Silver Lake FD answers “slanderous” flyer

silver-lake-fd-doorA flyer that criticizes the Silver Lake Fire Department and was circulated around town is being answered by the department’s leadership.

Allison Draeger, who was elected department chief by membership but has yet to be formally appointed to the post by the Silver Lake Village Board, supplied with the department’s reply to the criticisms in the poster, which is a satirical recruitment poster that in fact includes several negative comments about the department, its members and how it is run.

Draeger said the department filed a report with the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department regarding the flyer.

No group or individual has claimed responsibility for the flyer.

Here is the flyer.

Following is the department’s response:

In response to the slanderous flier against the Silver Lake Fire Department that was distributed in the Village of Silver Lake, The Silver Lake Fire Department would like to address each and every accusation within the flier’s content:

1. “Embezzlers”

If you have any information about embezzlement or any other illegal activity, we are anxious to hear about it so we may pursue legal action against the offenders. In addition we would like to know why you have ‘covered it up” until now.

2. “Felons”

We had ONE member who had a felony conviction AS A MINOR at the age of 15. His application was approved by the Village Board.

3. “Arsonists”

We have ONE new member with ‘Arson of property other than a building’ conviction 15 years ago. He has served his time, paid his dues and has given back to this Village many times over. He along with his certifications, are an asset to our Department.

4. “de facto Chiefs”

Allison Draeger was dually elected by the Silver Lake Fire Department membership as every Chief has been for the last 91 years. Due to politics the board has not recognized her as “The Chief”. Chief Draeger appointed her command staff, as every other Chief has done in the past. Roger Pattie is an Assistant Chief with almost 30 years of firefighting experience and Mike Keske who has over 20 years of firefighting experience, is also on as an Assistant Chief. Greg Galich a retired Kenosha firefighter has over 30 years of firefighting experience and is a Captain. Aaron Lassig is a Lieutenant with over 6 years of firefighting experience. This is the most experienced and certified group of officers who have ever served this department.

5. “No background checks”

ALL members (except for Dave Kordecki) have had background checks completed prior to membership by the Silver Lake Police Department.

6. “Junior Firefighters Accepted”

The Silver Lake Fire Department currently does NOT have a junior firefighter program.

7. “No Accountability”

The Fire Departments books are audited each year by the accounting firm that conducts the Village of Silver Lake audits. There have been no issues of embezzlement or “non-accountability” identified.

8. “Tax Free Pay”

The Village issues all paychecks to the members for all POC (Paid on call) hours. Each member has provided the Village with the required tax documents and taxes are withheld.

9. “New Tires”

The tires on the apparatus were inspected by no less than three independent tire representatives. They all responded the same, that the tires are 16 years old and should have been replaced 6-8 years ago in accordance with manufacture recommendations and DOT (Department of Transportation) regulations.

The Village Board does have the formal acceptance of David Kordecki’s resignation as SLFD chief on its meeting agenda for tonight.


  1. Jo Lasdasky says:

    I am so disappointed that any citizen of Silver Lake would put out a flyer so slanderous and undermine any village department. If there is proof, get that proof to the correct person/persons so it can be dealt with. In putting false information on the flyer the person/persons responsible have basically called the village of Silver Lake illegal by not taking taxes out of paychecks when written. Allison Draeger has my FULL support as Fire Chief and Silver Lake should be proud to say we have the FIRST woman Fire Chief in Kenosha County. How good we looked as a village to have that distinction…now we have to hang our heads in shame again because someone had to be vindictive and slanderous. Why did the village president not address this as soon as it was discovered? Why is there still no statement from the village regarding this embarrassing flyer. The problem is…we should all be ashamed of this!!!!

  2. East of the I says:

    When will the childish antics regarding Silver Lake Fire Department and Silver Lake Rescue FINALLY come to an end? Both organizations are filled with good, well-intentioned, and hard-working people who have a desire to serve their community and it’s residence. The conduct by some, who have their own nefarious agenda is reprehensible and dishonors the fire and EMS services and those who serve in Kenosha County. Try showing some respect for a change.

  3. this town needs an enema says:

    They were discovered outside her place of employment. What do you want/expect her to say? She will clearly claim she had no knowledge of it.

    What do you expect the village to say? They dont care about what we think, or care about our opinions concerning this village.

    The village can not make decisions that matter, and you expect them to make a statement. I can only imagine how that would sound.

