Silver Lake residents will get to vote on fire/EMS from Salem issue

silver-lake-VHResidents of Silver Lake will get a chance to vote in a referendum on whether the village should be able to contract with Salem for fire and emergency medical services.

The referendum is the result of a direct legislation petition presented earlier this month. That effort was spearheaded by resident Colleen Dykstra.

Under the state’s direct legislation law, residents of a municipality can petition a municipal board to enact legislation. If the petition is certified as having sufficient valid signatures, it can then be adopted by the board or rejected. If rejected, the matter then goes to a referendum, the outcome of which is binding for two years.

All board members — with village President Sue Gerber abstaining — voted to reject the resolution, therefore forcing the referendum.

There will not be enough time to get the referendum on the April ballot so it will be on the November ballot, village officials said.

The petition language said Silver Lake shall not contract with Salem for fire or emergency medical services other than usual mutual aid agreements. The language for the ballot will be drafted by village attorney Linda Gray or some other village official.

Before the vote on the direct resolution petition, Trustee Patrick Dunn made the case that the petition’s action was not appropriate for a direct legislation initiative because it referred to an administrative — not legislative — matter.

But Gray said it was her opinion, and that of the League of Municipalities, that the Silver Lake petition was appropriate direct legislation.

Still Dunn introduced a motion (seconded by Trustee Sotiria Wilber) that said the board rejected the petition because it addressed an administrative and not legislative matter.

Dunn’s motion failed when Trustees Mike Decker, Sabrina Moran, Paul Snellen and President Gerber voted against it.



  1. 9 Months ??? says:

    You’ve got to be kidding! I can have a baby in that amount of time though I’m not sure which ambulance service will show up in November when I need a midnight ride to the hospital. Being the way Town and Village meetings go who knows how long it will take to re-draft an agreement after that vote is decided. I can’t see Salem letting Chief Slover spend one more minute on this until the fat lady sings in November.
    Now come-on Silver Lake. Why in the heck can’t you have a special election sooner rather than later?? Everybody that is going to vote has already decide which side they are on. There is no campaigning to do and you already have seen most if not all of the “agreement” that will come from Salem.
    Get off your collective butts and make this vote happen! Otherwise it’s going to be one long, hot,nasty summer.

  2. Bernard Punsley says:

    The tactics employed by SLRS have been pretty effective from the start…delay, resist, challenge, repeat the process. I have to tip my hat to them, their game plan worked. With a new board coming( at least one new member with an incumbent not running), the current board failed to upgrade Fire/EMS services and is satisified with the “status quo”. That in itself is stunning. But given the prospects of the new board, and most of candidates running clearly in favor of maintaining “things as they are’, SLFD is pretty much doomed. A few more brat & baggo events might help them, but bottom line is, their ability to provide services will continue to dwindle. If the citizens are satisfied with that, so be it. Perhaps the most cost effective plan the village could adopt would be to shut down the SLFD and use that building for the new library!

  3. Bullied in Silver Lake says:

    The bullying that was present at the Wednesday night village board meeting was incredible. The police chief conveniently left the meeting, and it continued on, including trying to intimidate a news reporter. One of our illustrious school board members, running for the village board, came up to the table after the meeting and verbally “assualted” another board member. Police presence? Nowhere to be found. I don’t feel our board members not members of the audience should be subject to this kind of verbal bullying. Our president would pound her gavel once in awhile, to no avail. Mike Faber basically ran the meeting. I would suggest next meeting he be given a chair at the head table, along with a name plate. I thought we elected public officials to conduct our meetings…guess I thought wrong.

  4. gota love bernard says:

    BINGO!!!! Bernie (your word not mine) looks to me like you were punslied last night. I guess Bernard and friends do not believe in letting the people decide. Bernie the community of the whole will decide this issue not just a few!

  5. Bernard Punsley says:

    @gota love bernard: Well, BINGO! You are pretty much spot on@ However, I do believe in letting our elected officials decide issues for our community, that’s what they were elected for. Apparently, I am in the minority in that belief. So gloat all you want……..none of the issues facing our village have gone away, and the “referendum” “demanded” by the people won’t do anything except delay the inevitable. I’ll just have to keep taking my lumps!

  6. sl resident says:

    Silver Lake can not manage itself. Let the professional at Salem take over

  7. Bernard Punsley says:

    @gota love bernard: “the community of the whole will decide this issue,not just a few!”( your words, not mine.). OK. Looks like that will happen. But are you really OK with Mike and Sue ramming a $250,000 library down our throats with virtually NO community input? I “Bernard and friends do not believe in letting the people decide(your words, not mine), what do you call 2 people masterminding a plan to push through a library purchase? Where is your “community of the whole”(your words,not mine). And as SLRS continues to take over the board with “Save Our Rescue Squad” folks, why would they even need to do that? The board has pretty much had their wings clipped. Although, I must admit, Chris Wilkomm’s campaign to “Save Our Dumb-sters” is a worthy platform to run on@

  8. Bullied in Silver Lake says:

    SL Resident……..apparently, I’d like to at least give Chris Wilkomm a chance to try and “right the ship” so to speak with our board. He has a political platform that I think merits consideration: “Save Our Dumb-Sters”.

