Former Salem chairman requests and gets residents email addresses from town

town-of-salem-sign-webFormer Salem town Chairman Linda Valentine has received as an open record the email addresses on a distribution list Salem uses to communicate with the public.

Valentine made the request Monday.

On Wednesday, current town Chairman Diann Tesar issued a statement to the members of that list (which includes westofthei.com) that the addresses were being turned over to Valentine after legal review as they were judged a public record.

“I have spoken with legal counsel regarding this and it is with much regret that I must inform you that we are obliged to comply with Ms.Valentine’s request to give her all the e-mail addresses on this list,” Tesar wrote. “I do not know how Ms. Valentine intends to use this information.”

The list is used to distribute information such as meeting agendas and announcements to individuals who have expressed an interest in receiving such information.

Valentine said she received 189 email addresses from the town on Wednesday.

In her communication to the group, Tesar said the town will no longer communicate via the email list. Tesar wrote:

Along with this, I am going to cease this current means of communication with you and all the others on the list for now. I feel that Linda Valentine has taken advantage of you and your privacy and does not care that you might not want to share your personal e-mail address with her. I did not start this ”list”, however; wish (now) that perhaps we could have informed everyone before being added to the list, that it meant that someone could obtain and use your e-mail address and it becomes a public record under the Open Records Law.

In her own statement, Valentine, who operates a Google group and Facebook page about Salem issues, said this about her use of the email addresses:

How will I use the email addresses? Perhaps to add to my extensive distribution lists that I use now to let people know about lost dogs? Or, to advise them of road closures that the clerk could notice but choses not to notice to the citizens? Or, to remind people about election days and where to vote? Perhaps to let them know about an activity happening at the town, like Pumkindaze for which the clerk last year advertised 4 days prior to the largest possible event in the town. Or, to make sure that there is a good knowledge base on issues that affect where we live on a very timely basis. Or, to remind people about events happening soon that will affect them, like the most recent concern ATVS on roads in Salem or golf carts on the roads? Or, to promote neighborhood social events that bring people together? Or, to respond to this very letter that Diann has sent out to select individuals where she has attempted to alienate a common citizen in the town.

Read all of Tesar’s letter here.

Read all of Valentine’s statement here.

 

21 Comments

  1. A Bully says what? says:

    My guess is Ms. Valentine is still a little upset that the fine people of Salem threw her out of office.

  2. strat says:

    Threw out of office yes, but she still stands on her stump spewing senseless babble and accusations to anyone that will listen. I don’t need the town crier to tell ME the weather report or about the towns lost dogs.

  3. Nick says:

    Linda is just a bitter woman who loves to stir up drama whenever she can. I stopped reading her thousand posts a day on Facebook under the name Making Salem Bitter, whoa, I mean Better. This woman is so full of hot air and the biggest crybaby when she doesn’t get her way. One would think she could utilize all this free time she has on something more productive. Anyone else laugh at her during town meetings?

  4. Resident says:

    Most people don’t want Valentines stupid spam. If she thinks we do then she should make her own website and give people the option of signing up for her stupid babble, instead of forcing people to listen to her by using her by taking from the town.

  5. Vicki says:

    Oh no. I just gave my email…hope this crazy person doesn’t have access to it!
    But in all seriousness, she is bored housewife, who gives the rest of us a bad name.
    How about get a job, do something productive with your life. The town of Salem and it’s residents want nothing more to do with you!!!

  6. maureen says:

    there is always the SPAM button!!!

  7. Unsubscribe Information? says:

    I hope Linda Valentine gives everyone on her newly acquired email list the option to Opt Out and Unsubscribe. Unless she is/was hired by the Town of Salem to do event promotion and/or marketing of the Community, she should not have access to this list. Its unfortunate Diane Tesar was put in this position in the first place. Yes, I understand the legal technicality under which this had to be turned over to her, but Ms Valentine’s request is evidentiary of a lack of integrity. Just because I signed up for the newsletter via email FROM THE TOWN, does not mean I am interested in information/solicitation from Ms Valentine. Please – do the right thing and include a way for us to Opt out & unsubscribe.