  4. feels like high school says:

    Both the flyer and the response perfectly illustrate the ridiculous drama and ego driving BOTH sides of this crap. Can we just scrap them all and start over? Who votes for that?!? =) Hoping this ends soon… what a waste of effort, energy and resources….

  5. Joe says:

    I don’t care who you are that flyer is hilarious. I find the towns response even more amusing.

    In addition we would like to know why you have ‘covered it up” until now.

    We had ONE member who had a felony conviction

    We have ONE new member with ‘Arson of property other than a building’ conviction

    ALL members (except for Dave Kordecki) have had background checks

    You just cant make this stuff up..LOL

  6. Seems like a HOT mess in SL says:

    The flyer should have just been left alone, I agree with Joe….the responses are entertaining. You are basically admitting, publicly, the flyer had merit for the most part – if not all.

    As a neighboring community resident – SL is looking mighty sad. Get it together and leave it out of the public eye. Fix your problems and save the drama for yo mama!

  7. resident says:

    Really Joe? You really think it’s hilarious? Just what do you think people that drive through this Village and see this kind of crap think about the Village as a whole? It’s no wonder people want to dissolve the Village. I have to agree that it’s all childish – the flyer and the response. The flyer was uncalled for; however, there never should have been a response made. I believe that if anyone digs deep enough into anyone’s past, there will be skeletons; not just the fire department. Hey Joe – why not give us your last name? We’ll dig into YOUR past and see what falls out!
    I just wish the “adults” here would act like adults. Riverview Grade School is supposed to have the children – not the Village Hall and Fire Department.

  8. The Reason says:

    Well here you go. It is very obvious that our village fathers are unable to run the village. Start over by dissolving. This is the only way left to fix Silver Lake. Dissolve and be done with them all.

  9. Ughh says:

    This will never end. You can have as many new “chiefs” as you want…Silver Lake will never be able to hold up. It is time to dissolve. Look around at other communities (Bristol, Paddock Lake, Twin Lakes, Salem) and ask what they are doing right. Are they perfect communities? No. But they seem to be doing better than Silver Lake has been doing. Its not the fire department, the rescue squad or the police department. Its the board. The board is solely responsible for the dismembering of Silver Lake. Period!

  10. Pete says:

    If you have a doubt about what the board is doing to this town just stop in for the next meeting.

  11. Disheartened says:

    Can someone enlighten me as to how this flyer was circulated? I have yet to received one at my home.

  12. Bernard Punsley says:

    I commend Chief Draeger for her pro-active response to this attack on her fire department and her firefighters. At the very meeting that the village board approved the resignation of her predecessor(I use that term loosely!), they approved a contract with the police department to pay their officers, while dropping paying firefighters to staff the station during the day time hours. Nobody sees the irony in that? Chief Draeger and her command staff are holding the fire department together under the most strenuous of circumstances, including virtually NO SUPPORT from the board. When the 2015 budget proposals roll around shortly, there will be even LESS funding for village services. STAY STRONG……..Silver Lake Fire Department. Don’t let a few “fliers and criers” bring you down…..

  13. Inspector Clousseau says:

    The fliers were in the newspaper box outside of the post office. Security cameras should have no problem picking up the culprit. Matching the high quality printing of the fliers with the high tech printer of the alleged “flier bandit” should not be too difficult for investigators.

  14. Curious says:

    I’m curious to know if all the members of the Silver Lake Fire Department were present for the nomination and election if the “new chief”. Rumor has it that she was nominated and elected by 4 out of approximately 28 members.. I believe Roberts Rules state that a quorum is 45%. Sounds like they were a little short of a reguatory meeting.

  15. Ughh says:

    @Bernard- although I usually tend to agree with you, paying village police officers and those who are hired by the village is normal. Silver Lake fire is a volunteer operation. If the department members want to get paid, they should join Kenosha, Racine, Milwaukee or any other department that pays the firefighters. Department members should only get compensatory pay for calls they go on and training they receive. Bottom line, Silver Lake fire department is not a full time position, nor should it be, unlike the police department.

  16. Disheartened says:

    It’s clear now when someone keeps doing disrespectful things
    over and over again it’s obvious that they’re not going to change.

