Silver Lake Citizens for Growth folds, but new group forming

Silver Lake Citizens for Growth may have run out of steam, but at least one village resident is poised to build a new group dedicated to getting things done.

Citizens for Growth sprang up in 2010 with the goal ” to bring that small town feeling back to Silver Lake.” Projects the group’s leaders Jo Lasdasky and Kathy Woods spearheaded included community gardens, fundraising for Fourth of July fireworks, hosting Sunday dances and various beautification projects. A representative of the group used to attend Village Board meetings and until recently even had a regular spot on the agenda to report on the group’s activities.

Representatives of the group have blamed the inflamed political situation in the village for driving away members. (Note: See update below for a new comment — DH)

At Wednesday night’s Village Board meeting, resident Allen Dunski, who had been active in Citizens for Growth, said that group is no more, but he and a few others are committed to promoting positive community action through a new group.

“We’re not giving up,” Dunski said during citizens comments.

The new group will have to use a new name, which has not been settled on yet, Dunski said. He also hinted that the focus of the organization may be a little different. After a board discussion about whether a time clock should be purchased to track firefighters hours, Dunski asked about the cost of the device and said the new group might consider helping fund such a purchase if money was a problem.

“That’s more of what we want to get involved in, not planting flowers…” Dunski said.

The new group also already has a community service activity planned. Volunteers will set out to pick up trash on Sunday, April 13. Anyone who wishes to help out should come to the Silver Lake Fire Department station at noon.

UPDATE 4-4-2013 – Jo Lasdasky sent us a message to say that she felt the problem with Citizens for Growth was more a problem with getting participation. ” We didn’t get the support we thought we would. … We tried many things as you stated, but there was just no interest.”

Also, the new group appears to have found its new name. Dunski announced the new name,  Silver Lake Citizens in Action, on the group’s Facebook page (renamed from the old Silver Lake Citizens for Growth page).



  1. Allen Dunski Jr says:

    “That’s more of what we want to get involved in, not planting flowers…” Dunski said…..

    I meant to say “not JUST planting flowers”. We have every intention to continue beautification projects around the village. However, those projects are not the only thing we will be doing, we want to spread our wings and expand the great things that Kathy and Jo started!

  2. Bernard Punsley says:

    I applaud Mr. Dunski and his group for trying to promote our village and sincerely hope they succeed. I’ve been accused of being “negative” at times, but think about this…..if the village cannot afford a time clock for the fire department, and has to rely on a group of citizens to garner funds for it, what does that say about the overall financial stability of our fire department, much less the village fianances? Not only can we not get enough firefighters to show up for emergency calls, we can’t even afford a time clock for them? To say nothing of the prospect of replacing all of the 16 year old fire trucks, tires, equipment, etc.
    Blame past administrations all you want, the new board will be faced with these problems immediately. Hopefully, they will have some workable solutions to address the problems. So far, ALL attempts have FAILED(miserably!). Recruit all the new members you want(a good idea, I believe). However, if they do not live in the village, our daytime fire department staffing problems remain. And with new recruits, be prepared to provide turnout gear, uniforms, training costs, background checks, and a myriad of other costs associated with new hires. If we can’t afford a time clock, where are those funds coming from? Normally, responses to the questions I raise are met with derision…but are they legitimate questions or not? I think they are. And if someone has some workable solutions, lets hear them.

  3. Rhonda says:

    Hey Bernie,
    Shut up already, the kid is trying to do something good an you give him a two sentence nice job and the yap on about a stupid time clock.
    All I can say is you and Making Salem Better should join Allen’s group because if you two pick up garbage like you both talk garbage village would be clean in no time!
    Quit attatching your name to the good things people are trying to do, nothing but a leach. Both you an Making Salem Better, nothing but negativity!

  4. Bernard Punsley says:

    @Rhonda…….well now sister, your post was just laced with negativity. Rant all you want….nothing but garbage came out of your pie hole. I did nothing to dispage Mr. Dunski nor his group, in fact applauded their efforts. My concerns about the “time clock” were legitimate, I made a point that I expected my insights to be lambasted, and you wasted no time flapping your jaws. Just what are you suggestions to my concerns? As suspected,you don’t have any. You chastise me for “leeching onto something positive”. Take a look in the mirror, sister. Meanwhile…Mr. Dunski & group, I applaud your efforts……dont’ let the likes of myself or Rhonda take you down!!! Keep up the good work!

  5. Time Is On My Side says:

    Well folks….it appears Mr. Punsley has not lost his sense of humor! He certainly hasn’t lost his ability to irritate people! But ya gotta admit, he sometimes DOES make you wonder. All this fuss over a time clock? Really!

  6. Bernard Punsley says:

    To my fellow Silver Lake citizens, I will be at the fire station on Sunday, April 13th for the community service clean up. I would encourage all of you to try and come to help out. Let’s show our support in a positive fashion for Mr.Dunski and his group.

