Agreement with Silver Lake Rescue Squad, Inc., tabled until next meeting

silver-lake-VHThe Village of Silver Lake Board met this evening.  One of the agenda items had to do with the agreement with Silver Lake Rescue Squad, Inc., for paramedic services.  Jeff Albrecht, as a member of the audience, urged the board to look at other options, other entities, who are willing to quote and work with the fire department.  “It’s our duty to the citizens to open up the bidding on the process,” he said.

Another audience member, Colleen Dykstra, urged a referendum vote.  “Let the people decide, paramedics or Silver Lake Rescue.  We’re concerned about Antioch?  People were concerned about Salem.  To me, my life is more important.”

Frank Gagliardi, representing Silver Lake Rescue Squad, Inc., turned in the squad’s contract yesterday, which had been requested by the board.  He said that this has gone back and forth and several proposals were submitted over the last nine months.  This one is simple, and straightforward, without a lot of legalese.  He said that this is a short, two-page agreement.  It calls for 24-hour emergency ambulance services over a three-year period, with a ninety-day opt-out period.  He said that the Silver Lake Rescue Squad is “here for the citizens.”  The contract’s rate is $27,000/year, and he also mentioned that they took one month at a reduced rate.  “We are willing to talk,” he said.

Gagliardi said that their game plan is to become paramedics and raise their ILS status.  Trustee Sotiria Wilber said that she felt that the agreement was understandable, but that they’ve gone through three already.  The first was $0, then $7,500, then $20,000, and now $27,000.  “Where are you helping to cut costs for the citizens, the taxpayers?” she asked.  Gagliardi’s response was, “Why didn’t you accept it back then?”  He said, “We’re playing Russian negotiation.”  He stated that he didn’t think the board has been up front with him.  He’s not a member of either group.  “The Silver Lake Rescue Squad has been here; they have not abandoned their duty.  Everyone wanted Salem; they turned them down.  Now, you have to come back to your client.”

He stated that he understands Albrecht’s earlier comment about not being paramedic services.  It may not be feasible.  He said, “We’ll need to invest in the people, the staff, upgrade our services.”  Wilber stated that she still felt that the $27,000 was too much.  “Wheatland pays $7,500.  This is not helping the community.”

Gagliardi brought up the board meeting in February that was held in Riverview’s gym.  (Click here to read the report on that meeting:  Silver Lake Rescue Squad Contract Extended for a Month.)  At that meeting, he said, it was decided not to vote on Salem.  He had suggested a sixty to ninety-day gap, at a reduced amount, to give Linda Gray, the attorney, and him a chance to negotiate.  “But, no, you said at that meeting no.  It needs to get done.  So, we did the thirty-day agreement.”

“There was no pay raise for years upon years.  There was only an understanding, no contract.  It’s been $27,000 over the last three years, $25,000 before that.  There were no inflation bumps,” commented Gagliardi.

Trustee Barbara Ironside said that she’s been off the board for a year now.  “No one can make up their minds.  The only way to solve this is to put it out for bid.  Then, have a referendum after that.”  She encouraged the board to hear Trustee Pat Dunn’s proposal, get the bids in, and see where it goes.

Lori Starkey, a member of the audience, spoke up.  “We don’t know who might show up at our door.  We are all sick and tired of this crap.  Enough already.  Think about the little children.  Figure it out.”  It got a little rambunctious at that point, and Board President Sue Gerber pounded her gavel.  Wilber suggested tabling the agreement and making a decision.  Ironside agreed.  “Pat deserves to be heard as well,” she said.  “Let Pat Dunn have the floor.”  All agreed to table the agreement until the next meeting.

When Dunn’s motion came up for discussion on the agenda, he urged the board to get other bids from other sources to determine whether or not a fair market value was being had.  Gerber said that she was disappointed in Dunn.  She stated that she felt that she had been blind-sided.  She heard from Todd Thomas that the Antioch Rescue Squad was in negotiations with Silver Lake and that they were signing a contract, and that Dunn was the one who had initiated talks with them.  “I was hoping that, with a new board, that we wouldn’t have any more of this,” she said.