  17. Concerned says:

    This certainly was a despicable thing to do and I am in no way supporting whomever posted the flyer.
    I would, however, like to make a point concerning the FD response to point #7 Accountability. While the Fire Department books are audited the Fireman’s Association books are private, secretive and not even shared with the Village board. We have this subtle distinction between the FD and the Association. Over the years when citizens have supported the FD at street dances, etc. the money goes to the association. The association spends it however they see fit. The associations accounts and books were not part of the villages audit. Should they be?

  18. No Bullets for Bernie says:

    Bernie, Bernie, Bernie,,,, you always know how to make me laugh. You said, “they approved a contract with the police department to pay their officers, while dropping paying firefighters to staff the station during the day time hours. Nobody sees the irony in that? ” Please tell me you don’t honestly believe that volunteer firefighters should be treated the same as Police Officers. Maybe that’s the problem with you and the others who whine and cry all the time,,,,,you think because you get to wear a uniform and ride on a red shiny truck, someone that makes you a fire fighter. Keep the gems coming!

  19. Bernard Punsley says:

    @No Bullets for Bernie: Umm..I was not disparaging our police officers. I never said the police officers are not entitled to pay and benefits for putting their lives on the line for our community. Please explain to me, “Barney”, how our village can afford to pay police officers overtime to “police” the village during our 1.5 hour Memorial Day parade, yet our firefighters have to WALK through the parade because the tires on their trucks were 16 years old. WHY do the police officers have a UNION CONTRACT…..laying out their benefits and pay, and our firefighters have to sell hot dogs and hold baggo tournaments to fund their operations. While I”m at it, “Barney”…how many of our police officers live in Silver Lake? Our Chief certainly does not. How many rescue squad members live in our village? Bash the fire fighters all you want….our police officers get paid, whether they are answering calls or not, our rescue squad members get paid(those on duty during the day)whether they answer calls or not…….why don’t our firefighters deserve the same? Our police department budget is over $500,000???????????? Last time I looked, our fire trucks weren’t red in color…… your face might tend to be right now, Barney.

  20. Bernard Punsley says:

    @No Bullets for Bernie: The reason the SLFD proposed having a firefighter on duty during the daytime was because of the lack of available manpower during those hours. These were not to be “full time/career” positions. Your attempt to equate that the 2 is bogus. I do “honestly believe” that a “volunteer” firefighter should at least be paid the same hourly rate for running into a burning building that a “career” police officer should be paid for chasing down a criminal. I’ll ask all of the professional, career police officers reading this…when you are at work at whatever police department you work for, who do YOU want responding to a fire or medical emergency at your home if it involves your family? Think real hard about that one. Same question if there is a law enforcement issue at your home.
    In Silver Lake, we have a 4 hour “window” where our $500,000+ police department is NOT available to respond. Ain’t that a “gem”.

  21. Bernard Punsley says:

    @No Bullets for Bernie: Following your logic, I think DISSOLVING our village and joining forces with the Town of Salem would provide our citizens with 24 hour round the clock police protection AND professional firefighters staffing fire stations WITH paramedic level service. THAT is a gem!!!!!

  22. Bernard Punsley says:

    @UGHH: You are truly CLUELESS to what is going on not only in Silver Lake, but in the county as well. SLFD was NEVER looking to full-time staff the fire station. The problem was and continues to be: they do NOT have enough day time staffing to get a fire truck out the door. Why? Most of the firefighters do not WORK in Silver Lake during the day. If they are out of town at their jobs, how are they to respond to a call? This is a problem NATIONWIDE. The answer is to hire part-time firefighters at a nominal hourly pay with little or no benefits.
    Silver Lake Rescue faced the same problem they now staff the station during the daytime hours with paid personnel, as well as night time hours(24-7)on a volunteer basis. Are you seriously comparing the Silver Lake Police Department with Milwaukee, Kenosha and Racine? Explain to me in your great wisdom just HOW the Silver Lake Fire Department is supposed to staff a fire truck during the daytime when a call comes in? And by the way, explain what the SLPD does for “coverage” during the 4 hours when police officers are NOT on duty. You are living in the 70s…..if you stop by the fire station for a beer this week, you might be a tad disappointed!

  23. Embarrassed SL resident says:

    I’ve never seen a community of the more gutless people in it then I do here.

