Action on petition to ban Silver Lake contracting with Salem for fire/EMS tabled

silver-lake-VHAction on a direct legislation petition that seeks to forbid the Silver Lake Village Board from contracting with Salem for fire protection and EMS service was tabled by the Silver Lake Village Board Wednesday.

The petition must be acted on by the board within 30 days of it being submitted. That happened in late January.

Trustee Patrick Dunn moved for the tabling, arguing that he and other members of the board had not had time to examine the petition.

“There was nothing in our mailboxes or packets for us to look at this at all,” Dunn said.

The vote to table passed on a voice vote. Trustee Sabrina Moran appeared to be the only no vote. Village President Sue Gerber abstained, but did not state the statutory reason she did so, as is required.

Village Clerk Terry Faber, who certified the signatures, took umbrage at Dunn’s suggestion that some might still not be legitimate.

“Now you are calling me a liar,” Faber said. “You are telling me I’m not doing my job.”

Voting on a contract that would have Salem provide fire and EMS service to the village for about $101,000 per year was also on the agenda of Wednesday’s meeting. Dunn attempted to have that item moved up before the petition discussion, but village attorney Linda Gray said the board could not act on the contract once the petition was submitted until after the petition’s issue is decided.

If the board agrees with the resolution in the petition, they can approve it and it would go into effect. If they do not approve the resolution, the matter will be decided by a binding referendum, whose decision would be in effect for two years, Gray explained, adding that the action in the resolution was appropriate under state statute.

“They can do this,” Gray said.



  1. Scared To Fly says:

    Once upon a time in a land not so far away there was an airline company named Every Man’s Transportation – International Ventures Technologies. We’ll call them EMT – IV Tech for short. This company found out that they could save 30% of their costs by only having one pilot onboard their aircraft and having the flight attendants take over basic flight controls. So, the company sent all of their flight attendants to a basic flight school to learn how to take-off, land and fly strait and level. Although the flight attendants did not learn any of the emergency procedures, they were instructed on when to call for a pilot if they got in over their head. As part of the new deal the single pilot onboard was not allowed in the cockpit unless called by the flight attendants. This was a good deal for the flight attendants because they now got paid more due to their increased training and the passengers saved some money also. However, if the flight attendant call the pilot to the cockpit then the flight attendant had to give up part of their pay to compensate the pilot.

    Everything worked great for a while and this was soon common practice throughout the industry. Over time it was discovered that on about 30% of the flights a pilot would be called to the cockpit to handle a situation beyond the training of the flight attendants.

    Now let us return to EMT – IV Tech. Afer over 40 years of successful flights and the commings and goings of many dedicated flight attendants, EMT – IV Tech now only called for a pilot on 5% of their flights. There was no difference in EMT – IV Tech from every other airline in the country, their pilot call ratio should be the same or at least very close to the same. The difference could not be attributed to training because the flight attendants had the same training as all other flight attendants and re-certified every few years and had continuing training between re-certification.

    The only explaination was that the flight attendants did not want to give up part of thier pay to compensate the pilot. The flight attendants were gambling with their passengers’ lives. While many passengers never knew what danger they were in, some passengers were lost.

    Now I don’t know about you, but I want a certified pilot flying my plane every time and I don’t want a flight attendant who has a financial stake in the decision making process to decide wheather or not I get a pilot.

  2. From an outsider says:

    I remember a day when Silver Lake was a great small town America type village. Now, as time goes on, Silver Lake is turning into a dump of sorts. I lived in Silver Lake for 30 years prior to moving. Taxes are sky high and for what? There is nothing “nice” offered in real festivals, no real business. The school is the best part of town. You people in office need to put your disagreements on check. Quit with ego..Because of your ego, ALL OF YOU, Silver Lake is slipping away!

  3. gota love bernard says:

    Bernie, Bernie, Bernie what happened Bernie? looks like those nonsayers did an end around and got you on the backside. what happened Bernie? well I will tell you, this is going to vote of the people of silver lake and if approved or denied that is the wishes of the people.

  4. To To Scared To Fly says:

    Empty store fronts all over town that use to be filled with goods and people gone. Some of the board is keeping us in the 1950’s. If you do not change with the times you will be left behind. Silver Lake is in a tail spin down ward and can not pull out.

  5. Bernard Punsley says:

    To all of you folks “gloating” over the move to scuttle upgrading your fire and rescue services(including paramedics!) in Silverl Lake…what is your “Plan B”?
    Status quo? Remember..that IS one of the options that the Ad Hoc Committee offered…Status quo, don’t change a thing. OK. But given the problems facing YOUR fire department……..what if anything has been done to address that? I can tell you…cut their budget, disparage the Fire Chief and the members of the SLFD., and just ignore the problems. They’ll go away. But hey….we “saved” our Rescue Squad.

