Silver Lake Emergency Government Committee met tonight

The Silver Lake Emergency Government Committee met earlier tonight before the regular Silver Lake Board meeting.  Ten people were present in the audience.

Main topics of discussion were proposed 2014 Fire Department budget items.  The fire chief’s pay was questioned.  He currently receives $2,500 as fire chief, plus point pay.  These are different line items in the budget.  The 2014 budget calls for an increase to $3,000 for the fire chief’s pay.  Trustee Sotiria Wilber said that all pay should be lumped together. (Note: Wilber in a follow-up email said she believes the current chief pay is $3,000 and was increased to that amount int he 2013 budget. — DH)

President Sue Gerber stated that they have serious problems with the budget.  The fire inspector receives $2,500 and uses his personal vehicle for the fire inspections.  If they are on duty being paid during the day, she stated that she thought they should be eliminating the fee.  “We need to cut someplace,” Gerber said.

Wilber said that she could see if they wanted to claim actual mileage, but not a flat fee to cover their mileage.  Trustee Barbara Ironside said that the police can’t do that.  Gerber reminded the committee that “this village is one square mile.”  Gerber continued, “We need to start looking here.  We have no money to do road repairs.  We need to borrow $500,000 to do storm/sewer projects.”

Wilber said, “They’re not even close.  They’ve spent $12,000 thus far this year.  They’ve budgeted $27,000 for two people, eight hours a day, five days a week.” Wilber stated that they are more than half way through the year, but not half way through the budget.

Gerber pointed out that they have not budgeted for the rescue squad.  “They are $15,000 short, with no revenue.  Jeff was supposed to sell some property, but that didn’t happen.  Spending money for Terry, the village auditor, plus insurance.  That totals more than $22,000,” Gerber said.

Gerber continued, “There is no rescue in the budget.  It was a done deal with Salem.  With the Fire Department, there is no reason why we should give extra for fire inspections.”  Wilber agreed.  “Most of the businesses are closed at night,” she said.  Gerber suggested eliminating the $2,500 for fire inspections and making it a part of their daily duties.

Wilber reviewed last year’s numbers versus this year’s proposal.  The numbers are based on two people last year.  The proposal is to cover with ten-hour shifts rather than eight.  “One person, a ten-hour day, it should still be lower for the hourly budget,” she said.  She stated that she still felt that the budget numbers were still off; they were too high.

Ironside stated that she thought the answer was to have another full-time maintenance person, a certified fire fighter 1 or 2.  “With Bob Williams retiring, we should be having Bill help and shadow him,” she said.  Wilber said it would cost more money to hire a full-time person.  Ironside said that we need to “cut out the full-time person here in the Fire Department.  There is not eight to ten hours of work to do,” she said.

Gerber said that a proposal had been submitted, but it never panned out.  She called it a “paperback novel” which was created by the ad hoc committee, but it was never implemented, never enforced.  It didn’t come through the board.  The duties were never clarified through the board.  “Should we be paying guys to just sit there?”  Gerber said that the guys needed to do truck checks, clean the village hall, and shovel walks in the winter.

Wilber stated that they should fill both spots with one guy. (Note: Wilber in a follow-up email says Ironside made this statement. — DH)  Half the day, the guys can do the truck checks, the other half, they need to do maintenance work.

Trustee Paul Snellen then expressed his concern about the OSHA standards.  He said that we are so far behind, with the MFPA 70E standards.  Gerber said that she was told by Bob Williams that we are not covered under OSHA in the case of an accident, but that we fall under the Department of Commerce.  Snellen said that, if an accident happens, we need to file a report.  “If we are found not to be in compliance, the village is responsible,” said Snellen.  Gerber said that she would get clarification of Williams’ statement.

Ironside continued the budget and staffing discussion.  Gerber wanted to talk about the duties.  Ironside asked Gerber if she talked to Bob and asked him if he wanted a helper.  The answer was yes.  Gerber thought that was great, but that there was nothing in writing.  “The park is close enough if a call comes in.”

Wilber said that she was supposed to get a report every month of how many hours were worked, plus a running total.  This report comes to Terry Faber now.  Faber said that she would give a copy to Wilber so that she could monitor the number of guys getting close to full-time. (Note: From a follow-up email from Wilber: “The hours of the FD personnel was suppose to be given to me before to monitor the total.   I never saw a report.   It states that Faber will give me a copy.  I think that she said that she would give it to Barb as I did not ask to continue to receive that.”)