  24. Fire Department Doubters says:

    To all the folks out there in Silver Lake doubting the effectiveness of our fire department……..if your concerns and rants are to be believed, then the DISSOLVE MOVEMENT will take care of that quite nicely. Salem Fire & Rescue will provide an alternative that should soothe your concerns.

  25. Concerned says:

    Bernie is once presenting things as fact when they are not. At the recent SL Village board meeting they did not approve a contract for the Police Dept. The item was discussed and tabled as more information and a chance to review the proposed union contract. Of course it makes Bernie’s point sound better when he distorts the facts.

  26. Concerned says:

    So why is it that all you people intent on getting rid of the Rescue Squad ok with the SL Fire Dept. association? Note I said Association. This is a separate thing from the Fire Dept. The FD is a village owned entity. The Association is a private organization of FD members. They are not controlled by the village, their books and finances are private. They operate by their own rules. As village taxpayers we have no say in how they spend their money. Recently they used monies donated by all of use to hire a lawyer to work against our village and village board. When I have donated money over the years this is not how I envisioned them using it. I didn’t even realize the association existed and was a private organization. Is our FD broken or is our FD Association broken?
    If the village dissolves will the next phase be bickering over what the Association owns and what the village or Salem owns?

  27. Bernard Punsley says:

    @Concerned. BUSTED! The “fact” is that the police union contract was NOT approved, and was tabled for future considered. I was in ERROR! However, the contract WILL be coming back for approval(or disapproval) in due time. I believe the current hourly pay for firefighters is $9/hr; $10/hr’ $11/hr. based on qualificiations Curious as to what the police officers hourly rate might be. And the “daytime staffing” for the fire department CONTINUES to be a problem as many of the firefighters work outside of the village during the day. DISSOLVING Silver Lake will take care of that problem very nicely.

  28. Bernard Punsley says:

    @Concerned: Nice try! The “Association” and their funds that they generate are “seperate” and they are not “controlled” by the village. HOWEVER, the firefighters are sworn village employees who filled out job applications, were subject to drug and background checks and are in fact subject to the rules and regulations set down by the village board. The SLFD operating budget is TAXPAYER money, alloted by the village board as to how it is spent. To try and compare the Firefighters Association and their funds with the Fire Department budgeted funds and operational procedures is pretty slick, but unwarranted. How much of the “mountain of cash” do you think SLRS has spent over the last few years on their lawyer? Where did THAT $$$$ come from. Argument could be made(following your twisted logic)that the first $27,000 came from Silver Lake taxpayers. The Firefighters Association funding has absolutely NOTHING to do with the DISSOLVE movement. But since you brought it up, the DISSOLVE movement WILL pretty much rectify any problems SLFD might currently be having.

  29. To Concerned says:

    You really are out of touch with the facts. Your firefighters had to go out and hire a lawyer to protect the citizens of Silver Lakes interest. Look at the tire problem and unsafe rigs on the road. The village board should have said ok we need tires lets get them. A one day job. Instead they said FF, DOT and tire manufactures do not know what they are doing. This resulted into all FD units being taken out of service for a month. When all said and done SLFD, DOT and tire manufactures found to be right. Board had to put tires on. Still three months later job not done completely. Some units able to respond and FD is crippled. Board never apologized for slandering the Silver Lake Fire Department and its members. What more I will give it to you. SLFD votes its chief into office. We voted in Chief Dragger who is very qualified. If fact more qualified than most chiefs before her. Board would not even look at her. They hired a person from another township that does not live here. They did not do basic hiring procedures. No back round check, no physical and no drug test. The membership gave him a chance. He found out how screwed up the village is and found he did not have a chance in heck to fix it. His Asst he brought in also saw it and resigned. Shortly after the chief resigned. Chief Draggers is the SLFD chief. The board has yet to recognize her. We have to tie their hands legally to get day to day business done. Yes it costs money but the Silver Lakes citizens are worth it. You want more stay tuned I am just getting started.

  30. No Bullets for Bernie says:

    So if I volunteer at a hospital….. does that mean I should get paid as a doctor? Post as many times as you wish Bernie, still won’t change the fact that a volunteer Silver Lake fire fighter is not a full time job. Perhaps if those who want to be paid and treated like REAL firefighters should apply to Kenosha, Milwaukee etc. Keep the posts coming,,, I do love a good laugh.