  6. Concerned says:

    Seems we need to find a way to fix the fire department, not destroy the Rescue Squad. We have paramedic coverage when needed right now. Would a paramedic on every call be nice? Of course it would but it comes with a price. All the efforts in the past year plus would have done little to help the fire department. They all would have destroyed the Rescue Squad. Lets keep the part that is working (SLRS) and work on fixing what needs fixing (SLFD).
    Did you know that, according to Wis Association of EMS, website http://www.wemsa.comm, that 60% of the responding ambulance services in WI are separate from the fire departments and 40% are part of a fire department? This does not include interfacility, special event and intercept services. Some people think we are the exception with a separate Rescue Squad. We are actually in the majority.

  7. Watch your House Insurance says:

    I will again state as I did over a year ago. If you are interested, call your house insurance company and ask them what will happen to your rates if you do not have a fire department.

    JUST SAYIN….if the people don’t drive you away, then the increase in your house insurance will. I am seriously considering moving out of this village cause it’s on a downward spiral.

  8. Bernard Punsley says:

    Have you seen the new movie out starring Tom Cruise….it’s a documentary about the history of the $ilver Lake Re$cue $quad, called “SHOW ME THE MONEY”. It’s a classic! Show your Walgreens Rewards Card and get in for 1/2 price.

  9. Watch your wallets, not house insurance. says:

    Your house insurance is no different than anyone else’s in the Town of Salem. And the board is not taking your fire department away, they are trying to protect their citizens by consolidation. Silver Lake does not have the population, nor businesses it used to, to support a Fire dept/rescue squad on its own. Do you think SLRS would be here without its contract in Randall, and the money they make at the ski hills? If you want to save the precious fire department, raise your tax percentage up to 10%, nearly 4x what the Town of Salem’s is. Or, you could consolidate your services and begin the process of abandoning the village as a whole; and reuniting with the town.

    You’re TV shopping. You want to get the best TV with the best picture that you can afford. There is a 1968 vintage black and white TV for $1000. It was a great TV in its day, but times have changed. Now here is a 60′ flat screen LCD TV on sale for $400, which has more features and better picture than that 1968 TV. Which one do you choose?

    Take the politics, egos, and emotions out. It’s a simple math equation.

  10. Ready! Fire! Aim! says:

    Bernie oh Bernie your obsession with the SLRS’s ‘mountain of money’ is borderline padded wall material. You think $27,000 a year is a huge gov’t contract you need to step outside of your computer room or search another web site while your refreshing west of the I on your screen every minute. I find it comical watching you bob and weave around the real issues. Is the SLFD broken in more than one way yes but does that mean you use that to cover your not so hidden agenda of killing the rescue squad, no. Maybe your just upset because the rescue squad didn’t come help you when you accidentally shot yourself in the foot but oh yes that’s right you don’t carry bullets in your gun!

  11. The Rock says:

    Finally The Rock has come back to West of the I!!!!

    Now let me lay the smack down for you all! Bernie oh Bernie, quick to put people down… you know the name callers never made it very far in popularity contests past elementry school! You seem to be so very confused… You are bashing the Randall Fire Dept for having a “taj mahal” building and “cadillac” equipment… are you jealous? Then you put down silver lake for not having good enough equipment? How interesting one is far too good for Fire Fighter Punsley and the other not good enough… and imagine that the one with superior equipment doesn’t even pay their fireman… its like bizzaro world!
    And let it be known folks Bernie also had to add his bash of SLRS when talking about RFD. Funny how Randall is not complaining about SLRS services. Also interesting is his quick defense of the Kenosha Fire Dept… Well Fire Fighter Punsley since KFD is so superior maybe you would feel safer living in Kenosha!
    The Rock and his millions and millions of fans can not be fooled Bernie! You dont want a better library in Silver Lake in fear of citizens educating themselves instead of listening you propaganda!

    Now go on with your ten post rebutal!


  12. Concerned says:

    For some reason the fact that SLRS has money in the bank realty gets Bernie riled up. I think it is great they have some savings. When they need to purchase a new vehicle and equip it they are in good shape to do so. Sounds like good planning to me. I wonder how much we have in the Fire Department new truck fund?

  13. Silver Lake Resident says:

    President of the village should resign. She has proven no ability to work with others of different opinions. Her lack of leadership is appalling…

  14. Andy J says:

    I would venture a guess that the bank account keeps getting brought up because SLRS doesn’t pay rent on the building they are in, COURTESY of tax payers and a nice cushy 99 year lease. So this ‘for profit’ organization is leeching off the tax payers and padding their coffers, all while charging you more for service.