  9. Embarrassed SL resident says:

    The citizens of silver lake need to know if this referendum passes and the fire dept collapses or folds up. What is the village board going to do? Pay for fire crews to stand by 24/7? The village is responsible for for fire and ems service, and the village will not be able to negotiate with salem. I think the citizens should be educated of the possibilities that this referendum will cause. I believe that this is an administration issue and not a legislative issue.

  10. Fire! Ready! Aim! says:

    Ramming a library down your throat??? Yes a library is such a terrible terrible thing for a community… especially one right down the road from the elementary school.. how dare they want to upgrade our library! Horrible people horrible!

    I say Silver Lake’s be named after former Pres. Jeffy! The buildings are as empty as the gun he carries!

  11. The Rock says:

    Finallly THE ROCK has come back to West Of The I!!!!!!!

    Bernie you’re talking to yourself again! You’re making the peoples point over and over! You want the village to run SLRS… the village couldn’t run the fire dept why wouldn’t they resist being run by the village? And the “mountains of cash” would still belong to the rescue? If the village would then be in charge of upgrading supplies and purchasing what would the rescue have to use the “mountains of cash” for?
    Let The Rock tell his millions and millions of fans a little story. There once was girl named Bernie and she met a boy named Bernette and he had a “mountain of cash” and she didnt have any, she had old out of style clothes and her car was falling apart. One day Bernie and Bernette are so in love they get married… Does Bernettes mountain of cash get shared and used to upgrade his lady Bernie… OF COURSE IT DOES!

    Can you SMELLLLLL what THE ROCK is Cookin!!!

  12. Skeptical says:

    The people of Silver Lake tried to speak with a yard sign campaign. The board shut them out and shut them down.

    The people of Silver Lake tried to speak by coming to meeting in numbers exceeding a hundred. The board shut them out and shut them down.

    The people signed petitions, and Pat Dunn and Soti Wilbur tried to ignore even that.

    The village board passed rules for speaking at meetings that shut the public out and shut them down.

    But the law is on the side of the people who want to be heard. Bernard believes that the board members, many of who were appointed out of the back pocket of Pat Dunn (or was it the BULLY Bernard), should make all the decisions. Guess Pat and BULLY Bernard don’t have any idea what democracy is really about.

  13. Skeptical says:

    I just don’t understand Pat Dunn! Pat made the motion to purchase the new building for the library. The board unanimously approved the motion.

    But NOW they are crying because they didn’t think they’d have to pay for the purchase. Is it common for Pat to agree to purchase and then default on payment? The uncertainty of the help from other municipalities was clear at the time of his motion. He claims the motion was on condition of financing. If he mean to say that it was only on condition of help from the other Library members, then he should have said that.

    But in typical form, Pat’s idea of a contract should be full of open details. His idea of a contract with Salem had more holes in it than Swiss cheese. And he is whining to the DA because his motion for the library had cheesy holes in it too.

    Seriously Pat, what could you have done if the financing details were brought before the board? Would you have refused to agree to the loan and then put the village in jeopardy for defaulting on the contract to purchase.

    Pat Dunn needs to be recalled because of his failure to agree to pay for the library he moved to purchase!

    The recall petitions can be circulated as soon as one year has passed since his election…that’s the same time the new board takes their seats. Let’s have the recall election the same day as the fire/rescue referendum. The recall petition only needs the same number of signatures the Legislative petition had.

    Thank you, Pat, for finally giving us the concrete reason for the recall!

  14. Bernard Punsley says:

    @The Rock: The rehab isn’t working, is it pal?

  15. @skeptical says:

    Let me correct you. Sue made the motion to approve the purchase and Cyndy seconded it. Read it for yourself on the Village Website. Dated 11-6-13, motion #2. Please spread the correct information and stop making up information without knowing all of the facts!!!

  16. Silver Lake Resident says:

    Silver Lake is run not by Pat Dunn, or Bernie. In fact it is run by the bar crowd. Can you see intoxication, and or liquid encouragement? Attacking a board member and a news reporter from this page, is the result of this. Maybe a breathalyser should be set up, and a requirement to be sober enforced. This town truly is a joke. Salem, please take us back.

  17. Bullied in Silver Lake says:

    @Silver Lake resident….pretty accurate observation. I suggest that the meetings be held at Uncle George’s from now on.

  18. Bernard Punsley says:

    To All the SLFD “bashers” out there….when the fire department finally does fold up…..what is your “Plan B”? Our village is on the verge of financial collapse, if the library fiasco doesn’t send us over the cliff, the resulting lawsuits from our surrounding neighbors just might. By state law, a village must provide fire protection. Our fire department was hard pressed to do that BEFORE the village board GUTTED their 2014 budget! In case you have not been paying attention, our shared revenues from the state are not only declining, our governor has promised continued decreased property taxes. OK..everybody likes that. Just how in the heck are we going to try and continue to run our fire department without any funding? Baggos and bratwurst? I don’t think so! Virtually all of our fire equipment will face needed replacement shortly. Yeah, we replaced all of it brand new after the fire station burned down…..seen any replacements since then? Any replacement funding over the years? See the SLPD driving around in any 16 year old squad cars? Those “bashers” that think Randall or Wheatland FD will be able to replace our SLFD are really not looking at the whole picture. When SLFD bails, we will be in a serious dilemma. So…what is your “Plan B”?

  19. Just Wondering says:

    Just wondering why there isn’t a referendum on UN-incorporating?

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