  7. Karen says:

    Hey, Bernie, we CAN afford a time clock, but we cannot purchase stuff that isn’t in the budget unless it is approved by motion and discussion. You cannot just repeat only a part of the discussion and act like that was all that was said. A more sane compromise was achieved through discussion.

  8. Bernard Punsley says:

    Karen………good point. I heard the “discussion”. Fire department finances are in big trouble, as are the villages. The “discussion” focused on the time clock. SLFD’s problems are a LOT bigger than that. My observation that previous boards have not addessed those problems is still accurate, in my humble opinion. I sincerely hope the new board will try and rectify the situation. I have YET to see a valid plan put forth to “save our fire department”. So if starting with “time clocks” is a start, well then I’m all for it. That’s not the impression I got at the meeting the other night. Just curious, Karen, does SLRS have time clock? Please advise.

  9. Bernard Punsley says:

    @Karen, before you “pontificate” again about how “sane compromise” was reached on the “time clock issue” for the fire department….let’s review a few “facts”. Both Sue Gerber and Mike Decker have publically stated they do not believe there is enough “work” to justify staffing the fire station during the days. Sue wanted the firefighters to shovel sidewalks. The Fire Chief asserts he basically has 9 firefighters that will respond(WHEN they are in the village and available) and that is an unacceptable level The FIre Chief AND SLFD members have taken a beating the last year, starting with their budget being dramatically slashed. The fire trucks are all virtually 16 years old with no replacement plan in place. Daytime staffing continues to be a problem. Relationships between the SLFD and the SLRS are at an all time low. Fire department morale? Take a guess. Anything I stated here so far that’s NOT correct? While I am certainly hopeful that the new board will try and start fresh and address some of these concerns…..I’m really not that optimistic.
    While I’m usually told to “shut up”, very rarely are any of my observations met with alternative solutions. Rescue is here to stay, OK. Let’s try and work on getting our fire department back on track. Baggo tournaments and selling brats is not going to do it, folks. Perhaps our new board members, some of them with previous board experience can come up with some workable solutions. Don’t hold your breath!

  10. Allen Dunski Jr says:

    Speaking OUTSIDE of Citizens in Action…..By the way, that is the name of the new group, Silver Lake Citizens in Action. Now, again….speaking OUTSIDE of the group, my personal opinion is this……

    I believe the village should have control over the rescue squad. I don’t think the FD should take it over. I don’t think SLRS members should be left out in the cold. I don’t think we should have Salem take over our town! I think WE should take over our town, we NEED to get Silver Lake back on track on our own.

    I know rescue is no multi-million dollar industry in Silver Lake, however the little $ that does come from responding to calls via village tax payers SHOULD go right back into the village budget to help with all that “Bernard” has stated. In a perfect little world, both fire and rescue would work together without egos. There is no reason at all for all of this BS.

    The rescue chief has stated it is beneficial for the FD to respond to medical calls, so who are we to say no to that? Take away the drama, the he said/she said garbage, take all the negativity away and realize ONE thing……realize that both fire and rescue have ONE thing in common, the safety of the citizens in the Village of Silver Lake. Start with that and FIX what is wrong

  11. Bernard Punsley says:

    @Allen Dunski Jr. Well said! We have a new board, perhaps some new ideas, let’s make this work.

  12. yeah right!! says:

    The only new board members are Sabrina and Carolyn. Both Rescue employees. Roger and Chris were on the board for years and helped cause this issue of finances in the Village. No bid contracts going to only one source. Over charging on those bids to top it off!! I cannot believe this community decided to put back the people who ruined this commuunity financially. People have said we didn’t have these issues before Jeff. That’s because no one paid attention. We thought the ones elected would do the right thing. Maybe now that the community realizes how things used to work and how they are suppose to, the bar room decisions and no bid contracts wont continue.

  13. Bernard Punsley says:

    @Yeah Right!! Well, as Yogi Berra used to say “It’s Deja Vue all over Again”! The “purge” continues…..I must chuckle at all the folks that maintained that Jeff controlled his “puppets” on the board, even after he was voted out of office. Let’s say those folks were right. What do they think is happening right now? SLRS continues to “wag the tail” of our village board. OK. The people have spoken. That’s what they want. But what about all the REST of the issues facing our village? And all those problems were caused by Jeff and his “minions”? Nah…Sorry folks, I ain’t buying that! When I sit at a board meeting at look at the pictures of our past village presidents, I’m thinking….”I wonder how much vision they had for our village”? Dedicated men, all. That includes Jeff. But if Jeff got us into this sorry state of affairs( I don’t believe he did), we choose a couple of former board members that we tossed out of office once already? To replace 2 board members we tossed out? I suggest the board hold a “pre-meeting” at Uncle George’s before each board meeting, appoint Mike Faber as Sergeant-at-Arms to maintain meeting decorum, and let the chips fall as they may. I am somewhat relieved that our “dumbsters” will at least now be up to code. Another thing to blame Jeff for! As for SLFD, they will continue to take their lumps. Along with Jeff. And Bernard.

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