Off and on again Salem Lakes meeting on Tuesday to discuss and maybe decide Public Safety Dept. and water patrol fates

Clearly the Salem Lakes Village Board is ready to again take up the issue of the Public Safety Department and water patrol.

The question — over the last few days anyway — has been when.

On Sunday, the village issued notice of a special Village Board meeting to be held Monday at 7 p.m. That meeting agenda had one item: “Discussion and possible action relative to Village Public Safety and reinstatement and Water Patrol.”

On Monday morning, a notice saying the meeting was cancelled was sent out. That was followed at about 4:30 p.m. with a new notice of a calling of a special meeting signed by two trustees for a special meeting on Tuesday, starting at 7 p.m. at Salem Town Hall.

The Tuesday meeting has two agenda items: “Heritage Estates issue with sidewalks and driveways” and the public safety/water patrol item.

Salem’s Public Safety Department was the subject of some controversy among Town Board members last year when board members learned that the department had been accepted to a grant program to increase traffic enforcement. That program required a certain number of contacts per shift covered by the grant. Consequently, officers were doing more traffic enforcement, especially along Highway 50, than in the past. Officer Michael Ventura died in a crash on July 8 on Highway 50 while driving a Public Safety Department vehicle. The town withdrew from the grant program in August.

In November, with the merger of Silver Lake and Salem in process, the Silver Lake Village Board created a Public Safety Department from the old Salem department, though with some apprehension from trustees about the scope of powers.

In April, the board in a 6 to 1 vote suspended operations of the Public Safety Department with the intent to come up with a way to still have water patrol this year on the village’s lakes.

UPDATE about 7:18 p.m. — A closed session “relative insurance contract negotiations” has been added to the meeting agenda.

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3 Comments

  1. Don Hanson says:

    How about calling it the Code Enforcement department, and keep the water patrol done by the Sheriff’s department. This way you real separation of powers. If code enforcement has a issue they can call for a deputy for backup.

  2. organized or disorganized says:

    Time to see the trustees act to rid the village of public safety for good. Time to adjust the budget by board motion to nothing more than has been spent or at worst to have board approval on every dime that might be attempted to be charged to that account by anyone, including the administrator. Time to rid the village of water patrols. Once that decision is made, those who actually do have authority – Sheriff and/or DNR – can act. The fact that Memorial Day is upon us should not affect the decision. Decisions are on their value, not because of a holiday. Shame on the board for not acting when the Public Safety was first suspended. It should have been disbanded in finality. This meeting then would not have been necessary and the silliness of the agenda would not have been necessary. The Trustees are on the stage tonight. I understand that the Sheriff was read to go (as one would expect of Dave Beth) so what is the problem? More importantly, WHO is the problem?

  3. Clear decisions says:

    So true, the Public Safety patrol is a bad idea when you have a professional department ready to step in. Public Safety is a rogue department propped up by Tesar and Casey and few others to protect their buddies. The public is not best served by their actions and we should have disbanded them long ago.
    To wait until a week before Memorial Day and then try to sneak a meeting though by silently ‘posting” on a Sunday night is just not honest government.
    Salem residents need to stand up and be heard and back board members like Culat who sees the situation for what it is: a clear distinction that hiring professional sheriff’s deputies far outweigh cop wannabees.
    And when will enhanced sheriff patrols start in Salem like they have in Silver Lake. Come on Casey and Tesar, get with it.

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