Silver Lake to accept letters of interest for trustee seat

silver-lake-VHSilver Lake will  be accepting letters from residents interested in filling the Village Board seat vacated last week by Chris Willkomm.

Willkomm resigned by letter citing work and personal conflicts.

Village President Bruce Nopenz said at Wednesday’s Committee of the Whole meeting that as president he could appoint someone to the seat, but instead he would like to see who is interested in filling the seat and have the choice be a group decision made by the board.

“I don’t want to run a dictatorship,” Nopenz said.

In their letters of interest, Nopenz asked that interested individuals express three ideas for their vision for the community.

Appointing people to fill vacant seats on the Village Board has been somewhat contentious in recent years, with people being appointed in split votes with the board faction that held a majority on the board at the time prevailing.

On Wednesday, board members said they wanted to move beyond that scenario.

“I think we can have a decent working relationship with everybody,” Trustee Roger Johnson said about the current board. “Hopefully whoever we put in that chair can be the same … we will get more done peaceful than fighting. Whoever we pick we need them to be in with us.”

Specifics of when letters will be accepted and how they are to be submitted will presumably be revealed in a formal notice expected to be distributed by the village and posted in the typical meeting notice locations and on the village website.

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Silver Lake Trustee Chris Willkomm resigns; replacement method undecided



  1. Bernard Punsley says:

    I am pleased to see that the board members are looking forward to working TOGETHER as a TEAM. A most REFRESHING approach, and I applaud Roger Johnson for leading that effort. If everyone puts aside their personal agendas and works for the COMMON GOOD of the village, we will resolve the problems that we are facing. That being said, I will be submitting my letter of interest.

  2. Bernard Punsley says:

    If you read her website “DISSOLVE NEVER”, Sandra Folgers asserts that she will be submitting a letter of interest for the vacant board seat. OK. Then read the rest of her postings and decide for yourself if this is a candidate that is really interested in working with our current board for the betterment of all. I think the voters just made a pretty CLEAR statement in our last election that the “DISSOLVE NEVER” mentality displayed by “the VILLAGERS” was not acceptable. Ms. Folgers is satisfied with our current level of rescue squad service, she is entitled to her beliefs. MANY of us want upgrade PARAMEDIC LEVEL SERVICE, something SLRS and their backers maintain we do not need. We too, are entitled to our beliefs. And now, we might have a board that might actually listen to our concerns, if they can be heard over the wailing of the “RED JACKETS”.

  3. Status Quo NO says:

    Whomever it selected as the new board member, I sincerely hope that for their 3 visions of the community they do not list: 1.Status Quo 2. Status Quo 3. Status Quo Let’s see some new, innovative ideas and solutions. I think this board is “charged up” and raring to go. Between the experienced board members and the new enthusiasm of the “rookie” board members, I believe this is a healthy blend that will serve our citizens well. The new appointee will need to blend well with the current team members.

  4. Paramedic Progress says:

    Withthe upgrade to the Kenosha County Sheriff Department providing police protection in Silver Lake, the upgrade to PARAMEDIC level of service should follow. Our new board has identified cost effective methods of providing upgraded levels of service to our community. When our public works department finally decides to get on the team, we WILL be able to make this a reality. SLRS can still be part of the team as well, but their cooperation to date has been dismal, at best.

  5. Better With Bernie says:

    I agree with Bernard. The mentality of the Dissolve Never crowd is that the status quo is not only good enough, it is the preferred method of governing forever. As demonstrated by the dissolve vote and then again the vote in the April elections, Silver Lake voters were fed up with that approach and want this board to change the course that we are were on.
    It is refreshing to see the entire board get behind the change to Kenosha County policing the village. More efficient, better trained and top notch support for our officers. The cost is more predictable too. What is not to like?
    Next order of business is to get our fire department healthy and upgrade our rescue services to paramedic level. That would offer the best care available and ensure a proper response each and every time a 911 call is placed. Silver Lake citizens I think are looking forward to seeing their government in line with what they want and look forward to this board finally getting the job done.

  6. And so it begins........ says:

    The true agenda is already playing out. Got rid of the Silver Lake Police and now working on getting rid of Silver Lake Rescue. So much for the board “working’ together. It’s a shame a few people can control so many.

  7. Michelin Man says:

    I agree with Bernard……”Status Quo Has Got to GO”! I too will be submitting my letter of interest. My vision: 1. Staffed Paramedic located in Silver Lake Fire Station 2.”Auxiliary” Water Patrol Officers(to suplement KCSD) 3.Reflective Safety vests for all village employees, board members, sheriff/fire. SAFETY FIRST!

  8. Police says:

    Still don’t understand why you want to spend 300K for police/sheriff when you don’t have too. They respond to calls, not prevent them.
    Sheriff is free.

  9. Bernard Punsley says:

    @Police: Funny, didn’t see you bemoaning the FACT that our previous board spent over $565,000 annually for our police department, INCLUDING a FULL TIME POLICE CHIEF. For YEARS!! Your “Sheriff is free” comment is ludicrous.
    Your contention that police/sheriff “respond to calls, not prevent them”(your words, not mine), if accurate, should also be applied to fire/rescue. You know, they respond to fire & accident calls, not prevent them(hence, why would we need them. Did you take an El-Done pill, or perhaps swallow the whole bottle?