    It is that simple.

  15. Bernard Punsley says:

    @The Rock(Hudson)…’re out of your league pal. First of all, you “cherry pick” what I post.. RFD has some “issues” with Mr. Johnson, apparently. Some of the “posters” decided that bashing the KFD would resolve their issues. My “Taj Mahal” comments were in reply to one of their posters citing “fiscal responsibilty” as to why they do not provide EMS themselves. Take a look at the RFD HQ, if there is nicer one in Kenosha County, I’m not aware of it. It’s BEAUTIFUL. Should the RFD and the community be proud of it..ABSOLUTELY. Is it “fiscally responsible”? Ditto for the 104′ Sutphen. Exactly where did I “put down” Silver Lake for not having good enough equipment? If you think having to borrow used SCBA bottles from Gateway because yours are obsolete and the village wont’ give you any funds to replace them, well then you just keep eatin’ those cupcakes, “Rock”. And when the village board budgets ZERO DOLLARS for apparatus replacement, let me repeat that ZERO DOLLARS……well give me another cupcake! Your assessment that “Randall is not complaining about SLRS services” is intriguing. Do Randall taxpayers PAY FOR THOSE SERVICES…or are they “FREE”? You boast “the one with the superior equipment(RFD) doesn’t even pay their fireman”(your words, not mine, I’m assuming RFD has more than 1 “fireman”). SO RFD responds to a call with SLRS. SLRS members get paid, RFD members do not. Bizzaro World? You betcha. Want me to keep going’ “Rock”.
    RFD boasts “our response times are as good as any in the county”. OK …good for them. Attached garage fire in Twin Lakes, 10:30 am…RFD mutual aid. I won’t even mention that Richmond FD was FIRST ON SCENE . I’m pretty sure dispatch records will show RFD engine showed up 15 minutes on scene(not that bad a response time, I’ll agree!) with ONE FIREFIGHTER!!!! Must be the mystery “unpaid fireman” you alluded to in your Rock’s Rant. Of course, knowing the RFD guys MUST be sharper than anyone else in the county, including KFD….that they can run an engine company with 1 person. Now, RFD’s tanker got out the door 16 minutes after the initial dispatch. Can you imagine dialing 9-1-1 for an emergency, and the dispatcher tells you ” OK sir, they are on their way….it’ll be 16 minutes before they can get to the station to get the fire truck.” And finally, “Rock” if you think the new library in Silver Lake is going to “educate the citizens” there, you really have NOT been attending the same meetings that I have . You have followed the “mantra” of all of the “Bernard Bashers”………not one of you has yet to offer a SINGLE ALTERNATIVE to any of my observations. The problems facing SLFD continue to fester. Virtually all of the recommendations or proposals to try and address those problems have been shut down. So Bash Bernard all you want…..I’ll continue to monitor the pulse of this village and report accordingly, so the chagrin of many. So keep on reading my postings, “Rock”…I’ll add you to my fan club! Or you can do like “Al”, and refuse to read my posts.

  16. Concernded says:

    As I recall the last time SLRS needed to purchase a new ambulance they were able to pay cash. That is why they have money in the bank. From what I can tell they do not have enough at this time for a new vehicle but are saving for one. Good planning on their part. For those who think they should have no savings how do you think they should go about purchasing their next vehicle?

  17. Bernard Punsley says:

    @Rock……kinda curious…you never did advise what the requirements are for Command Officers of the RFD………still seems to be the best kept secret in Kenosha County!!!!

  18. Tax Free? says:

    Andy J is correct about the cushy 99 year lease that SLRS enjoys. In 1972 (?) when the rescue personnel quit the fire department and formed the SLRS, the village board gave them a 99 year lease for $1 a year, with the agreement that SLRS would pay the property tax.

    As far as I have been able to determine, SLRS has never paid the tax. I wonder who is paying the property tax … you and I?

    Let’s see $1 a year lease for 99 years, no property tax, and on top of that they still charge the village to provide the service that they previously had been providing for free before they quit the fire department. What a sweet deal for SLRS.

