Silver Lake Village Board to seek investigation of library building purchase

This Google Streetview photo shows the new Community Library branch on Second Street in Silver Lake.

This Google Streetview photo shows the new Community Library branch on Second Street in Silver Lake.

The Silver Lake Village Board will be requesting that the Kenosha County District Attorney’s office investigate how a purchase of a building for a Silver Lake branch of the Community Library was conducted.

Trustee Pat Dunn made the motion requesting the investigation. All board members voted for the motion except village President Sue Gerber, who voted no, and Trustee Sabrina Moran, who abstained.

Dunn charged that Gerber and Clerk Terry Faber did not follow proper procedures relating to the purchase of the former childcare building at 209 N. Second Street in Silver Lake. For example, he said no appraisal was performed on the building and that no resolution for borrowing $250,000 for the building and some renovation enver came before the board.

In November, that board did approve purchasing the building contingent on financing.

But Dunn contends that the board should have had an additional opportunity to vote specifically on the financing.

“A resolution has to be passed to spend the money,” Dunn said.

But Gerber and Mike Faber, speaking from the audience, defended the purchase and how it was carried out. Mike Faber is a Community Library Board member, a former village president and the husband of Clerk Terry Faber.

Other trustees said they were disturbed by how quickly the purchase proceeded.

“It went from, hey maybe we can get this building, to closing,” said Trustee Cindy Schwebke.





  1. Concerned says:

    Sounds like board members are having second thoughts on this. Dunn and the others all voted to do this.

  2. Bernard Punsley says:

    Well, Mike Faber has assured us that “everything is ‘hunky-dorey'” and that the other government entities are “dragging their feet”. So we got THAT goin’ for us.We got ourselves a $250,000 MESS is what we got!!!!

  3. Andy J says:

    Good ole boys, meet District Attorney.. District Attorney, meet the good ole boys..

  4. Bernard Punsley says:

    So Mr. Faber……let me get this straight…..Randall is on board with the library. Twin Lakes will be. Salem is on board. Paddock Lake wants an intergovernmental agreement. Those are your contentions. When Twin Lakes residents figure out what they have just been “overcharged” for their library assessments(an apparently honest error), I don’t think they’ll be overjoyed to cough up another $50 grand. After the travesty that the Salem Town Board was just put through with the Fire/Rescue proposal, I think their residents will have serious doubts. Yeah, they already voted to approve the $$$. Wonder how they might feel about a pending “investigation” of “alledged” improprieties by you know who? Ditto for Randall. Paddock Lake was prudent enough(or lucky enough) to have figured it out ahead of time and not be dragged into this mess. Mike, you may end up being the “Lone Ranger” on this one. Sue can play Tonto. Looks like perhaps you “pulled the Trigger” as you shot yourself in the foot on this one. Hi Yo Silver Lake, AWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYY!

  5. Bernard Punsley says:

    @concerned: Yeah, the board DID initially vote to support purchasing the library building. And I believe most of them would like to pursue that through. However, they DID NOT appreciate the manner in which the “facts” were presented to them by Mr.Faber & Ms. Gerber. In fact, they felt strongly enough about the manner in which the “facts” were presented to them(e.g “smoke and mirrors)that they voted 5-1 to seek an investigation from the District Attorney’s office. Attorney Gray’s assertion that board “knew what they were getting into” is suspect at best. I suggest the board “knew what they were getting into” based on what they were told by those folks who now face a possible investigation as to what they told them and how they went about it. If there is any doubt that the board members felt they were misled, Mike Faber wearing the black Lone Ranger eye mask should have helped confirm their suspicions! Hi Yo Silver Lake….Awaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy!!!

  6. Bernard Punsley says:

    It has just been announced that there will be a referendum held in Silver Lake, regarding the pending purchase of a new library building. It will read:

    “Are you in FABER or AGAINST the purchase of a new library building in Silver Lake, cost not to exceed $250,000.

  7. Concerned says:

    The board was unanimous in approving this a few months ago. Now, with elections coming soon and the public outcry, they are changing their minds. Why did they not do their due dilligence before voting to do this? Shouldn’t we expect that of our elected officials? At this point I am sure this will not be resolved by election time but it makes them look like they are on the right side of the issue. Politics plain and simple.

  8. so scared says:

    those mean awful bullies! I was so scared! wanting to put a decent library in the middle of our town! Next they will want our kids to learn to read! oh the humanity! Bernie you must’ve felt equally as afraid last night because i didnt see you stand up and speak out at all, but we see you ran straight home to the safety of your computer room!

  9. Bernard Punsley says:

    @so scared: And where exactly did you send your posting from? Safety of your computer room? If you think screaming and threatening elected officials in a public meeting is ok, well, you probably were a kid that yelled in the library! It’s not right, it was pathetic. Nobody could “stand up” because Mike Faber owned the floor and would berate anyone that did. The police chief even left….that certainly would make a citizen feel a lot safer. @Concerned: If the board is “playing politics” with the library issue because elections are coming up, what exactly do you think Moran and Gerber are doing with the Fire/EMS contract with Salem? Certainly not
    “playing politics” at the expense of our safety and welfare to pacify the “Save Silver Lake Rescue” zealots!