Dunn vehemently disagreed with her.  “There is no contract, no negotiations.”  Gerber again expressed her disappointment.  She stated that she was hoping that the board would work together.  Gerber said, “The rescue squad wants to become a paramedic service.  Their only constraint is time.  Keep pursuing with outside entities.  I can’t help feeling that someone promised something.”

Dunn asked Gerber what she was insinuating.  Gerber said that she didn’t know; it was just a feeling that she had.  Dunn told her not to bring her feelings into meetings, only facts.  He strongly stated that he had done nothing wrong.  “We may not work together,” he said.  Gerber thanked him and said, “I know where we stand.”

The motion was to have a bid process to provide paramedic services to Silver Lake.  The call for closed bids would be published on Friday, June 21st, with acceptance of bids until July 3rd, at which time the bids would be opened in a closed session, reviewed and discussed.  Terry Faber said that she may need a little more time than that to get the call for bids published.  Gray stated that the bids cannot be opened in a closed session; they can be opened after the regular board meeting in an open session.  Therefore, slight modifications were made to Dunn’s motion.

Gagliardi said that he was a little confused by the whole thing.  “Are the bids being offered with a trigger?  Is the low bidder the winner?  Is this like a municipal bid?”  Gray countered, “The lowest responsible bid.”  Wilber said that they just wanted to see what other entities provide.  Gagliardi was still confused.  “Is this a public search?  Are you doing some fact finding, taking competitive bids?  What will you do afterwards?  You already have Silver Lake’s bid.”

Gerber said this was merely informational.  She’d like to see the village residents make the determination.  Dunn said, “We’ll see what comes in.”

One audience member said that Salem’s bid was $73,000/year or more.  “We know you’re in negotiations with Antioch,” one woman said to Dunn.  Ironside said that it was sad to see friends and the board separated on this issue.  “We all want what’s best for the village.  I’d like to see a referendum after.  Then, peace can be brought to the village, a town of 2,500 people.  It’s sad.”

The motion was approved by a vote of 4 to 1, with Gerber being the one dissenting voter.  Trustee Michael Decker was absent from the meeting.

 

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6 Comments

  1. sandy says:

    Sues already doing exactly what she has been telling both FD and Rescu not to do. No bashing, yet she makes accusations based on feelings!!! How is that any diffrent??? Shes not for saving the village money, only the jobs of the Rescue squad as by her continued comments. And Barb, where do I start!!! She said she wanted Pat to speak about his item, then she wants to change her vote on the issue with the engineer, then she wants a “tour” of the Fd so al l the board members can see what they do. How dare she think that they dont know, just because she doesnt. Shes making herself look foolish to put that out there, then is flustered when Pat does ask for his motion to be put out for bid, which is exactly what she said to do so that the board could compare costs and services and make a decision. And now you have Colleen who continues to make comments under her breath and then says she concerned about our taxes but has no problem asking to spend.money for a referendum or.a special vote. Again to me there is an agenda to keep Rescue at any cost and it is very apparent!!!

  2. Concerned says:

    I really would like to know how Colleen thinks. “Colleen Dykstra, urged a referendum vote. “Let the people decide, paramedics or Silver Lake Rescue. “” So to me there seems to be a hidden agenda there. Just like Sue accused Pat, I believe there is one with the Rescue Squad. Why else would anyone in their right mind, put off obtaining a higher level of care if possible?? That idea is ridiculous!!! The Rescue Squad is trying to strong arm the board and now decided that they are gonna come back with the same exact $$ that they have been charging the village after several comments and conversation saying they want to help and would be willing to take a cut. Where is that now??? They need to put their money where their mouth is and make it happen, otherwise, they might end up with nothing at all!!!