  8. Seriously?! says:

    Seriously?! As if her facebook page wasn’t enough crap shoved down our throats, now we will be getting emails all day everyday for the same crap.

  9. John says:

    Why is this a big deal? Facebook is listening to sounds your computer and cell phone “hears”, Every facet of our lives is recorded and sold to big data firms, the government listens into our phone calls…. I dont see this being a problem. If it is legal, and there is no law preventing it…..well maybe you should change the law.

  10. OPEN LETTER TO THE CHAIRMAN says:

    Under what law, statue or ordinance do you have the power to stop sending me notices??

    None that I can think of.

    You say you are going to stop “for now”. Until what?? Until when?? Just what does that mean?? Are you going to keep looking for some way to get the list back from Linda?? Are you going to look for a way to keep me from doing the same thing??

    I did an open records request at Salem once and it was like pulling teeth. It was like someone was trying to hide something.

    Since you consulted the town attorney about giving Linda this information, did you also ask about stopping the release of the information ‘I’ asked for??
    I’ll guess not. Maybe you should.

    The last sentence of your statement says it all.

    “I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause but wanted you to be informed.”

    “Be informed”?? Just how are you going to do that when you are stopping the way I asked to be kept “informed” ????

    There is an old saying about closing the barn door ‘after’ the horse has left. This would apply here except for the fact that by law, the door is ‘always’ open!

    Chris Skrzynecki

  11. Ughh says:

    Valentine should run for Silver Lake village board ;)

  12. Trevor says:

    Linda is a nuisance, kinda like a mosquito that needs to be swatted. I remember her emails from the Salem Grade School referendum. I didn’t want your emails then and I don’t want them now! Why don’t you focus on doing something good for the community vs copying everyone’s work?

  13. Resident says:

    Re: Open Letter to Town Chairman

    The information is on the Towns website. We aren’t being kept from any information. I look at it all the time. Your just pouting because it isnt bein hand fed to you. There is no law or requirement for the town to personally send the information to you.

  14. 4 to 1 margin says:

    She wasnt just thrown out of office she was launched out by a four to one margin. Cant she not take a hint? Good people in this Town want nothing I mean nothing to do with her. I wish she would run again so the voters have a second chance to increase the ratio to 10 to 1.

  15. @ Resident says:

    My comments about not being informed are not because I don’t know how to access the town’s web site; they are about the chairman doing something that she has no authority to do.

    Just last month the chairman decided less than 24 hours before the town meeting to not allow citizen comments about the proposed ATV ordinance. I complained to her before the meeting about this change and she said she cleared it with the town’s attorney. I contended that to add or in that case subtract something from the agenda, she needed to post it 24 hours in advance. (The fact that she consulted the attorney shows that even she thought it ‘might’ be illegal) It made no difference that she scheduled a meeting for the next month about it; she still changed the agenda (in my opinion) illegally.

    Over the years that I have been a resident I have witnessed the board (or the town employees) do things under the guise of ‘the end justifies the means’ mantra. Not correcting the library board issue (how many members Salem should have) is just one example.

    Linda’s tenure as chairman was about openness, following the rules and holding people accountable for their actions. I’ll grant you that she can be a little brash but I was and still am fine with that. I was on Linda’s Making Salem Better list for a while and asked to be let off, and she took my name off. Yet I still welcome the occasional E-Mail I receive from her about lost dogs or other points that I may have missed about the town.

    We all need to understand that what she did is only exemplified because we are in the age of instant information. E-Mail, Facebook and who knows what, is the world we live in now. This is the future, the new normal and as someone once said, we are being dragged kicking and screaming into it. The fact that she got a list from the town with your name on it has always been allowed. The fact that own property puts you on a list that is public record. I suppose you could argue that if you don’t live here but receive E-Mails from the town, you shouldn’t be on the list, but that is another battle.

