely if they are successful in their attempt to destroy the protections afforded by the Riga Township Wind Turbine Zoning Ordinance.

Interestingly, when Mrs. Thompson filed her “Notice of Intent,” she was accompanied by none other than Joe Cupka. For those of you who are not familiar Mr. Cupka, it is our understanding that he is a political consultant from out of state who has campaigned on behalf of President Obama and against Michelle Bachmann. In fact, although the identity of his current employer remains unclear, it appears that Mr. Cupka is (or was) employed by ASGK Public Strategies, a company co-founded by Obama advisor David Axelrod in 2002. According to their website, ASGK, “provides services in the fields of corporate communications, public affairs, media relations, issues management, advertising and digital communications to private sector and nonprofit organizations seeking to influence stakeholder opinion.”

Mr. Cupka has been attending Riga Township Board and Planning Commission meetings for several months. It appears that Mr. Cupka has been hired to “influence” your opinion of the protections afforded you by the Riga Township Wind Turbine Zoning Ordinance. Mr. Cupka, and others like him, will soon be approaching you to sign a petition to put the Riga Township Wind Turbine Zoning Ordinance up for referendum in November, thus endangering the protections provided by that ordinance.


It is important to understand that the State of Michigan has already declared industrial wind turbines to be a lawful use of agriculturally zoned property. Michigan zoning law does not allow a township to ban turbines, but they can regulate their location and operation. Thus, a referendum would NOT provide a choice between having industrial wind turbines or not having industrial wind turbines in Riga Township. Instead, the choices provided by this referendum are potentially having properly regulated industrial wind turbines or industrial wind turbines with little or no regulation to protect the safety of our citizens. Since those are the only two choices, the IICC respectfully requests that you refuse to sign any petitions seeking to put the Riga Township industrial wind turbine zoning ordinance onto a referendum ballot. Instead, please allow this wind turbine zoning ordinance to become law so we can focus on rebuilding our sense of community.


Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition, Inc.