Silver Lake to form committee on fire department’s long-term viability

Silver Lake will be forming an ad hoc committee to come up with a strategy for the long-term viability of the Silver Lake Fire Department.

The Village Board approved forming the committee in a split vote at Wednesday’s regular board meeting. Voting against the action were Trustees Chris Willkomm and Sue Gerber. Trustee  Barbara Ironside was absent.

The resolution forming the committee said the group will be expected to report back in 180 days after being formed on how to improve the department’s long-term viability.

Gerber said she objected to forming the committee, saying that the board already has a committee that deals with fire and rescue issues and that would be the appropriate entity to take up the issue. Gerber is a member of the committee  — the Emergency Government Committee.

But the board committee’s chairman, Trustee Michael Decker (who also is a fire department member), defended the forming of the ad hoc committee.

“I like the ad hoc committee,” Decker said. “I like getting citizens involved.”

However, Decker went on to say he did not know why committee members needed to be paid. Village President Jeff Albrecht said he was open to having the committee be all volunteers and allowed the pay to be struck from the original resolution.

The resolution called for the village president to be the co-chairman of the committee. The committee is to meet in open or closed sessions as appropriate, the resolution said.


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