  10. Bernard Punsley says:

    @”And so it begins: Kind of curious as to your contention “so much for the board working together”. They ARE working together!! I believe the vote to pursue the contract with KCSD was UNANIMOUS?! You are SPOT ON when you assert ” It’s a shame a few people can control so many”. That’s EXACTLY what the Rescue Squad did for YEARS…..and really exerted their control by having rescue squad members on the village board, to say nothing of the former president and her connections to the squad. If SLRS chooses to be part of the overall Emergency Services program in Silver Lake, they will be a welcome team player. They have shown NO interest in that, going all the way back to the Ad Hoc committee recommendations a few years ago. They wanted to “take my ball and go home”, and they did. It finally caught up with them. Our new board is working to upgrade our services across the board, and they are doing it with a well structured, viable, financially sound plan. Whomever is chosen to fill the vacant board seat needs to be a “team player”,
    not a “free agent”.

  11. Public Works Pundit says:

    I think Bernie is right on the mark again! Remember when our public works department employees were hired to to that job, AND respond to calls as members of the fire department(Bristol does it, with great success!). Well, THAT never happened, public works BALKED and the plan fizzled. I think our new board needs to look very closely at that concept(cross trained firefighters/public works) to help augment the response problems that we have during the day in Silver Lake. You public works guys can borrow some “Red Jackets’ from across the tracks,and wear them to the next village meeting.

  12. Police says:

    Whether it’s 300K or 500K doesn’t matter, my point is the sheriff is obligated to patrol the whole county, not just the parts that he chooses. SL does not have to pay for ‘extra’ police protection unless they want too.
    Why can’t they just not have a police department for a while and also not pay for the sheriff for extra patrol for a while and see what kind of coverage and response times you get with just basic county patrol like they do in Salem? The sheriff can’t abandon you or not put a car out this way for you.

    Last year there was a call in Salem for shots fired. (It was a couple of guys shooting skeet in a farm field). Not knowing what the shooting was about the sheriff responded with three cars in just a few minutes with 5 more,(according to the three that responded) on the way.
    If you are in need, they will be there. And at no cost to you above what you already pay on your county portion of your tax bill.

    Bernard, connecting police to fire/rescue response time is not the same. The deputies are in their cars 24/7, always somewhere close. That’s their job.

    SL can always write that check for extra patrol if they feel they need a dedicated car in their town. I’m just asking, Why can’t they just take this juncture and try without for a while ??

  13. Bernard Punsley says:

    @Police…umm…I NEVER said a WORD about response times!!! Check my posting! You wrote “they respond to calls,not prevent them” I took your twisted logic and applied it to fire/EMS “they respond to calls, not prevent them”
    Ludicrous. Your lack of knowledge about police services in our county is readily apparent. You point out Salem has “just basic county patrol”. You conveniently left out the FACT that Salem employs PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICERS. (In addition to having staff in their central firehouse) Paddock Lake and Bristol both contract for “extra” patrols with KCSD. Twin Lakes has their own full time PD. Wheatland has a full time constable. As for your contention the deputies are “always close”, not sure what you define as “close”, given the size of our county and the limited number of deputies that patrol it. If you mean the Bristol and Paddock Lake “additional” patrol officers, yeah, they are close. Paid for by Bristol and Paddock Lake taxpayers, not Silver Lake’s!

  14. Saving money says:

    Bernard is interested in saving money as long as it falls within his plan! You bring up a valid point police that Bernard seems to only tip toe around. So Salem having a staffed firehouse prevents fires??? That must be some magic! And if having a dedicated patrol car in the village prevents crime then wouldn’t silver lake want a dedicated patrol car at bar close when the likelihood of a drunk driver is highest? No no no that’s silly… Move along people nothing to see here!

  15. Somers Sheriff says:

    We here in Somers have just contracted with the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department, and are very happy about it. We also have staffed paramedics in our fire stations and are very satisfied with that as well. Does it cost money?
    You bet. Is it worth the spending? ABSOLUTELY!

  16. Bernard Punsley says:

    @Saving money…….well, your comment is the FIRST TIME Bernard has ever been accused of “tip toe”in around an issue!@ Most of the time, I am RIGHT ON THE MONEY. Go back and read all of my posts…..cite exactly where I said I was “interested in saving money”(your words, not mine!), as long as it “falls within his plan”. Where did I say Salem having a staffed fire station “prevents fire”? I didnt. More word mongering by you. I CAN tell you having a staffed fire station DOES provide faster PARAMEDIC LEVEL response! Your baffling comments remind me of the old Tiny Tim song “Tip Toe, Through the Tulips, With Me”. Time to put your bullet back in your pocket, “Barney”!

  17. Quid Quo Pro says:

    I see that one of the candidates that lost in the recent election for village board, will be submitting her letter of interest to join the board. That certainly is her right. If you read her comments on the “Villagers” websites, she refers to the current board members as “malcontents”. She should fit right in then!!

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