Ironside adjourned the meeting at 6:45 pm.



  1. More drama says:

    Seriously, still pondering the rescue/fire situation. My god, what’s it gonna take to settle the issue?

    Ironside said that we need to “cut out the full-time person here in the Fire Department. There is not eight to ten hours of work to do,” she said.

    ….funny Barb, you were once on the rescue squad, you also know there wasn’t 8-10 hours of work to do there either, so you pick on the fire dept but not rescue, when rescue & fire employees wait on calls while doing the daily station chores, but apparently it’s ok for rescue, but not fire?

    Gerber said that a proposal had been submitted, but it never panned out. She called it a “paperback novel” which was created by the ad hoc committee, but it was never implemented, never enforced. It didn’t come through the board. The duties were never clarified through the board. “Should we be paying guys to just sit there?” Gerber said that the guys needed to do truck checks, clean the village hall, and shovel walks in the winter.

    …and oh my lord, Mrs Gerber wonders if paying guys just to sit there at the fire station is ok, funny. Rescue DOES THE SAME THING!!! There are NO recliners or beds at the fire station like there is at rescue to take a nap or “sit there” as Gerber calls it, so why does her statement sound “hypocritical?” of employees at the fire station just “sitting there?” Oh thats right, her baby boy works at rescue & not the fire dept……

  2. Lifetime resident soon to leave town says:

    This town needs to 86 the police and pay the sheriffs and for a car. I see the sheriffs already patrol the lake. Without a private police department that doesnt even pull people over doing 40in a 25mph zone because they are older and dont like dealing with older people or pull over the young for being young, they do what they shouldnt do! If they didnt, well people might start coming in town. Business owners might think of renting in “down town” silver lake. Nobody comes here because the local police. Id love to see kingsley as maybe a constable but this town will never thrive again with the existance of the local police. I like them but most do not and will avoid town at any extent. This town is becoming a joke. I mean come on, drop silver lake rescue for salem! Morons. And then consider antioch who got fired for all the corrupt things they did. Makes me want to stay in town even more! I dont mind the police here but are they really needed. A day shift from kingsley and the presence of a sheriff would do just fine. Cut some costs and maybe keep our rescue and fire

  3. Bernard Punsley says:

    The demise of the Silver Lake Fire Department is imminent. “Mudslinging Sue” conveniently blames her predecessor and the Ad Hoc Committee for the fire department’s financial woes. “So So Soti” showed her true colors towards the Fire Department. The legal standards that the fire department is required to meet(can anybody say “Self Contained Breathing Apparatus”) are astronomical.Ignoring them is tantamount to negligence. Gerber’s comment that the firefighters should “shovel the walks in the winter” is priceless. How ’bout putting snowplow blades on the squad cars, Sue? And while were at it, maybe the firefighters could round up all the feral cats roaming the village! Note to the board: Don’t forget to “budget” for the shovels. They’re not free.

  4. Bernard Punsley says:

    The actions of this board under the guise of “leadership” provided by Sue Gerber continue to “confound the confounded”. It HAS to be the drinking water!

  5. Wondering why says:

    All the bantering against the fire department is ridiculous, Sue and Barb continue to bash the fire fighters saying that all they do is sit around! Well; I say that they are wrong. I recently visited the fire station with some children a week or so ago and the doors were open and we could see that the person inside was busy. They were in and out of the truck many times and turning things on and checking them. When asked if they had time for a tour, the reply was “of course!”. So we were given a tour, and I as a tax payer asked what was done up here during the day, the person said there is a list and showed me what was done. What was shown seemed to be pretty important and how it was explained that by doing so keeps the vehicle “at the ready” makes me feel better.

    I know people on the Silver Lake Rescue Squad and I asked them what is done during the day and the reply I got was “we so a truck check on Monday and Tuesday, and cut the grass when needed”. Oh, and run calls. Our tax money goes to pay for them just like the fire department but Sue and Barb only want to rip the Fire Department. Why are they more concerned about the Fire Department and what they do and not worried about if we are getting our monies worth from rescue? Why do we need to pay them $27000 for roughly 140 calls in the village when Randall pays only $7500 and runs just about as many by the sounds of the scanner? And they are out of our community with both ambulances a lot in the winter time! Is no one concerned about that??