    My post is about the town and how it acts, not about Linda. She is just a vehicle for getting information out there and I’m sure if you contact her she will gladly not send you anything to your E-Mail address she received from the town.

    Chris Skrzynecki

  16. strat says:

    I didn’t get any lost dog, or weather reports in my email today, i’m starting to think Valentine might have been fibbing about her need for the email list.

  17. Linda Sardonell says:

    Why is everyone around here so hateful?

  18. Embarrassed again says:

    Embarrassed again,

    Here we go again, unfounded accusations and fabrications about the town its employees and elected officials that are not factual and you guessed it, by the same few individuals who made Salem a laughing stock a few years ago. She says she wants to inform people and that’s why she wants the town’s email list. If that’s her reason why doesn’t someone ask her why she edits everyone’s comments and only publishes those on her Making Salem Better blog and face book that mirror her opinion? Is that being honest, open and providing a service of informing people or just telling them what she wants them to know? Making Salem Better, both her blog and face book are simply her scheme to promote half truths, outright lies and her slanted opinion. Just read the comments here and it’s obvious the citizens of Salem don’t want her telling them HER opinion about anything.

    Ask yourself this: Is Salem better with her out of office? If your answer is yes then you have truly followed her mantra of “Making Salem Better” by throwing her out.

  19. to Ughh says:

    We have enough problems in Silver Lake, we dont need to add her to the mix.

  20. resident says:

    The following is in regards to Valentine’s Letter: UNBELIEVABLE!!!
    What else can be said about it? It’s funny that while Ms. Valentine is on the opposite of the table (not on the board), she is continually throwing stones at the board members, especially the Town Chairman. However, when SHE was Town Chairman, she did exactly what she’s complaining about Diann Tesar doing now! Has she ever heard that “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones?” Well, she’s in a glass house! I was once on the “Make Salem Better” page, and as soon as I didn’t agree with what she said – I was gone – SHE deleted me!!! What about open government? What about being honest?
    She has complained in the past, and made open comments about a previous Town Board members financial situation. However, has she looked into any of the existing employees financial situations? Maybe she should!!! How come Ms. Valentine’s name is on Circuit Court Access pages??
    She complains constantly about the Town Clerk not doing her job; however, wasn’t it Ms. Valentine who instigated the Town Clerk losing her full-time deputy clerk? There’s been a full-time deputy clerk working in that office since the early 1980′s, and now, that the Town has virtually doubled in size since that time – Valentine chose to get rid of help for the Clerk. Did you ever think that maybe, just maybe, the Clerk has Town business to do? I understand the Pumpkin Daze is an important thing for the Town; but, that’s not all there is to do in that office – I’ve been in that office – it’s very busy, and for Ms. Valentine to be wasting the time of a town employee – one that my taxes are paying, is absurd. People need to think about just how much money Ms. Valentine has already cost the Town. She acts as though she’s been a part of Salem’s history for many, many years. Someone should ask her – just how long she’s lived here! 1997 is when we were “blessed” with her!
    I’m hoping that this gets posted – simply because it’s not right for Ms. Valentine to constantly be pointing out everyone’s faults (or Valentine’s perceived faults of people), and no one gets the chance to point back.
    In closing I’d like to say that the Town never ran as well as it did when Shirley Boening was the Town Chairman. Shirley was knowledgeable; kind; and most of all, very accessible for the people.

  21. Resident says:

    @Embarrassed again. Well said. @Linda Sardonell because we have seen hate.
    The people who are left on her MSB have only seen part of the game and unfortunately that is sad. @ to Ughh, MSB’s already involved in your mess at Silver Lake. You just haven’t seen it yet. Wouldn’t surprise me if MSB is involved on the FB page to unincorporated. If it is, you all really have more of a mess then you know.

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