Residents of Green Charter Township, Michigan, strongly disapproved of their local township board’s decision to greenlight the construction of a Chinese-connected electric vehicle battery plant in their community.
A locksmith was even brought in Tuesday night to change the locks on the ousted officials’ former offices. The offices are now empty.
The project was expected to create more than 2,300 jobs as part of a $2.34 billion investment.
Despite the backlash from residents, the board moved forward with the Chinese-affiliated project.
“My family members fought communism, and you’re bringing it right here,” a local resident said last year.
When NewsNation visited the town in April, a resident named Corri Riebow who had no experience in politics said, “I don’t know (why they would approve it), other than somebody must be benefitting from it.”
Riebow then ran for clerk and won last night. “We just plan on making it as difficult as we possible for them to continue their process. They don’t even have a sight planned, they don’t have permits yet, so, we’re not their friend,” Riebow said of how the new government is going to handle Gotion, the company behind the plant.
However, it’s the possible communist connection that so many Green Charter Township residents said drove them to the polls and fueled the town’s anger.
The Chinese-affiliated company Gotion previously denied allegiance to the communist party of China. However, its corporate records say, “The company shall set up a party organization and carry out party activities in accordance with the constitution of the communist party of China.”
“Right now, we are not on friendly terms with China. They are threatening us. I consider them the enemy. I don’t want them here, either,” resident Harry King said.
With the overwhelming distrust for the town’s government, a clerk from a neighboring township ran the election and counted the ballots.
Cheers erupted as voters heard the results from the recall election held to vote out the entire town board.
The new board will be sworn in on Wednesday, and the process to keep Gotion out of their township will begin. Gotion has already bought the property, so the new board is expecting a long road ahead, but they said they are willing to fight.
“We want everyone to have a voice and not have any secrecy anymore. This whole thing that went down with Gotion was horrible from the first go around. And like I said, the people have spoken,” one woman told NewsNation during Tuesday night’s election celebration.
NewsNation reached out to Gotion for a comment. The company responded: “We are a multinational company and don’t believe in political posturing and are still committed to bringing thousands of jobs to the state of Michigan.”