    Lay off of the fire fighters and let them so their jobs!! Maybe Sue and Barb should give up their pay and not the fire inspectors. The inspector is more important for the village!!

  6. sandy says:

    @Bernard, how do you get that Soti is showing her true colors from the info above. The only thing that she spoke of was trying to include fire inspections during the day time hours and if they did go out, to claim mileage, not to pay them $2500 a year flat fee for that service. I think you only try to stir the pot with all your comments and don’t read what is written. I don’t think, from a $$ standpoint that we should pay them extra to do a job that they can do while working during the day getting paid already for it. So I agree with her in that respect. I think the ones you should be worried about is Barb and Sue who say that they support the department, but slam it at any chance they get. Asking to justify their existence any chance they can and now trying to eliminate the paid daytime hours. Do they even know what goes on during the day??? Have they done a walk thru and talked to the shift personnel. NO, only Barb makes statements that she drove by the FD and didn’t see anyone there. What does that mean??? Who knows, with her. So I think that you should start trying to be more proactive and offer suggestions instead of always pointing out the negative. Apparently you have several ideas yourself, like almost everyone else does, so share your ideas and perhaps some options to accomplish those. I think that would be a better use of your efforts. We need more people with ideas and less with negative comments. We already have enough of that going around to last us a life time.

  7. Bernard Punsley says:

    “So So Sandy”. BUSTED!

  8. Concerned Resident says:

    If Gerber gets what she wants…. Fire and Rescue closed, than hopefully she is the first one that needs their services and has to wait till Salem decides to arrive when its too late. They say theres no work for these guys but yet look at West of the I….Silver Lake is dispatched to calls almost daily. So tell Gerber if they close the fire department or cut funding to the department, than our taxes should also get cut since that’s why we pay them. HMMM Whats Gerbers salary maybe we can cut some bacon their!

  9. FYI says:

    Just for your information, the State of Wisconsin pays for the fire inspectors not the village. The village receives money from an account marked 2% Dues, all municipalities receive this money to help pay for fire prevention, education and equipment. I believe in years past that the village budgets to receive around $6000 and has actually received more based on documents viewed. The rescue squad also receives monies from the state to aid with education and supplies. These practices are put in place for a reason; to ensure adequate funding and to ensure means to get the job done.

  10. Bernard Punsley says:

    “Sandy”……let me get this straight… 10 hour/day person is going to:
    1.Maintain fire station/grounds 2.Daily rig checks/equipment 3.assume all current fire inspection duties with maintenance 5. respond to calls.
    Oops, sorry, reading “So So Soti’s” words: That person would only have 5 hours a day to perform all those duties, the other 5 hours would be spent at the maintenance department. Go back up to the article and read Sandy,oops Soti’s words!!!! Currently, 2 STATE CERTIFIED Fire Inspectors share the inspection duties for SLFD. It’s a fairly complex job, that takes years of inspection experience to become adept at. You dont’ just hand a firefighter an inspection clipboard and say “Go fire inspecting”. The village also receives “2% dues” back from the state for performing these duties. And let’s not forget, I believe the current “compensation package” for SLFD members is $9/$10/$11 per hour. Any other village employees work for that measly wage? That’ s with NO additional benefits. “Sandy” seems to forget that “Soti” got railroaded last election by those folks “across the train tracks” from the fires station. She only got back on the board when Pat Dunn nominated her. She can pontificate all she wants……the firefighters see right through her, and few if any will be signing up to join her fan club. She found $200 in the budget to turn downtown Silver Lake into Disney World. Maybe she should wave her magic wand. She voted to give $27,000 to SLRS, funding for which does now not exist(see above article). And she did NOT support Pat Dunn on his original motion to continue services with SLFD until the end of 2013. Public record. When SLFD finally does go under, she can play the “I always supported them” card all she wants. Just like Sue’s pounding gavel….no one is listening! Note to fire: Keep those snow shovels handy guys!

  11. FYI says:

    FYI, the State of Wisconsin compensates the village to have fire inspectors. This money comes from a state account called 2% Dues and is meant to compensate fire inspectors, provide education assistance, fire prevention education and purchase fire prevention and mitigation equipment. Not much different then that of what Silver Lake Rescue receives from the old Act 102 funds except theirs is geared towards advancing in EMS levels and purchasing needed equipment. I believe that the village budgets for about $6000 per year and in the past has received more then that from documents I’ve viewed in the past (open records).