  31. Bernard Punsley says:

    @No Bullets for Bernie……umm….you are the one that keeps shooting blanks!
    You keep insisting that I am advocating for full time career firefighter positions. Find me one posting where I ever said that. You keep referring to our Silver Lake “volunteer” firefighters in a most demeaning fashion. The examples you cite:” red coat hospital volunteer should be paid same as a doctor” are ludicrous. Your posts show just how ignorant you really are as to the workings of the fire department. You seem to think a person can just show up at firehouse, say “I’m volunteering” and jump on the fire truck. You never once cite the job application process they must go through, background checks(outside fire chief excluded), extensive state certified training, a probationary period, etc. All for the grand total of $9 to $11 per hour when they are training or on a call. You continually IGNORE the FACT that during the day, most of our firefighters are at their “real jobs” outside of the village, hence the fire department has trouble getting a rig out the door. Attempts to rectify that problem, eg staff the station with 1 or 2 firefighters during the day, rely on 2 public works employees who were supposed to be cross-trained as firefighters to respond was the proposed solution, after the attempt to combine SLRS and SLFD failed. But alas, our fire protection suffers the same fate as our police protection..we have 4 hours a day with no SLPD coverage, and basically 8 hours a day with “hit or miss” SLFD coverage. I am pleased to see that you think “paid” firefighters are REAL firefighters(your words, not mine). I’m thinking the PAID full time Fire Chief and full time firefighters/paramedics from the Salem Fire/Rescue department will be a VAST IMPROVEMENT to our village, following your logic. After all, they are REAL firefighters. Keep dipping into your “thought tank”….you are really pulling out some gems. And, NB4B……….keep your one bullet buttoned in your uniform shirt pocket, ok Barney?!

  32. No Bullets for Bernie says:

    “You seem to think a person can just show up at firehouse, say “I’m volunteering” and jump on the fire truck.” Yes,, that’s exactly what I’m saying. I can point to a dozen individuals not qualified to cut my grass but have somehow been allowed to drive a fire truck. I’ve never been in a fire station, but I’m still more qualified for the chief position than that the poor level 1 sacrificial lamb you and GG through out there.

  33. Bernard Punsley says:

    @No Bullets for Bernie: Only one word to describe you: “WANNABE”.

  34. No Bullets for Bernie says:

    Call me a “wannabe” all you want, doesn’t change the fact that you and GG were to coward to step up and become chief. You would rather have someone else do your dirty work for you.

  35. Bernard Punsley says:

    @No Bullets for Bernie: You make this pretty easy…according to you, myself and GG were “cowards”(your words, not mine) for not stepping up and becoming fire chief. Let’s agree with you and say we were(I’m not sure when I became eligible to be fire chief according to you?). Guess that makes Chief Draeger a bona fide asset to this community, since she had the strength and internal resolve to “step up to the plate”. Exactly what “dirty work” are you referring to? Replacing 16 year old fire truck tires? Replacing obsolete firefighter turnout gear and breathing apparatus? Attempting to provide adequate response for fire during the daytime hours? Upgrading standards, procedures, safety protocols? Upgrading EMS capabilities of the fire department? Increasing fire membership?
    Ya gotta clue us in on this one…Barney. Oh that’s right…you’ve never been in a fire station!!!!!!(your words, not mine!)

  36. No Bullets for Bernie says:

    Funny how when it came time to putting a committee together trying to reward Mr. Galich and his cronies ( paying them to sit in a fire house and watch TV all day) Mr. Galich was an “expert”. But when it comes down to stepping up and helping the Village he claims to care so deeply for,,, he goes silent.

  37. Bernard Punsley says:

    @No Bullets for Bernie: If Mr. Galich(aka GG) “goes silent”(your words, not mine)you really have been living in a cave this past year! Mr. Galich has been VERY VOCAL and OUTSPOKEN about what needs to be done to bring the SLFD up to speed. WHERE have you been? As for the Ad Hoc Committee, what “cronies” of Mr. Galich were paid to sit in the fire station and watch tv? I have the answer to that NONE!!!!! Virtually ALL of the committee’s recommendations were IGNORED………….and the SLFD continues to struggle today, despite the heroic efforts of Chief Draeger and her firefighters, MR. Galich INCLUDED! If Mr. Galich is “silent”……..then Bernard Punsley is Marvin Milktoast. Remember the old song by the Tremeloe’s…”Silence Is Golden”……..perhaps YOU should provide us with a little, Barney.

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