    1. Since the village owns the SLRS station property, there would be no property tax. The village is tax exempt.

  19. Bernard Punsley says:

    @Fire!Aim!Ready!…Really Dean & Dan…Bernard is “obsessed”? Ain’t that a hoot!
    Now it seems all the Save Our Rescue Squad folks are more than happy to talk about the “secret” “mountain of cash” they hoard. Charge us $27,000, more per capita than ANY of the surrounding communities are charged, pay us $1 year to lease the building without having to pay any taxes on it, and then charge us to come to our homes for a rescue squad call, and get the fire department to come along and do all the “grunt work” for you. Sweet deal! Other than your ridiculous proposal to that SLRS take over the SLFD, I have not seen any efforts on your part to try and address the problems SLFD is facing. Let me see, cut their budget, provide no funding for future equipment replacement, bash the Fire Chief, and the classic out of Sue’s mouth “IF any SLFD member tries to intervene on a rescue call, they will be arrested. This has got to STOP”. Keep packin’ in the corned beef and cabbage!

  20. Ready! Fire! Aim! says:

    Very good point Darren.

    Now a business 101 lesson… Lets say the SLRS currently charges $27,000 a year to the village of silver lake for there services… sounds like a reasonable price for a 24/7/365 service. And the village charges $1 for the village owned building. To keep numbers round the SLRS gets $27,000 a year from the village. Now the village is mad they offered a bad lease and want out… The SLRS says fine and the village charges $6000 a year for the lease… Well then i am no math major but i am pretty sure the SLRS would probably up the village charge to oh say $33,000 a year to cover there new building expenses?

    Killing the SLRS will assist in creating yet another empty building in the deserted village!

  21. Stay tuned... says:

    Silver Lake is headed downwards…Funds for friends, funds for expensive roofing, grumpy ole road chief, village cop cars repaired only at one place, ugly trimmed trees on School street, sewers not maintained and now in need of costly repairs, a delapitated downtown, library obtained with no money, broken down firetrucks, and sub standard rescue, (ask my neighbor). Things need to change, and change fast. The locals who think they own this village need to move forward with the rest of us new comers. Guess who pays the most in property taxes. The “New Comers.”. I urge you all to get involed and help change this village.

  22. Karen Erb says:

    The rescue squad built that building by planning ahead. They may not be paying rent on the land, but the building is and was by no means free. It was not “rent free” when the building was built and paid for by the funds of the rescue squad. That building is part of Bernard’s “mountain of cash.”

    In this day of Menards, Walmart, and the internet it’s hard to find a vibrant downtown anywhere, including the big cities of Kenosha, Waukegan, or even Chicago. Maybe the reason downtown Silver Lake is deserted is the age of the buildings, or maybe it’s just the fact of that progress that Bernard loves so well. People have suggested an arcade, but people interested in arcade games have Wii and Nintendo. Other than service businesses, what could a downtown offer? And realistically what services could possibly attract people off of the main highways and all the way to Silver Lake? Maybe we should just content ourselves to being a bedroom community and develop the downtown into housing, as Twin Lakes seems to have done.

  23. Ready! Fire! Aim! says:

    All these problems brought up certainly do not seem to have just appeared of the last 8-10 months…. Sounds like inherited problems from a prior regime. Maybe if they would have run the gov’t like a business there wouldn’t be such problems. And that goes for all levels of gov’t. I am curious as to how this broke fire dept had money in the past decades for upgrades? Better leadership? More fund raising? Higher budget from the village?

    Just because you pay more in property tax doesn’t mean you get more than one vote!

    The reason you’re a “new comer” is because you bankrupt your former communities and state, you know that flat one to the south. Wanted top shelf bottle service with tap beer money. When the taxes became too much you flee to lower taxes. Stay tuned said it best… only get the cop cars fixed at one place… not a clue about supporting local! Hmm lets put another local business out and make another empty building. Last i checked you dont collect much in taxes from an empty building/bankrupt business. Its that exact “new comer” attitude why Silver Lake has become the home of a deserted downtown.

  24. gota love bernard says:

    I have to give Bernie a big shout out! you actually believe that BS you are spewing. god love you man.

  25. Bernard Punsley says:

    @gota love bernard……..yeah..ya gotta admit…I do kinda grow on yah(yeah, I know, just like a fungus!) If you could point to one item that I have ever posted that is “not true”…..I’d be pretty curious. I have a vision and wisdom not share by ordinary mortals. I was “blessed”(ok, maybe cursed)with it at an early age. I have tried to put my skills and vision to use by trying to improve the plight of our citizens. I have succeeded in some areas, failed miserably in others, but I continue to push for the advancement of Silver Lake, to the chagrin of some, yourself included. If I’m spewing “BS”, just what exactly do you consider all the
    “facts” my detractors have been spitting out? The “Dean and Dan” show has “cranked it up a notch”, and the comedy of our village somewhat resembles the “Gong Show”. I think the Queen should replace her gavel with a great big gong, and we could employ Al(I’m not Al)with the big long hook to pull people off of the ‘stage”! Bernard, of course, would be the “Unknown Comic” with the paper bag over my head(to conceal my identity, of course!)……..oh oh…I feel myself about to get “gonged”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. Wow you are right says:

    Ready Fire Aim you are right. This did not start 10 months ago. It is more like 20 years ago. We elected a letter carrier that has a high school education to fix this mess. Put her in charge of a multi-million dollar business. Will not work. She does not have the tools to run a village. That is why the towns and villages that are successful have hired professional administers. We are trying to fix the problems Mike Faber caused years ago.