  12. Concerned [soon to be Ex] Citizen says:

    agree with almost all these comments, I have driven past the rescue department on a few occasions during the day with the doors closed and no cars there, does that mean they are a bunch of lazy workers? Should that be said in public to continue the mudslinging? Barb are fire dept personal not allowed to leave for lunch? From what I’ve seen the fire dept has no air conditioning, no living quarters, no recliners, expired air packs and they had to fight to get new air bottles or whatever they are called, why are we as a community letting certain board members treat fire fighters in our town so poorly? Shame on all of us who have written here for not coming to the meetings and standing up for our fire fighters, they obviously need it because half of this joke of a board doesn’t have their backs. Sue resign before your removed in a very embarrassing manner because crap is gonna hit the fan, Barb grow a spine and stop talking out of your rear end. This town is a joke and we are sitting back and letting it happen

  13. Lynn says:

    There is only one real option to all these budget problems and that is to increase taxes. I know this is an unpopular position, especially in these economic times when people are out of a job. However, the handwriting is on the wall. Soon we won’t have a fire department because the truck needs repairs; we won’t be able to pay the rescue squad for its services; sewers will need repair (i.e. the comment about borrowing $400,000) and there is no money for that, and the list goes on and on. Some decisions are tough but you were elected to make them. Bite the bullet and levy accordingly or this town is history! Do it for the good of the town and its future, not for whether you get re-elected or not.

  14. Mike says:

    Don’t you think that the SLRS deserves the same scrutiny that our municipal fire dept members seems to be getting?
    Sure they are “private” but partially funded with taxpayer money. They resist being accountable to the board, and the taxpayers who fund them, with their reports, status, qualifications, etc., yet continue to harp about the FD members qualifications. And as long as we talk about qualifications, why don’t they just buck up and take the steps needed to become Paramedic? We citizens would be safer and better attended to.
    Silver Lake Rescue response?
    It is too hard, it is too expensive, it isn’t needed, some others don’t have it either, the state would prohibit it (false!), yada, yada, yada! Why is it that Silver Lake citizens need to be treated like second class patients?
    If they would just serve the community at the highest level like they claim they do, not settling for less than the best, this turmoil would all be over with.
    Time to put the community before their own selfish interests. Become Paramedic qualified NOW.
    Get it done already and quit the whinning!!

  15. Taxpayer says:

    I am a tax payer and have many friends on the fire department. I have held many conversations with them about what has been going on in the village. Their answers are NEVER negative toward the rescue squad but I can say that I had over heard a large male rescue squad member telling a Salem fire fighter how the door was broken on the fire house and the comment was made “and you want to work with these unprofessional people” “they can’t even operate their own equipment much less fight fires!”. I over heard this while at Lakeside Sentry in Paddock Lake. If anyone is unprofessional; I would consider it to be him. As for fire fighters sitting on their buts all day long, I highly doubt it. I have been past there on many occasions to see them outside working on the trucks or washing them. Maybe Barb should look into why SLPD cars are parked outside of the rescue squad building at night for hours on end. I have witnessed this many of times. I understand they are all to work together and get along but I’ll bet my paycheck they aren’t in the fire house visiting with the fire fighter!!! That seems like tax dollars hard at work if I may say so myself…

  16. Bernard Punsley says:

    Taxpayer….SLRS members slamming SLFD members? Say it ain’t so!!!! If you’ve ever attended any board or committee meetings, it’s routine for some of the SLRS members to wail out their concerns during the meetings. They “wrote the book” on “whining and snivelling”. While SLRS members are enjoying their temporary “reprieve”…..I cannot fathom how they think squashing SLFD is going to improve SLRS’s lot. Once SLFD folds……….Salem will be more than happy to entertain bids for their services. On SALEM’s TERMS, not Silver Lake’s!!! Those board members and SLRS supporters that undermined the previous arrangement with Salem, ultimately sealed their own fate. They can pound fire all they want. When the SLFD firefighters are consolidated by Salem Fire AND Rescue, SLRS will need to ship in a semi-load of “crying towels”.

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