  10. @so scared says:

    How about doing things right??? This whole deal stunk from the beginning. Who honestly puts up a commercial building and has it sold in a month?? Especially in our town. The deal was done behind everyone’s back and I think that is the only issue the board has. I don’t think anyone disagrees on the need for it, but how about doing it honestly and legally??? The other municipalities are not on board. So who is ultimately responsible to foot the bill, we are. There is no budget for this and Sue, who wanted to save money, wanted to cut board meetings, goes out and spends twice that in monthly payments, with a balloon payment due in five years. How is that saving money or being responsible?? Maybe she knew this deal was coming up and was looking for ways to be ahead of the game before hand??? No comments or questions from the same people who “want to save the rescue squad” about this. Why is that??? They complain about the board spending money, they complain about not spending money, but it all depends on who’s pushing the issue. If it is to benefit one of their friends and family its all good. If it is not, then it must not be a good idea for the community!!!

  11. Bernard Punsley says:

    @so scared. So… didn’t hear Mike Faber making derogatory comments throughout the meeting? You did not hear him make disparaging remarks to the news reporter? You didn’t witness Chris Willkomm storm up to the front of the room after the meeting and verbally assault Pat Dunn? You didn’t see the police chief get up and leave the meeting? Folks, deny it all you want, you know it happened. Hide it under your “the people have spoken” mantra……it was an incredible display of boorish behavior that a citizen should not have to experience during a public meeting in their own village. Did I feel intimidated? You bet@! So I guess the score is BOORS 1 Bernard et al 0.

  12. Bernard Punsley says:

    If you look up the word “boor” in the dictionary, it reads: “a rude, clumsy person with little refinement”. If you have a newer version dictionary, you will also see a picture of Mike Faber and Chris Wilkomm featured next to the description! I went to the library to look it up. Honest!

  13. WHY NOW says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, don’t we need a half million dollars worth of sewer and street repairs? Why do we need a library at this time there is one 5 miles down the road, I myself don’t use the library but my wife reads all of the time and uses the Salem library, but what the hell the citizens will pay for it! Thanks governor Walker for the tax break just send the money to the village.

  14. Concerned says:

    Bernie, I said most of the board were playing politics due to their abruptly changing their position on the library. Dunn was even the one who made the motion to do the library thing! Sue Gerber and Sabrina Moran at least have been consistent on their fire dept. & rescue squad views.

  15. Concerned says:

    I stand corrected. Gerber made the motion to purchase the library building. Schwebke seconded it. Dunn did however vote yes to it.

  16. Bernard Punsley says:

    I am relieved to see that village board candidate Chris Wilkomm has decided that his campaign platform should be maintaining and upgrading our village “Dumb-sters”. That should be very high on the list of priorities facing our village. I’m thankful that we have a “Waste Can Watchdog” looking out for us!

  17. Bullied in Silver Lake says:

    Given the ugly circumstances that have evolved during the past several village board meetings(vandalism to a board member’s vehicle, threats and intimidating comments coming from the crowd, physical confrontations made to board members by crowd members, and downright rude and crude behavior by some folks in the crowd), perhaps our Police Chief or a police officer could be present to maintain some type of decorum, or at least provide some reasonable security to our board members. Besides the rowdiness that takes place during the meetings, it has now begun to carry out into the parking lot. Citizens should not feel threatened or insecure attending a village board meeting. I think we should be able to respectfully disagree, “without being disagreeable”. Admittedly, some of the issues are hot topic controversial items that folks on both sides of the issue are passionate about. Nothing wrong with that. But we can do better folks. This is OUR village, these are OUR issues….let’s give the board a chance to work them out, with citizens’ input, of course!

  18. Jackie says:

    Did my eyes fail me or did I really see a SLFD vehicle in Paddock Lake on Feb. 18 at 2:25 P.M. ? Did Mr. Punsley authorize this expedition out of the primary response area or was this just a lark. The ” Bread Truck ” 6156 looked good in the Walgreen’s parking lot.

  19. Bernard Punsley says:

    @Jackie…..a couple of considerations concerning your “observations”.
    SLFD members are employed by the village, subject to the rules and regulations set forth by the village board. They are accountable to the board and Mike “when was the last time a house burned in Silver Lake” Faber. SLRS is a private entity, whose members are NOT village employees. They have virtually NO ACCOUNTABILTY to the board. Since you are obviously referring to my questioning why SLRS was seen both at the bank and the grocery store in Paddock Lake last year, ‘out of their primary response area'(your words, not mine!), if you are “concerned” about SLFD being at Walgreens, are you not just as concerned when our primary EMS provider in the village is 3 miles down the road buying candy bars? You brought up Walgreens…..seems SLRS goes there pretty regularily to meet Salem Fire/Rescue for “paramedic intercept”…ooops,. I’m sorry. that only happens twice a year. Keep eatin’ those cupcakes!

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