  3. mike says:

    President Sue Gerber has been finger wagging to anyone and everyone at the SLFD to stop the mudslinging, she ‘won’t stand for it anymore’, even though it has been SLRS that was doing the trashing all along, not the FD. She wants to shut down any comments from the FD. But last night, from her pulpit she accuses some unknown person or persons from our FD of profiting when looking for competition to the current situation. So she mudslings herself! Standards of conduct apparently apply to others, but not the queen.
    Pat Dunn apparently challenged her time and again to openly reveal what she is talking about, but she refuses to talk specifics, or heaven forbid facts. Between her and Ironside, who is all over the place, I don’t know who is doing more to carry the water for the current rescue squad. The citizens of SL deserve the best possible rescue service they can afford, which is Paramedic level. SLRS will not do it, they have said so many times. So why be afraid of alternative bids for Paramamedic services? Maybe son Dan will not have a job? Come on folks, our rescue services are not about saving relative’s jobs! This board, by law was elected to serve the citizens of Silver Lake, not your family members!! Ethics, and the citzens of Silver Lake need to rule the day.

  4. Bernard Punsley says:

    “Mudslinging Sue” wants to punish fire and rescue folks for using social media to spread rumors. Then she has the audacity to blurt out “I can’t help but feel some firefighter or the fire department was promised something” as she insinuated Pat Dunn was “negotiating” with Antioch Rescue behind her back. It’s on the tape recorded record of the meeting. Silver Lake Rescue continues to play “hardball” with the Village, they’re back to their $27,000 “demand” for their services. Rescue wants to slap the village’s wrist for attempting to negotiate with Salem. Rescue PAYS their attorney to accuse the village board of “Russian negotiations”! That’s on the tape recorder too. And fall all the folks lamenting that “we dont’ need paramedics in Silver Lake”……..their attorney assured the board that Rescue was indeed looking into providing paramedic service, although it would take some time and be costly. That’s on the recorder too!. Incredibly, “FLip-FLop” Barb Ironside wants the firefighters to pay for their breathing air bottles, so they can run into burning buildings without frying their lungs. Sell raffle tickets, baggo tournaments, car washes, whatever, why should the taxpayers provide the air bottles. Can you imagine the SL Police Dept. having to flip burgers and brats at an event to pay for the bullets for their guns, or gas for their squad cars? Or Public Works sponsoring a street dance so they can buy salt to spread on the roads or tires for their trucks. Or the village clerk putting donation jars out so she can buy pencils and paper clips to run the office? Support the fire department? What for? And for all the passion to “Save Silver Lake Rescue”….when the bids for paramedic level service come in, and residents see how long Rescue has been taking advantage of them with their “sweetheart deal” over the years(Silver Lake residents pay $27,000, other towns pay $7500;
    $1/year for 99 year to lease their building on village property, no contract in place), I predict some of the red yards signs will be tossed in the trash. You want a referendum? Bring it on. We want paramedic level service. Whatever possessed SLRS and Mudslingin’ Sue to think they were gonna win a street brawl with fire?

  5. mike says:

    Let me mention one other item that is distressing if you are a citizen of Silver Lake. When Ironside says that “no one can make up their minds” she certainly does not see what is going on around her. Decisive decisions, discussions and votes that leave nothing to the imagination. She speaks only of herself presumably about being indecisive, like when she voted yes on a publice works spending issue only to ask later to change her vote to no (attorney said no!). Doesn’t she study the issues before and during the meetings to know the enough about the facts to form an opinion that she can stick with?
    It would be nice for her and the queen to support the FD which is a department of the village, just like publice works and police.
    Maybe it would be an easeier vote if the selections were “maybe” and “maybe not”?

  6. sandy says:

    @Mike you are right on!!! Barb has now said that about the board members twice. The first time she said that they should all go for a tour of th FD to see what goes on there. What makes her the mouthpiece of the rest of the board??? What makes her think that they have not already have done that or perhaps they have already asked the questions and not acted like an uninformed flip flopper at a public meeting??? I think that proves right there that she is not able to make up her own mind and wants to make sure she follows “her friends”. Those same people who harassed her so badly that she resigning from the board. To them turn around a day later and ask to take it back and come back to the board. I guess once a flip flopper, always a flip flopper!!!

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