Reactions on Silver Lake un-incorporation

silver-lake-VHPerhaps un-doing Silver Lake’s 1920 incorporation as a village as a way to deal with its financial crunch was brought up in an official forum Monday at a joint meeting of the Silver Lake Village Board and Salem Town Board.

Salem Town Board members seemed pretty open to considering the idea of reabsorbing Silver Lake. But I thought I’d poll the Silver Lake board members on their views. I asked, “What is your opinion of exploring un-incorporation for the village?” Here are the responses I received as of about 4 p.m. Wednesday to an email I sent out Monday evening:

Trustee Pat Dunn (who was not at Monday’s meeting): “Whether we like it or not becoming unincorporated may be necessary. With the size of our Village and no potential growth in the foreseeable future it may come down to that. HOWEVER, instead of incorporating why not join with Salem and form a very large Village. Obviously this is just a thought but it could work. A Village has more power and is capable of controlling certain aspects of its own governing body than a town has. It real is something to think about….”

Trustee Soti Wilber: “As of right now I am interested in looking at the possibility. I think we should explore it, but not sure that this would be the ultimate solution. But both communities seem to think there might be options available that will be the right thing for both but until we compile numbers from both sides I don’t think that anyone can say that it would be good or bad.”

Trustee Paul Snellen: “The Village of Silver Lake needs a future. Un-incorporating the Village has its pros, but much is still left to be explored.”

Trustee Michael Decker (who was not at Monday’s meeting): “To me that would be kind of a last resort. Are we in a bit of a finnacial crunch here? Yes. But to me that’s  last resort. It’s always a possibility, sure. But I think there’s a lot of things that can be done before we even get to that point.”



  1. Keeping my fingers crossed... says:

    We are a village within a town. Duplicate services all abound. Salem has staff that can be found to fix the problems all around. From sewer to fire, public safety, rescue, to a huge town garage, and fire station to boot. Mechanics, town workers, office, building inspectors, and to top it all off, one town administrator. One who knows how things need to get done. As he said, How much can you put on our residents. Cheaper it will be for us. One village in Wisconsin has already done this, per the Kenosha News reporter Jill. We will still have a voice in what gets done!

  2. Helen says:

    Go for it; what harm can it be to investigate the savings? I have always thought that we should be a part of Salem. They have a Lake Association where everyone pays to spray weeds, not just the people on the lake as it is now. Their administration seems knowledgeable and the town board members do also. We cannot go on as a “village” when, in effect, we are just a little town with 2000 people. Taxes can only go so high and people will leave or abandon their homes. Think long and hard, S.Lk. Board, and do the right thing. Put egos aside and do what is right for the people instead of worrying if you will be elected again.

  3. Jim says:

    If Salem absorbs Silver lake first order of business should be to dissolve the Silver Lake Police dept, which does little more than harass it’s residents and those who pass through. Their reputation is far and wide and many I have talked to in IL that I work with in a very,very large corporation, make it clear that they will go around the municipality rather than go through it. How the small businesses can remain afloat in an environment like that is beyond me. Problem is compounded when the representative of the kangaroo court there presents obstacle after obstacle to present dis-culpatory views and evidence. Reminds me of something from the deep south back some 40 years ago.

  4. Right Call says:

    Well I guess the decision made by Silver Lake Rescue not to merge with the fire department was another good decision made by the smart folks running that organization. Just think if they would of merged 20 months ago with Fire, they too would have been sold out to Salem like the current Silver Lake Fire Department was by Soti and Cyndi the other night.

    What a disaster that would of been for Wheatland and Randall, not to mention EMS service to the entire west half of the county. With two ambulances taken out of service the response times and stress on the EMS system would of been horrible. Remember both Salem and Twin Lakes call for help from time to time from Silver Lake Rescue. The burden of 400 to 450 calls a year would have then had to be shouldered by TLRS and TSFR, lowering the care provided to the good people west of the interstate.

    SLRS had the foresight of knowing the village would of blown through the money they have in the bank for capital improvements, to instead fix less than HALF of the 500K dollar sewer problem, and to pay for a fire fighter to sit at the fire station, which it a total waste of money! Really can’t operate a fire truck with only 1 person.

    Many have tried to say (including the village board members) that the revenue generated by the calls SLRS responds to would of taken care of all the villages money problems. Well you heard it the other night from Pat Casey, Salem’s billing revenue is around 260K a year, and that’s for a service that does well over a thousand calls a year. Now take Silver Lake Rescue that has maybe 280 actual transports, well do the math, that pays for the two daytime shifts and leaves a little bit extra for capital expenditures, such as maintenance of the ambulances, building, supplies and the purchase of a new ambulance every 13 to 15 years.

    So now the process of Salem swallowing up the fire department has begun. The greedy firemen from Kenosha that wanted part time jobs and paramedic service in the village have now destroyed their own SLFD. You heard Pat Casey say it, there is only going to be one Chief, and you can bet that Chief is going to be Slover, who is light years ahead and much better qualified then SLFD’s current chief.

    But, no matter what happens to the village, Silver Lake Rescue will still be around providing care to the residents west of the I. They may be in a different building, but non-the-less, they will have out lasted even the village they are named after.

    I wish well upon all the residents of Silver Lake. It was a good 94 year run as a village and I hope the grass remains just as green as it looked on the other side when you finally hop the fence.

  5. Bernard Punsley says:

    “Right Call”…….keep thinking that Silver Lake Rescue Squad is not only the salvation to the woes that the Village of Silver Lake is not only facing NOW, but in the IMMEDIATE future, but is the future of Emergency Medical Response in Western Kenosha County! Keep blaming those “greedy Kenosha firemen” for coming into our village and reeking havoc upon us!!! The fate of our village involves a LOT more than the status of of fire and rescue services. Unfortunately, Silver Lake Rescue Squad has FAILED to realize that from DAY ONE. “Right Call” CONVENIENTLY fails to mention the $400,000+ MOUNTAIN OF CASH that SLRS is currently sitting on. They don’t want to part with it…they shouldn’t have’s THEIR MONEY..THEY EARNED IT! But anyone who ignores the “cash cow” potential that Rescue/EMS services can generate today is oblivious to reality. Salem Township is a MODEL of how to run a community effectively. To ignore that does our village little service. SLRS has once again attempted to turn this into a “I’m gonna take my ball and go home” type of scenario. They can play the “farkle card” all they want….those “greedy Kenosha firemen” saw through the goon factor a long time ago. They can “walk the walk..they can talk the talk”. And I think Salem realized that a LONG time ago! As far as “destroying” the Silver Lake Fire Department, that job is currently SLRS’s #1 Priority. I don’t know WHERE “Right Call” is getting their information. SLFD would be THRILLED to become part of the Salem Fire & Rescue Services!!!! Maybe a few of those “greedy Kenosha firemen” might join up as well!!!!! Can you spell F A R K L E ?

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