  27. Fire! Ready! Aim! says:

    To blame these problems on 20 years ago is laughable. This was a very vibrant village twenty years ago filled with community pride not people like the name calling fire fighter punsley putting everyone who doesn’t follow him down! Nice try trolling… when all else fails blame a Faber right! I think you only have to go back one president who had plenty of time in office and even had all his friends in as a majority vote and still couldn’t budget to keep the fire dept up to date.

  28. Fire! Ready! Aim! says:

    That previous president also claims to have all kinds of education but where has that gotten the village? I’d love to put your success and credentials up against the “high school educated” members of the village! So let me guess next on the agenda your vote only counts if you have a greater than high school education?
    I wonder if it was the college education that taught Jeffy to carry a gun without bullets?

  29. Embarrassed SL resident says:

    The village has never been proactive or has had any vision or foresight for the future of Silver Lake that was evident of not taking part of the McGrath study. It is pointless to lay blame to any regime the fact is it doesn’t change the state of which Silver Lake is currently in. The village is ultimately responsible for the fire dept and something needs to be done about it before someone gets hurt or even worse. The village can’t keep at a status quo and let the fire dept try to work itself out the slfd has the smallest area of coverage I would bet they do more mutual aid calls then they have in the village. Something needs to change, I’m not talking about new leadership or budget increase I mean a combination of services. We need to start looking ahead for once.

  30. Wow you are right says:

    Fire Ready Aim you are the joke. When your finger can not point at yourself. Point it at Punsley. You have no vision. You could not pass a simple FF1 test. You work for SLRS only because no one will hire you. Tough being you.

  31. Looking ahead says:

    I have to side with looking ahead. The village has not done its job. There are many other communities that share your feelings about combination of services. If Silver Lake would open its eyes and see how the advanced communities have combined services the answer to their problems would be simple.

  32. Help me I am stuck in SL says:

    I am told that if we unincorporated that my taxes will drop 170,00 per year per 1000 and city services will get better. Sounds like we should jump on this.

  33. Bullied in Silver Lake says:

    Well folks…you really missed the Mike & Chris show at this week’s board meeting. Intimidation and innuedo ran rampant..It was completely out of control. “Citizens Comments’ ran virtually the entire meeting, board members were routinely interrupted by the audience. Sue had virtually no control over the proceedings. It was pretty pathetic.

  34. Fire! Ready! Aim! says:

    Wow You Are WRONG! I have no vision because i dont believe silver lake needs the salem bail out? Quit acting like a teenager who screwed up and is looking for daddy to bail you out! You claim i work for SLRS ahahaha that’s where you are completely wrong! I dont work for SLRS, I have passed numerous tests in my career that i promise you wouldn’t know the first thing about, I pass your little “if you dont have a college degree” test, and on top of it I personally make more than the annual household average that Bernie claims he and his neighbors do not make but wishes they did. SOOO do i pass all of your tests of being a capable thinker? Probably not because i refuse to follow the lead of someone who goes by the name of a dead man and pretends to be unknown on an internet forum. Maybe if i joined the Coast Guard Aux I would know better right Pugsly?
    Let’s put it this way… If it was the SLRS that was hurting and asked the village for more money ie some of the fire dept money would you be equally compassionate about your “services” or would you say you’re a private company that screwed up figure it out?

  35. wake up people says:

    Fire, ready, aim. Where have you been??? That is exactly what SLRS did when they were having trouble years ago. They asked the Village to give them 27K and we did. Not to mention the free rent, or I should say the one dollar a year rent. No taxes on the property and I just saw the Village plowing their parking lot. So of course they want to stay. Where else would they get this deal. Not to mention they still charge us the going rate for calls on top of that!!! Id like to know where I can rent a place like that and not pay a dime for services. If I rented a proprty they would charge me for those services. Next will be cutting the grass too. Even in the crappy deal we have with the library, the library is going to pay for a maintenance guy!! So now when asked to give a little back it was to much. How about at least being fair in what they charge. Take into consideration all the extras we give them. They don’t charge anyone else this kind of money for services!!!

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