“No” winning in Salem incorporation investigation referendum

Preliminary results show “no” winning in a referendum among Salem voters on whether town officials should further investigate incorporating as a village.

As of 10 p.m. there were 572 “no” votes and 469 “yes” votes.

Final results, however, are not available yet.

UPDATE 11 p.m. — Town Clerk Cindi Ernest reports that the above numbers are now official. “No” wins.



  1. Dr. Brad Smith says:

    Had this referendum been honestly and objectively presented as a sincere barometer to measure the public’s sentiments on incorporation, then I myself would have promoted a “yes” vote rather than oppose this so-called “advisory referendum”; which even Chairman Valentine betrayed her own contempt for by stating in last Saturday’s KENOSHA NEWS interview with her that the Town of Salem could still move forward with incorporation efforts regardless of today’s vote. In other words, why even bother with this referendum if it is going to be ignored anyway? For Chairman Valentine has constructively told us that our opinions really don’t count after all!

    The input that I received from those citizens who went to the poorly-attended “open houses” confirmed that these events were merely propaganda opportunities to promote Chairman Valentine’s admitted quest to make Salem a village.

    Even the Town of Salem’s “informational” flyers on the referendum were heavily pro-incorporation in nature.

    Chairman Valentine refused to post my last major commentary on this referendum onto her “Making Salem Better” (MSB) Google group site. I documented the major misrepresentations in her pro-village arguments by providing documentation from Salem’s own town attorney that Paddock Lake’s attorney, Jeff Davison, was essentially correct in his key summaries regarding the boundary argreement between the Town of Salem and the Village of Paddock Lake.

    There are Salem property owners living within the borders of this boundary agreement that were led to believe that if Salem became a village, then they would never have to become part of the Village of Paddock Lake. Ms. Valentine conveyed that message to me in her written communications, which I referenced in my extensive commentary of last Saturday. (As well as via her MSB site and by the town’s own flyers.)

    THIS WAS A BLATANT MISREPRESENTATION OF BOTH THE FACTS AND THE TRUTH! Absorption into the Village of Paddock Lake of Salem land within that boundary agreement will happen inevitably by 2026. However, contrary to what Ms. Valentine claimed, ANY SUCH SALEM PROPERTY CAN BECOME PART OF THE VILLAGE OF PADDOCK LAKE AT ANY TIME BETWEEN NOW AND 2026!
    And such property DOES NOT HAVE TO BE CONTIGUOUS to the Village of Paddock Lake’s present borders.

    Furthermore, EVEN IF SALEM BECOMES A VILLAGE, those Salem properties bound by this agreement will inevitably become part of the Village of Paddock Lake in another 15 years. Remember, this is a “done deal” that involves a larger player than our local municipalities: The State of Wisconsin. The third partner in this deal.

    Ms. Valentine tries to baffle us with her alleged expertise on all aspects of government. It is one thing to be honestly misinformed on something. It is grossly insincere to persist in one’s stance when the EVIDENCE is clearly presented– as the Town of Salem’s own attorney confirmed!

    For then the “math” she kept alluding to regarding mil rates, assessed values, budgets, and so on needs to be confined to what the Town (or Village) of Salem will really be by 2026– if not sooner.

    I have also stated in my various commentaries that village status for Salem might be a good idea– some day. Not now!

    Not in this economy. And not for the alleged “threats” that are presently non-existent or moot points anyway.


    Perhaps it’s time for Ms. Valentine to resign as Salem Town Chairman so that the community can start healing from her divisive “leadership”.

    I want to thank all of the dedicated citizens who worked so hard to defeat this ill-advised “advisory referendum”. The day may well come when incorporation for Salem is truly right. If so, I’ll be aboard myself.

    Thank you.

    Dr. Brad Smith

  2. Chris Gustafson says:

    I’m not sure but, If at the next Town of Salem Annual Electors Meeting someone introduces an advisory motion directing the town board to do what this non-binding referendum was about, it then carries by majority vote and the town board Adopts a resolution to that effect, this still MAY happen.

  3. Jim Valentine says:

    Well, some one is lying. It is either Brad Smith or Linda. I will let all of you make your own decision. I will not tell you what to think as Brad has done. By the way, where does he get his expertise in government? I asked to be dropped from Brad’s posts because of what I say were many mis-representations of the truth.

    I will give you two. Linda is one of 5 Board members. She can’t advance this process on her own. There are 5 votes. Linda has one. I have told Brad this many times and yet he continues to mislead everyone as he did in this post.

    The second is that the Board voted for this referendum. They collaborated on the wording and they all worked on the brochure. This was done at a Board meeting that Brad rarely attends. I would have assume from this that the Board is receptive to exploring Village status. But I am not sure.

    And I don’t know what will happen next.

    Budget workshop tonight at 6 PM.

    Jim Valentine

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